Managing Your Migraines

Migraines cannot be cured, but our headache specialists at Mount Sinai recommend these tips to help manage your headaches and minimize their impact.

Keep a Headache Diary: If you document what triggered your headache, how severe it was, and what medication you used to treat it, we can see patterns that may help. Migraine triggers vary from person to person and from attack to attack and can include foods, missed meals, caffeine, dehydration, and lack of sleep.

Manage Your Medications: Medications are more likely to be effective if you take them soon after you notice symptoms. Be careful, though, because medication overuse can also cause headaches. Discuss any concerns with your doctor. If you are on preventive medication, take it regularly to reduce the number of migraines and make attacks more likely to respond to treatment. These medicines generally take several weeks to become effective, and many become more effective over subsequent months. 

Keep a Steady Schedule: If you get a lot of migraines, it may be that your brain has difficulty adjusting to changes in the environment. Alterations in sleep timing and duration, missing meals, and fluctuations in hormone levels, stress levels, caffeine intake, and even shifts in the weather can easily trigger attacks. 

Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help manage migraine headaches.Most people prefer to rest during an attack but doing some non-strenuous exercise can reduce the number and severity of migraines.