A good treatment strategy should have three parts, rescue or acute treatment, prevention and lifestyle modification, usually the cornerstone of a rescue or acute treatment is medication but it is also important to have a strategy in place to hand off your responsibilities, to have a safe quiet dark place to go and so forth without these predetermined processes. Your mind will constantly cycle back to loose ends and other stressors making your medication less effective and your recovery slower. The second component of your treatment plan is prevention, prevention is made up of strategies you put in place to decrease your sensitivity to the environmental stressors that can trigger your headache again, medication often plays a role in prevention and the selection of your preventive steps is one of the most important functions your physician can perform, there’s no one-size-fits-all preventive behavioral strategies such as biofeedback physical therapy, stress management, integrated medicine and other strategies are essential to good outcomes for many patients. The third and final component of a treatment plan is lifestyle modification, this is often the most important and most beneficial by the same token, it’s often the first to fall by the way, once headaches are under control, if change in the environment can trigger a headache, that follows that providing your body with predictable orderly life will be to some degree protective against migraine thus the goals and lifestyle modification are to maintain consistent sleep patterns, eating patterns and exercise patterns. It is these three behaviors that influence changes in your body’s hormonal cycles. By maintaining consistency in these cycles, your body is better able to anticipate and adapt without spiraling out of control and into migraine.
Not every headache is our fault, to be sure we can do some things knowing full well we will probably get a headache and that’s okay, we have free will and sometimes that day at the beach or that Barry Manilow concert is worth the price but we are genetically hardwired to get headache under some circumstances so we need a plan to deal with headaches when they happen and the better we are at managing them, the fewer headache days we’ll have.
In addition, a healthy, balanced diet and regular mealtimes can help keep migraines at bay. Some people find that smaller, more frequent meals can be even better at managing symptoms.
Regular exercise, especially if it’s outside, can regulate your sleep and eating rhythms, and it seems to be another key part of managing migraine headaches. Shoot for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
It’s a good idea to try to maintain a healthy body weight, because obesity raises your risk for chronic daily headaches. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep routine will help get you on the right track.