Migraines are different from your average headache. They usually build up over 1-2 hours; you can feel them coming. They have a throbbing type pain and are only on one side of the head. Migraines will last several hours, but won’t usually go beyond a day or two, though late effects of the migraine can be felt for even a week after, this is recovery time.
All migraines are not equal some are thought to be caused by vascular issues thus foods or activities that affect your blood supply are often triggers. Some are thought to be caused by abnormal brain activity or nervous function. There is no one treatment that works on all migraines.
Migraines will go away on their own with time or sleep, but you don’t have to just accept them. Some basic things can drastically help reduce the symptoms of migraines, even without medication. First, know your triggers, and avoid them. Migraines are usually “brought on” by something. Triggers are different for everyone, monitor what you do before a migraine to determine yours and avoid those things. Food can be a trigger (such as chocolate, alcohol, MSG, cheese, sugar, citrus fruit, etc.). Stress, hormonal changes, allergies, even exercise can be a migraine trigger.
Second, take advantage of early warning signs and intervene. In my treatment of migraines I’ve found that patients who treat the early signs have less severe symptoms and are sometimes able to avoid the migraine all together. Two forms of intervention care that have helped my patients are: an ice pack on the back of your neck at the base of your skull, and chiropractic manipulation. I have seen the reduction of many migraines with these two methods, research puts the effectiveness number somewhere around 70%. Another method that some of my patients find effective in this early stage is a hot bath. These methods fit in with the vascular theory of migraines by balancing systems, reducing the blood flow to the head or increasing it to the rest of the body. These are not the only options. Find what works for you.
Lastly, sometimes you can’t stop the migraine if it’s there and unavoidable, sleep. Sleep is the number one way of getting over a migraine. It allows your body to return to a balanced state and passes time, which is what your body needs to recover.