Life with migraine isn’t exactly a walk in the park. With no known cure for your condition, it may feel like there’s no obvious light at the end of the tunnel. But thanks to ongoing research and development, you have access to lots of migraine relief products that could make 2022 less of a pain in the neck (and head).
New pain relief medications are always in development, but in this article we will focus on migraine relief products such as supplements, coping tools, and even wearables.
What Causes Migraines
If you’ve suffered from migraine headaches for a while, chances are you’re already paying attention to your triggers. If not, try keeping a headache diary of your activities, diet, and general wellbeing. When you feel a migraine coming on, check your journal for potential triggers. Over time, this is a great way to recognize patterns that may be contributing to your attacks.
As you keep a headache diary, keep an eye out for some of the most common triggers, including:
- Light sensitivity (also called photophobia)
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Sleep changes
- Weather changes
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Certain foods (like MSG, chocolate, dairy, artificial sweeteners, and cured meats)
- Medication overuse
- Odors (like strong perfumes or chemicals)
A lot of people like to use an app, such as Migraine Buddy, as a migraine journal.
Naturally, avoiding these and other things that trigger your pain could be helpful. But let’s take a look at specific migraine relief products you might want to try.
Wearable Products for Migraine Relief
You might not even want to think about the money you’ve spent on various migraine relief products. There are plenty of useless items out there, but there are some good ones, too. While no one product will work for every person or every migraine, you might find some of these wearables worthwhile.
Migraine glasses results are based on multiple studies.
About 90% of migraine sufferers have light sensitivity. We won’t get into all of it here. But we will mention a study from the UK that compared the response of migraine sufferers and non-migraine sufferers while exposing them to increasing brightness of light. Those who suffered from migraines were found to have a much lower tolerance for light than those without migraine. However, we also know that only certain wavelengths of light are problematic (specifically blue and amber).
Thus, migraine glasses work by filtering out the wavelengths of light that are most likely to trigger or aggravate migraines, while letting the rest of the light in. Axon Optics is pioneer in the continuing development of migraine glasses, and the original online retailer of them. The glasses are actually stylish, too.
With nearly 1,500 ratings to date, Axon Optics glasses average 4.4 stars, with 71% of respondents giving them 5 stars.
The Headache Hat
Technically, this product is called the Headache and Migraine Relief Cap, but we think “headache hat” has a nice ring to it. It might sound a little hokey, but it has over 10,000 ratings with a 4.5 star average.
This hat is meant to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, and contains 16 gel-containing ice packs. You can wear it over the top of your head or pull it further down over your face and neck, depending on where your pain points are.
The makers of the hat don’t claim to eliminate migraines, but many reviewers find it comforting. You won’t be winning any style awards, but it could help you feel better during an attack.
Non-Drug Migraine Relief Products
Feeling better doesn’t always have to require popping pills. Here are a few products that could help you feel better, even on an empty stomach.
Ginger is purported to help people deal with nausea. Since nausea often accompanies the pain of migraine for many sufferers, that alone could make it a useful migraine relief tool. However, study also suggests that ginger could relieve migraine pain as well as sumatriptan, one of the most popular prescription migraine pain relievers.
Ginger in powder form was used for the study referenced above, but ginger comes in many forms, from capsules, to tea, to candy. Before using it, check with your pharmacist to make sure it won’t interfere with any medications you’re taking.
Green Light Therapy
While blue and amber light are known to be the most problematic types of light for those who are sensitive, green light is known to be soothing. This is why migraine glasses don’t filter it out, and it’s why therapeutic green light lamps are a thing. Some believe green light also helps with anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.
There are a lot of choices for green light therapy lamps on Amazon.com, and while none of them have a huge number of ratings as of this writing, they seem to average about 4 stars.
You know that menthol and eucalyptus ointment that seems to help you breathe easier when you have a cold? Well, the same oils could be useful as a migraine relief product, at least in the form of VapoShower™ Plus tablets from Vicks®.
Try putting one of those tablets on the floor of your shower. When the water hits it, it releases eucalyptus and menthol vapors. Especially if your migraine is triggered or exacerbated by sinus pressure, these might be worth a try to give you a sense of relief. With over 3,000 ratings, these tablets carry an average of 4.5 stars.
At the very least, the aroma should be invigorating when you’ve got a bad case of the Mondays.
Supplements for Migraine Relief
Some migraineurs swear by certain supplements or herbs for migraine relief or prevention. This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, but offers a few ideas that could show promise as migraine relief products.
While research is lacking as to whether CBD might provide migraine relief, there are plenty of anecdotes online of people using it successfully. Before deciding to use it, make sure you’re getting a very pure form of CBD from a trustworthy source. Some brands may contain THC, even if the label says otherwise.
CBD has been studied and shown promise for chronic pain when combined with THC, but hasn’t been studied for migraine on its own. However, if you know you can trust your source, perhaps the best way to see if CBD helps you is to conduct your own “study of one” and try it as a migraine relief product.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) could play a role in reducing frequency and duration of migraines. Shoot for 400 mg daily.
- Magnesium, according to the American Migraine Foundation, may help prevent migraines in a daily dose of 400-500 mg. There is also a potential link between magnesium and magnesium deficiency.
While typically used to regulate sleep cycles — not marketed as a migraine relief product — the hormone Melatonin has been shown in study to have potential promise in reducing the frequency of migraine.
The American Headache Society lists CoQ10 as “possibly effective” in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches. The typical dosage is up to 100 mg, three times daily.
Wearable products like migraine glasses won’t give you side effects. But anytime you’re looking for a migraine relief product to take into your body, it’s best to talk to a healthcare professional who is familiar with you and your migraines. After making sure anything you ingest or inhale is safe, use their professional guidance as you test your options.