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How to Get Rid of a Migraine Fast - 10 Easy Tips

Updated on August 25, 2013

Migraine Headaches

Everyone gets headaches. You may feel a throbbing pain in your head when you are sick or stressed out. It’s like someone is squeezing your head and won’t lose his grip. The good news for many is that headaches often don’t last long. The pain usually goes away after a few minutes. However, it’s a different case when it comes to migraines. A migraine is often regarded as the most painful type of headache. The pain is usually concentrated on one part of the head. Those who suffer from migraines may feel dizzy and nauseous. The discomfort and suffering brought about by migraines can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours. In some cases, migraines can last for up to two days. In order to know how to get rid of a migraine fast, you need to know what triggers it. Read on to learn about what causes a migraine.

Migraine Causes

Many researches have been conducted to determine the exact cause of migraines. However, experts have yet to find a solid conclusion. Just like in typical headaches, the cause of migraines seems to vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common triggers:

Find out what triggers your migraine.
Find out what triggers your migraine. | Source
  • Stress
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Too much caffeine
  • Menstruation
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Long travels
  • Smoking
  • Certain foods, usually fatty foods, processed meat, and alcohol

Experts also say that migraines are hereditary. If your mother has a history of migraines, you are likely to get migraines as well.

10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of a Migraine Fast

1. Keep a headache diary.

Sounds unusual? Don’t be surprised if this is the first thing your doctor will ask you to do when trying to get rid of a migraine. Keeping a headache diary helps determine the cause of your migraine. Take note of the time, your activities before the migraine, the food you ate, your stress level, and other possible triggers. Refer to the migraine causes section above to guide you about the things to write in your headache diary.

2. Apply a cold compress.

You can try applying a cold compress directly on the area of pain. This offers quick relief and can even get rid of the migraine completely.

3. Have a little caffeine.

This one is an interesting tip. Caffeine can actually cause or treat a migraine. Caffeine additives make headache medications and pain relievers 40% more effective. It also helps the body absorb the drugs more quickly. There are a lot of over-the-counter medications that contain caffeine. However, some people experience migraine after taking caffeine. So if caffeine triggers your migraine, better try the other tips.

4. Relaxation Techniques.

If you suffer from a migraine, don’t force yourself to go to work or school. You need to rest to allow your body to have enough energy. It helps if you know some relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises.

5. Rest in a quiet, dark room.

Bright lights and loud sounds can make your migraine worse. Rest in a quiet and dark room and try to get some sleep.

6. Avoid triggers.

Take a look at your headache diary and check if there are patterns forming. Do you get a migraine after eating certain foods? Does it only occur when you are so busy and stressed out? Maintain your headache diary and you will eventually find clues that will lead you to the triggers of your migraine. And once you know these triggers, all you need is to avoid them.

7. Watch your dietary habits.

Do you skip meals? Do you eat whatever you want to eat? It’s time to change these bad dietary habits. Never skip meals. Doing so may cause your body to not function properly. Also, avoid foods that trigger your headache. Even if it is your favorite food, you have to drop it if you want to get rid of migraine.

8. Sleep patterns.

During the weekends or holidays, it is really tempting to go to bed and sleep the whole day. However, too much sleep can actually cause a migraine. Lack of sleep can also trigger a migraine. It is recommended to have a strict sleeping time. Set a specific time for when to go to bed and when to wake up.

9. Take headache medication.

Sometimes, all it takes to get rid of a migraine is taking over-the-counter headache medication. Try painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Be cautious though as too much use of these drugs can aggravate the condition.

10. Avoid stress.

Are you too busy at work or school? Make a plan for your daily activities so you are more prepared to take the tasks you need to do. Regular exercise also helps fight stress. Stress reduction helps you not only in getting rid of a migraine but also in promoting your overall health.

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    • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

      Cliff Mendrez 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      MizBejabbers, thank you for sharing your experiences. Other readers will surely find them valuable.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      8 years ago from Beautiful South

      Cliff, my doctor administered the lidocaine injections and never prescribed them for self-injection, so that is correct. However, he did prescribe me lidocaine nasal drops to be self-administered. He said the drops had to go into the ganglia in the back of my head and it worked when he administered them for me. They never worked when I used them at home because I couldn't hold my head in the complicated upside-down position that it required. I gave up on them and that's when we went to the neck injections.

      I don't have the bad migraines anymore. Ladies, take heart, change of life works wonders!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I get migraines about once a week or two.

    • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

      Cliff Mendrez 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      girlgonestrong, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Your tips would be of great help to other readers.

      MizBejabbers, I heard lidocaine must be monitored. I hope things are working out well for you.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      8 years ago from Beautiful South

      A lidocaine injection in my neck is the only thing that ever gave me any relief.

    • girlgonestrong profile image


      8 years ago from Plymouth, MI

      People should also consider eliminating dairy and grains (especially wheat) from their diet for a period of about 90 days. Many, many people don't know it but they have "low-grade" food allergies to dairy and gluten which can manifest in these types of headaches.

      If the symptoms disappear or are significantly blunted after removal of these two food items, you can slowly (over a period of months) start adding one and then the other back in and see if one, the other, or both are triggering a physiological response.

    • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

      Cliff Mendrez 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      I'm glad that works well for you, stevew13. Yeah, if only stress could be eliminated completely. Thanks for reading and voting up!

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 

      8 years ago from Norwich, England

      This is a great Hub Cliff, I used to suffer from migraines and always found rest in a dark quiet room with a damp towel on my forehead a good method to combat them. As for avoiding stress in life, if only that were so easy eh? Voted up :)

    • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

      Cliff Mendrez 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Esmeowl12, I'm glad you shared your personal experiences with two of the recommended remedies above. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A Johnson 

      8 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I appreciate these tips. I have menstrual migraines and take medication for them. Caffeine really does help, as do cold compresses. Thanks for the valuable info.

    • Cliff Mendrez profile imageAUTHOR

      Cliff Mendrez 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Keri! It's good to know you have not been troubled with migraines for a long time. Thanks for sharing your tips as well!

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 

      8 years ago from West of England

      A good subject to help people with, migraines are SSSSSOOOOO painful. Fortunately I haven't had one for many years, but used to experience "auras" beforehand with split vision. I found that sitting up against pillows helped rather than lying flat, and somewhere I heard about the technique of imagining the blood flowing from your head down through to your fingertips, which actually really helped in my case. Voted Up.


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