According to the Migraine Trust, migraine is the third most common disease in the world.
Migraine isn’t just a headache, it’s usually a throbbing pain on one side of the head. During a migraine, you might feel sick. You may also be sensitive to noise and light and find it difficult to have a conversation. Some people also experience numbness on one side of their body.
Doctors may offer you tablets to prevent or relieve migraine symptoms. But, what do you do if you don’t want to use drugs Are there any other ways to treat migraine?
Some migraine sufferers use acupuncture. Acupuncture originates from China. According to Chinese philosophy, an energy imbalance, our qi causes ill health.
In 2009 the Cochrane Review studied trials involving a total of 4419 patients. They concluded that acupuncture can help patients suffering from acute migraine attacks. The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists the use of acupuncture in some diseases. It includes headaches. (Full report page 37).
A study in 2018 carried out in Brazil concluded that acupuncture does indeed reduce pain. The researchers said their participants took fewer drugs and had fewer migraine attacks.
When you have acupuncture treatment your therapist will insert needles above your eyebrow, at the outer edge of your eye or on your cheek. As the needle pricks your skin you might feel it slightly. Afterwards, there is a chance that you will have some soreness or slight bruising.
Another treatment gaining popularity is daith piercing. This piercing goes through the smallest fold of the cartilage in your ear, just above your ear canal. The theory is that it helps to relieve migraine pain because it is an acupuncture spot.
There are no studies supporting daith piercing as a treatment for relieving migraines. Dr Fayyaz Ahmed is a neurologist and trustee of The Migraine Trust in the UK. He says that “there is no evidence that daith piercing works to help migraine.”
If you browse the web you’ll see various opinions from people who have had daith piercing. Some say the treatment doesn’t work. Others say it has stopped their migraines completely. Is daith piercing really an effective treatment, or just the placebo effect? Have a look at this blog from the website Migraine Again.
Botox is better known as a cosmetic procedure for treating wrinkles. But, Botox is an approved treatment for migraines in the US and in the UK.
You can make use of the treatment if you have headaches on at least 15 days every month. Plus, 8 of the 15 headaches must be migraines. Trials have concluded that Botox reduces the number of headache days. So, the treatment improves the sufferer’s quality of life. Botox doesn’t work for tension headaches though.
If you have Botox treatment you’ll be given injections at the back of the neck and around the head. Treatment is roughly every 12 weeks. Reports say the most common side effect is neck pain.