How Heat Therapy May Help You Prevent A Migraine Attack
Most people have experienced the occasional headache, but migraines are an entirely different kind of pain in the neck (sometimes, a literal one!). While every migraine sufferer is prone to different triggers and will find relief in different types of remedies, stress is often an underlying cause — and relieving that stress can do wonders in reducing the frequency and severity of attacks. However, two-thirds of both men and women say that their work has a significant impact on their stress level. Americans are more stressed than ever before, which makes it all the more vital to reduce emotional anxiety, mental burnout, and physical tension to safeguard our health.
While there are certain things you may be able to do at the onset of an attack to alleviate migraine symptoms or how long it lasts, some migraine sufferers aren’t able to find relief until the attack has ended naturally. In certain cases, these attacks can last for up to three days. This can be totally debilitating, causing these individuals to miss work or other obligations, as well as enjoyable social activities. Sometimes, a migraine will respond well to medication, but a particularly bad or stubborn attack may render a person virtually helpless. Therefore, the best course of action is to actually prevent a migraine whenever possible. That means avoiding your known triggers and practicing self-care. For most people, that means it’s vital to ease stress. That’s where heat therapy comes in.
Ideally, you’ll want to reduce stress at work. But if you’re in a particularly stress-prone field or you know you’ll have to endure a high-tension situation for the time being, you’ll need to make sure to de-stress after the workday is over. For some people, aromatherapy and meditation can work wonders. For others, watching a favorite show or reading a much-loved book can bring comfort and relaxation. Adding a neck heat wrap to any of these options can allow your muscles to release, which is critical for reducing bodily tension. The combination of physical exertion and mental stress (which often manifests in physical strain) can be a dangerous one for migraine sufferers. So anything you can do to address mental, physical, and emotional stress at the same time will be extremely beneficial. Partaking in an enjoyable activity while massaging pressure points or using a heated neck wrap will help with all three.
For a lot of people, changes in hormones or sleep patterns can trigger a migraine attack. Heat therapy can actually help with these triggers, too. Women who experience cramping or back and muscle pain during their menstrual period or during ovulation may find a neck heat wrap or heating pad may help ease their discomfort. Combined with medication (in some cases), this may help stave off a migraine. In addition, heat therapy can help you wind down and stay on a healthy sleep schedule. Since sleep deprivation can trigger an attack, don’t be afraid to use your neck heat wrap to help you relax at night. Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Note that while lavender scented wraps may help some people relax and breathe more deeply, many migraine sufferers are sensitive to scents; unless you know that lavender does not aggravate your symptoms, you should err on the side of caution.
Experts know that many people experience migraines, but everyone experiences them differently — and no two are alike, even for the same individual. While your neck heat wrap might not provide much relief when you’re in the throes of a migraine attack, using heat therapy can be extremely beneficial for reducing one of the chief causes of migraines. Prevention is really the best option, so be proactive about using these products to keep your stress levels to a minimum.