Generally when a migraine strikes, a sufferer retreats as quickly as possible to a cool, dark room to recover. The episode also usually prompts well-meaning friends, relatives, and caregivers to say, “Let me know what I can do to help” — even though help is rarely given.
The truth is nearly everyone with migraine could use help during a flareup — but responding to the statement is difficult. Not only is it tough to think of tasks that need to be done when you’re put on the spot, and admitting that you can’t cope with the stuff of daily life is embarrassing.
Instead of making a vague offer of help, here are 10 concrete ways to provide assistance.
1. Prep their bed
Movement can make migraines throb. Make sure your relative/friend has a comfy place to lie still and rest their aching head.
2. Dim the lights
A common symptom of migraines is sensitivity to light, or photo-phobia. Dim the lights, shut the blinds, and help bring on the darkness so your friend gets some relief.
3. Track medications
If this isn’t their first migraine, they probably have either over-the-counter or prescription medications close by. Make sure he or she takes the meds needed to help kick the pain to the curb. Call the doctor first if you’re not sure how much to give.
4. Have ice-packs ready
A cold compress on the forehead can soothe migraine pain. Have ice packs or cool washcloths on hand. Make sure to replace them as they get uncomfortable.
5. Keep the house quiet
All your senses can feel under attack when a migraine hits. In addition to lowering the lights, keep the sound down around someone in the midst of pain. You can:
- Take kids and pets to another area.
- Shut the door to their room.
- Turn off TVs and music.
Earplugs or headphones can give you even more relief from noise. Have some these close by as an extra option.
6. Push fluids
Dehydration can trigger migraines. If nausea isn’t a problem, bring on the water. Keep your friend hydrated, and you can help keep their pain from ramping up and getting worse.
7. Offer a gentle head massage
Some people find that a gentle push on their temples can ease the pain of a migraine. You can also massage their scalp. Be ready to stop if it gets to be too much or if it isn’t helping.
8. Check in
Don’t be a pest, but peek in from time to time, in case your friend needs something. Shouting out or looking at a phone screen to text somebody can be hard when your head is throbbing.
9. Offer emotional support
Migraines hurt. Take their pain seriously, and let them know you’re there to help. Emotional support can make a world of difference for the person in pain.
10. Call a pain management provider
It’s time to reach out to a professional if your friend has:
- Different pain than usual
- Trouble speaking
- Shortness of breath
- A stiff neck
Keep a list of symptoms, and let the doctor know what medications have been taken.
Southern California Migraine Treatment
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.