Rebound Migraine Headaches
This content focuses on the topics below:
-Rebound Migraine Headaches
-Rebound Headache Treatment
-Home Remedy For Rebound Headache
It can be difficult to recognize a headache caused by medication overuse, particularly if you have always experienced frequent migraine attacks. Although any new patterns or symptoms of head pain should be evaluated by your health care provider, the following signs may be a red flag that you are experiencing rebound migraine headaches:
-Your headaches have increased in frequency to daily or almost daily.
-You are taking more headache medication more frequently, and it’s less effective in relieving your head pain.
-Your headaches have changed in nature or severity (e.g., your head pain is a constant dull ache instead of a throb; your head pain is occurring in different places).
-Head pain returns several hours after taking a dose of medication.
Avoiding Rebound Migraine Headaches
Overuse of some acute migraine medications can result in more frequent, and sometimes more intense, headache episodes. This phenomenon is known as a rebound, or medication overuse, headache. Rebound headaches may turn into a chronic daily headache that is similar in nature to a tension-type headache, or they may be migraine headaches that occur with increased frequency.
All classes of acute migraine medications have the potential to cause rebound migraine headache when used more than two or three times a week. Unfortunately, this perpetuates a vicious cycle — you take more medication to treat the ensuing headache.
Rebound Headache Treatment
Once a rebound headache develops, the best way to treat it is to stop taking the medication that triggered it. Your doctor may recommend that you taper off the medication, or use a different drug type. Always consult with your health care provider before stopping a drug abruptly. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to completely break the rebound cycle, and your head pain may worsen before it improves. If you have become dependant on an opioid pain reliever, you can experience some uncomfortable symptoms. In some cases, your health care provider may recommend supervised drug withdrawal in a hospital setting. In most cases of simple nonopioid analgesic overuse, you can handle rebound headache treatment on your own with rest, relaxation, and cold compresses.
Rebound Headache Home Remedy
There are many, simple nonpharmaceutical treatments that you can begin at home at the first sign of an impending migraine. While they won’t stop migraine pain completely, they can provide some relief while you wait for medication to take effect and can ease the discomfort of any breakthrough pain. They also have the benefit of being inexpensive and side-effect-free. Now lets start with the first rebound headache home remedy.
Rest is the simplest and most common of these pain-relief measures. An estimated 58 percent of all migraine attacks experienced by migraineurs between the ages of twenty and sixty-four result in some bed rest, and women spend an average of six hours in bed due to migraine compared to four and a half hours for men. The American Migraine Study found that roughly one-third of all migraineurs require bed rest during a migraine attack.
Retreating to a dark, restful place when head pain begins is almost instinctual for many migraineurs. Since a migraine causes light and sound sensitivity and is relieved by sleep, it makes sense to unplug the phone, dim the lights, and crawl under the covers until the attack passes. If you have odor sensitivities, banish any scented candles or air fresheners from the area.
Lying down provides some minor relief from the throbbing vascular headache of migraine, which is made worse by physical activity. If at all possible, try and withdraw from the outside stresses of work and other responsibilities. Read Chapter lo for more important information on creating a restful migraine recovery environment.
Compresses and Cold Packs
Most migraineurs find that cold compresses, or packs, are more effective than heat packs in easing head pain. Although there is no published research on the topic, this may be because cold reduces inflammation. There are many cold packs on the market targeted specifically for migraine pain relief.
A cold pack can be as simple as a washcloth soaked in cold water. Cold compresses filled with gel material hug the face closely, retain cold, and may be more comfortable than an ice pack on sensitive skin. There are also commercially available cold gel patches that adhere to the forehead and can be useful in soothing migraine head pain.
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