19 People Dish On The One Thing That Makes Them Feel Better When They Have A Migraine

There’s nothing quite like the harrowing pain of a migraine to quickly open you up to any and every method possible to stop your suffering. I’ve been fortunate to only suffer through a small number of those wretched beasts, but there are plenty of people who frequently deal with migraine pain. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 1 in every 4 households includes someone who experiences migraines. That’s roughly 12% of the entire U.S. population and, if you’re female, it gets worse. Turns out that 18% of females are among those afflicted (odds are better for males, only about 6% of whom experience these often debilitating super-headaches).

There are many things that cause migraines, some of which are well known and somewhat self-explanatory (like hormonal changes) while others (like onions) are a bit unexpected and, well, odd. Still, regardless of the amount of research or the known causes, a way to slay these mind-crushing demons evades us. There’s no one magical super pill that easily combats all migraines. And don’t dare suggest taking a simple over-the-counter pain medication, because if you’ve ever had a migraine, you know it is not the same as a headache. Still, for many, a combination of drugs and other methods can help.

In an effort to find some relief (for myself and others) I spoke with a number of migraine sufferers to see if they could offer any hacks for keeping migraine pain at bay. Here’s what they had to say:

A can of coke and 3 extra-strength Tylenol when I was pregnant. Also, eucalyptus oil. I rub it on my forehead. Ice packs and masks help. - Alejandra Novo

"I usually find that the incredible pressure and nausea that comes with migraines to be the most intolerable part. I drink ginger ale and my husband makes some sort of soup like carrot-ginger soup, or chicken soup with a hint of ginger. Then I wear a stretchy headband, wherever the pressure is worst. That makes it way more bearable actually. Lastly, I bought a memory foam pillow and that cloud-like pillow is a godsend to relieve the pressure." - Arelene Sullivan

Drinking water, eating small regular meals. Sumatriptans, dark rooms, menthol head stick, and eye mask out of fridge. And sleep. - Kate Fletcher

"I am super light and audio sensitive with my migraines. I have to lie down either in a dark room or with sunglasses on and just try to be still and quiet until it passes. I get awful visual disturbances (look up "scintillating scotoma") that I can still see when my eyes are closed, so there really isn't much of a way to escape, but being quiet and still helps." - Alyson Kalhagen

Peppermint oil for me, on my temples and back of neck. Dark room. Sleep. - Toni Guyton

"I'm pregnant now so I can't take the good stuff, so I do a big dose of caffeine and Tylenol. If my stomach can handle it, I eat something really caloric. Now that McDonalds serves McMuffins all day, that usually does the trick. For some reason, salt and grease really appeal. If I can sleep, that helps too, but as a SAHM, that's not always an option." - Olivia Hinebaugh

Haven't had one in a while, but I used to lie down in a dark, quiet room and put an ice pack over my eyes. - Kristina Castro

"When I was pregnant, lying still in a dark room with a cold compress using an app called Simply Noise was the only way I could achieve even slight relief. Brown noise was the most effective for me. Also, a combination of acetaminophen and Benadryl washed down with a coke full of sugar and caffeine can help a bit, too. The one time I started to have severe neurological symptoms while pregnant (loss of vision, word salad), I was admitted to the hospital and given IV morphine and Benadryl. I find that acupuncture treatment during the migraine can provide a lot of relief if you already have a practitioner who will let you come in right away like that." - Whitney Sorrow

Dark room, cold compress, and if I'm lucky, someone playing with my hair. Also much ibuprofen. - Meg Davis

"I have a rice bag made for necks that I put in the freezer for a little bit and then lay on my back and lay the mask over my eyes and the top of my head. I need the pressure of the rice bag to help ease the pain. I also use peppermint oil and lots of water if I can keep it down." - Meagan Peek-Campbell

A multivitamin called Migravent. It has to be taken 2-3x times a day but it is amazing! - Julieth Formosa

"A few years ago I was diagnosed with ice pick headaches. Essentially they're super-concentrated migraines in the back of your head that last 1-10 seconds. It literally feels like you are suddenly and without warning stabbed in the back of the head while simultaneously being electrocuted. The only thing that helped me was Gabapentin, a drug typically used to treat seizures." - Jamie Kenney

Advil or Excedrin; having my hair pulled. - Glenda Leon

"Unfortunately, nothing but time helps mine once they're under way. If I can catch it early, a mix of Sumatriptan, caffiene, dunking my head in icy water, and then sleep will usually keep me from having any symptoms past the first ones. If it gets to a full migraine (or if I wake up with one), 72 hours of misery are in store and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it." - MaryAnne Vivandiere

Caffeine or Excedrin; relaxing and acupressure. - Lissette Aparicio
The only thing that seems to help me is 2 Excedrine and a coke or bunch of strong coffee. Since I'm pregnant, I try to only take Excedrine when I get desperate. - Kristen Brown

"I take daily prevention meds (propranolol), so when I get one, its usually wicked. Bayer migraine pills work, but also a dark quiet room, ice pack, and a full sugar soda (not diet)." - Jenna Olson

I have a really nice eye mask that blocks out 100% light. Also Valerian root tea so I can sleep it off. - S. Usher Evans

"Binaural beats for migraines and dark rooms always help me out. Need a good pair of headphones though. Saves my life because I don't get them often, but when I do it's horrible." - Josh Edwards