Treatment Challenges and New Possibilities

You may feel like you have tried everything to treat your migraine,1 from medicine to at-home remedies, and holistic methods such as essential oils and meditation. This usually involves a significant amount of trial and error, and most people try various combinations to find relief, which only increases the complexity of navigating migraine.2,3

In addition to trying multiple treatments, you may also feel like you have spoken with your doctor so many times that there is less value in having yet another conversation. But what if there were another way?

Speaking to your doctor can have an impact on how you treat your next migraine attack.

Need help approaching the migraine conversation with your doctor? Our Doctor Discussion Guide includes ideas on what to ask.


Photo pharmacy and healthcare concept capsule pills WITH statisic

There are many things that can cause or trigger a migraine attack. Some common triggers include: 5,6

  • stress
  • certain foods
  • medication overuse
  • irregular sleep schedule
  • light or smell stimuli, such as bright or flashing lights and strong smells

Once triggers are identified, people living with migraine start to use coping strategies.


What coping strategies do
people with migraine use?

People with migraine know that they can plan life, but they cannot plan a convenient time for a migraine attack because there never is one. That is why people with migraine have a list of coping strategies they use to prevent or subdue the symptoms of an attack.

Here are some of the most common coping strategies:

Stress squeeze ball

Managing Stress

While we wish stress was something we could simply dismiss, that is not always possible. But there are ways to manage and minimize it, such as prioritizing what you want to do, scheduling some “me” time, and communicating your wants and needs.2

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Getting Enough Sleep

Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to a range of health problems and is also one of the most common triggers of a migraine attack.8 If you have been diagnosed with migraine, do what you can to get enough quality sleep.

Medication bottle image - Managing medication

Managing Medication

You have likely cycled through a long list of medications and holistic remedies. But sometimes, medication can have the opposite effect. Frequent use of medication for pain relief in migraine can sometimes lead to medication overuse headache or other side effects.6

Photo composition with beautiful blooming orchid with water drops and spa stones isolated on white

Addressing Mental Health

Migraine can take an emotional toll, meaning that you also tend to have a higher chance of developing depression and anxiety. Speak to your doctor about any mental health issues you may be going through.9

Photo salad in plate isolated on white

Eating Right

Migraine is generally sensitive to diet and it’s thought that some dietary ingredients, such as chocolate, nuts, alcohol, and others, can actually trigger migraine attacks. Food diaries can help in identifying triggers in individual patients.5,10

Photo violet gym dumbbells isolated on white background

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks in some people. Physical exercise has also been shown to improve self-esteem and can lessen the severe symptoms of migraine.11

Make an appointment to see your doctor,
who may be able to help. Use this guide as a way to
reopen the discussion.


References: 1. Lipton R. What to do when migraine treatment fails. American Headache Society. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://americanheadachesociety.org/news/what-to-do-when-treatment-fails/. 2. Burch R. Preventive Migraine Treatment. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2021;27(5):1494-1495. 3. Moreno-Ajona D, Chan C, Villar-Martinez MD, Goadsby PJ. Targeting CGRP and 5-HT1F receptors for the acute therapy of migraine: A literature review. Headache. 2019l;59 Suppl 2:3-19. 4. Gilmore B, Michael M. Treatment of acute migraine headache. Am Fam Phys. 2011;83(3):271-280. 5. Diamond M, Marcus D. Diet and headache control. American Migraine Foundation. Updated May 2008. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/diet/. 6. Mayo Clinic. Migraine symptoms and causes. Accessed January 31, 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201. 7. Goadsby P. Stress and Migraine. American Migraine Foundation. Published on March 16, 2017. Accessed January 30, 2023. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/stress-migraine/. 8. Negro A, Seidel JL, Houben T, et al. Acute sleep deprivation enhances susceptibility to the migraine substrate cortical spreading depolarization. J Headache Pain. 2020;21(1):86. 9. Meissner M. The evidence connecting migraine and mental health. Medical News Today. Published February 25, 2021. Accessed January 31, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/evidence-connecting-migraine-and-mental-health. 10. Association of Migraine Disorders. Triggers of Migraine. Accessed January 31, 2023. https://www.migrainedisorders.org/migraine-disorders/migraine-triggers/. 11. Amin FM, Aristeidou S, Baraldi C, et al. The association between migraine and physical exercise. J Headache Pain. 2018;19(1):83.