Migraines at Work: Migraine Remedy Ideas for the Office

March 05, 2019

An employee with a migraine
Stephanie Dwilson

Migraines at work are far worse than a regular headache — and headaches are bad enough. There are nearly 40 million migraine sufferers in the United States, and this debilitating pain can affect your concentration, productivity and overall wellbeing. If that's not enough, sometimes the symptoms of a migraine can be tricky and you might not realize you're even having one. Here's a look at the different kinds of migraines, the treatments and migraine remedy ideas for the office environment that might help.

Migraines Come in Many Forms With Surprising Symptoms

Migraines involve more than just a bad headache. The traditional migraine involves throbbing pain on one side of your head. You might also feel nauseous, have sensitivity to light, sound, or odors or feel worse if you move, cough or sneeze, Medline Plus reports.

But migraines can come in different forms. Vestibular migraines involve debilitating dizzy spells without headaches, Cleveland Clinic notes. Silent migraines involve auras and nausea, but no pain, the American Migraine Foundation shares. With a hemiplegic migraine, you may feel weakness on one side of your body similar to a stroke and a sensation of pins and needles. A retinal migraine may cause temporary loss of vision in one eye. The rare basilar migraine may cause slurred speech and loss of consciousness. Some people even experience abdominal migraines, Healthline notes.

There are also non-migraines that are very painful, like ice pick headaches, cluster headaches with severe pain behind your eye and cervicogenic headaches that originate in your neck. A doctor can help you diagnose your pain.

When You Feel a Migraine Coming, Lie Down

Some people have symptoms that let them know in advance that a migraine is coming. They may see auras in the form of flashing or bright lights and have muscle weakness, Medline Plus notes. Up to 24 hours before a migraine, you might also have food cravings, mood changes, yawning, fluid retention or increased urination. If you've been prescribed migraine medication, your doctor might want you to take it when you first have these symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids and lying in a quiet, dark place can also help.

A Variety of Treatments Might Help

Doctors may prescribe medication or suggest supplements or even exercise to help your migraines. They may also want to look into triggers. Certain foods may trigger migraines, as can missing meals or being dehydrated. Stress, overexertion and lack of sleep can also be triggers. Women may get migraines from hormonal changes. Fluorescent lights, weather and caffeine can affect you too, Cleveland Clinic notes. Avoiding these triggers can help.

Some Office Changes Can Help Too

In the office, you can make a number of adjustments to ease your migraines. If you're sensitive to the lighting, try turning off the overhead light and using a lamp. You might need to bring your own snacks and drinks if you're sensitive to food in the break-room. Try stress reduction techniques like breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, biofeedback or even short walks outside when things are tense. Poor posture at your computer can also cause headaches, neck aches and backaches. Consider investing in a standing desk and a chair with lumbar support, along with ergonomic accessories.

Many types of migraines at work can affect your well-being, and the migraine remedy ideas listed above can help. If you think you have migraines, see a doctor and discuss possible treatments and triggers. Together, you can create a plan for successfully minimizing your pain.

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