Pain prevention

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, held every June, calls attention to two painful conditions — and ways to treat them.

Migraines are recurring headaches that cause moderate to severe pain or throbbing that is often in one area of the head.

Other symptoms — such as nausea, weakness and sensitivity to light and sound — may also occur.

Migraines are often linked to genetics, but they can affect anyone. Women are three times more likely to get migraines than men.

Many factors can trigger a migraine, including stress, hormones, noises, smells, medicine, inadequate sleep, weather, overexertion, alcohol and food.

Migraines are more common in the morning, and some people experience them at predictable times, such as before menstruation or following stressful events.

For migraine relief, the National Institutes of Health provides these tips:

Rest with your eyes closed in a quiet, dark room.

Place a cool cloth or ice pack on your forehead.

Drink fluids.

Try stress management techniques, such as exercise and relaxation activities.

Keep a log of what causes your migraines, to help prevent further occurrences.

Health care providers diagnose migraines by conducting exams and reviewing medical history. It’s important to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing symptoms.

There is no cure for migraines, and treatment centers on relieving symptoms and preventing future attacks.

The National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine and USPS Wellness LiteBlue page have additional information.