Woman suffering from migraine

From onset to relief: how to get rid of a migraine

We've all been there – a sudden, throbbing headache that feels like a tiny jackhammer inside your head. It's safe to say that migraines are nobody's idea of a good time. In this article, we explore how to get from the onset of a migraine to that glorious moment of sweet relief.

How to get rid of a migraine

Let's explore some practical steps to help you find migraine relief.

  • Find a quiet and dark space. Rest in a dimly lit room and reduce any sensory overload. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, and eliminate any loud noises.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can often trigger headaches, so sipping on water throughout the day can help prevent migraines. If you already have one, try drinking small, frequent sips of water.
  • Apply a cold compress. Grab a cold pack or a cloth dipped in cold water and place it on your forehead or the back of your neck. The coolness can help numb the pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Practice mindful breathing. Take slow, deep breaths to help relax your body and mind. Try inhaling for a count of four, holding for four, and exhaling for four.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers. Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin may effectively reduce migraine pain. Always follow the recommended dosage.
  • Stick to a routine. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, maintaining a balanced diet, and managing stress can go a long way in preventing future migraines.

Everyone's migraine experience is different, so it may take some trial and error to discover which methods work best for you. If your migraines persist or worsen, don't hesitate to seek medical advice from a health care professional at your local CityMD urgent care.


Does caffeine help with migraines?

Caffeine, that trusty companion in your morning cup of coffee, has a mixed relationship with migraines.

The good news

Caffeine's superpower lies in its ability to narrow blood vessels, potentially offering relief during a migraine.

The not-so-good news

Too much caffeine can lead to "caffeine rebound headaches," where the headache comes back even stronger once the caffeine wears off.

Dependence on caffeine might affect your ability to sleep and bring along other issues that could worsen your migraines.

Caffeine and migraines: the sweet spot

Balance is the name of the game. Keep an eye on how it affects you, and, of course, chat with a health care professional at CityMD if you have any concerns.

Migraine vs. headache

Not all headaches are created equal. While you might have experienced various types of head pain, it's essential to understand the differences between a regular headache and a migraine.

Regular headache

  • Headache location. Typically, they affect both sides of the head and manifest as a mild to moderate, constant ache.
  • Headache duration. These headaches can last for a short duration, ranging from minutes to several hours, with rare instances of exceeding a day.
  • Headache triggers. Often triggered by factors such as stress, muscle tension, dehydration, or changes in weather, headaches tend to come and go in response to external influences.


  • Migraine location. Migraines usually affect one side of the head. They are characterized by intense, pulsating pain accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Migraine duration. Migraines typically last longer than regular headaches, spanning a few hours to several days. Their intensity can significantly disrupt daily life.
  • Migraine triggers. Various factors, including specific foods, hormonal fluctuations, genetic predisposition, and environmental influences, can trigger migraines. They often involve stages such as the prodrome (early warning signs), aura (visual disturbances for some individuals), and the attack phase (the actual headache).

Understanding the differences between these two types of head pain is crucial because the approach to managing them can be different.


Migraine relief at CityMD

Finding migraine relief is different for every patient. What works for one person may not work for another, but persistence and patience are your allies. Try minor lifestyle adjustments like staying hydrated, maintaining a good sleep routine, and avoiding your triggers. It can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

For expert care and guidance on how to get rid of a migraine, consider visiting CityMD urgent care. Our experienced medical professionals are here to assist you in managing migraines and ensuring your overall well-being. Just walk in. No appointment is needed.

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We’re ready to care for you.

Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.