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3 Treatment Options For Athletes With Migraines

by Bonnie Gordon

One of the potential triggers for a migraine or other severe headache is exercise. For some people, putting forth any sort of exertion can cause the muscles in the head and jaw to tense up, resulting in stabbing pain that can last for hours. This is a huge problem for athletes. In order for an athlete to be able to continue his or her sporting career or hobby without it being unbearably painful, he or she is going to need to seek treatment for sports related migraines and headaches. Here are some of the treatment options.

1. Increase Magnesium and Riboflavin

In order to reduce the chances that you will suffer from a migraine, you can try increasing your intake of magnesium and riboflavin. These vitamins will act as safeguards against headaches and their causes. Both magnesium and riboflavin can be found in many of the foods that athletes need to eat in order to stay strong. Magnesium can be found in nuts, vegetables, and fortified cereals that are preferably made with whole grains. Riboflavin can be found in green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. It can also be found in eggs.

2. Take Preventative Measures

You should also consider taking preventative measures against the headaches, especially if just increasing magnesium and riboflavin was not effective. Some preventative measures that you can take include calcium channel blockers, which block off pain receptors so that they are not as strong in order to reduce the chances of an incapacitating headache.

A second option that you can try is an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This type of medication is used by people who suffer migraines, regardless of whether or not they are athletes. Many people who suffer from migraines do not have a system that puts out serotonin in a stable setting. Taking an SSRI can help stabilize your serotonin levels and prevent migraines.

Finally, your doctor might try putting you on indomethacin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory drug. It is known for being able to reduce the amount of pressure in a person's head. You will need a doctor's prescription for all of these measures.

3. Oxygen

An athlete who is suffering from a migraine in the moment can be given oxygen. The extra oxygen will force its way into the brain, reduce the pressure within the cranium, and allow the athlete to consider playing normally. This measure works for some people.

For more information, talk to a doctor that specializes in sports medicine.