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Coping with Post-Migraine Pain

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Your migraine is over, but do you feel foggy and as though you were run over by a bus? That’s the migraine hangover, officially known as postdrome.

Many migraine sufferers experience postdrome symptoms that can last up to 24 hours.

Human head illustration of postdrome phase of migraine

What is postdrome?

Postdrome is the fourth and final phase of a migraine attack, and can be as debilitating as the migraine itself. It can last up to a day or two, affecting interactions with your work, family and friends.

Typical postdrome symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty concentrating

How can you get back to being you?

Once you experience postdrome, there are simple steps you can take to feel back to your normal self.

  • Hydrate
    It’s important to stay hydrated to help ward off the pain. Drink plenty of water or eat plenty of foods that contain water, like cucumber or celery.
  • Rest
    Don’t push yourself to get back into your regularly over-scheduled life right away. Take a nap, go for an easy walk or cuddle on the couch with your favourite blanket.
  • Disconnect
    Sensitivity to light is a symptom of postdrome, and that includes blue light that comes from electronic devices. Remember to disconnect from your phones, tablets and screens. Your head will thank you for it.
  • Apply hot or cold compresses
    Hot compresses can ease the throbbing sensations and pain. Cold compresses can help numb the pain and ease the tension. Do what works best for you.
  • Wear sunglasses
    Did we mention sensitivity to light is a symptom of postdrome? Sunglasses will be your best friend whether you are outdoors or indoors.
  • Enjoy light exercise
    Brisk walks and light stretching can help ease tension in certain muscles and ease your pain. Plus, it can put you in a positive state of mind, reminding you that you will feel back to yourself soon.

Believe in your ability to take control of the pain

Post-migraine pain is real, but you can take control and ease back into your normal life. Remember that taking care of yourself is your top priority.