We’ve selected these apps based on their usability, user reviews, frequency of updates, and overall impact in providing support and resources for people affected by migraines. If you’d like to recommend an app for this list, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A headache can make your day unpleasant, but a migraine can be debilitating. Migraine sufferers know all too well about days spent trying to block out light and sound. The slightest disruption to this fleeting solace can feel like daggers in their skull.
About 36 million people in the United States — or 12 percent of the population — struggles with migraine headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation. And while they are three times more common among adult women, migraines don’t discriminate.
Though it isn’t entirely clear what causes them, migraines can be triggered by many factors, including hormonal changes, certain foods or smells, lack of sleep or poor sleep quality, and stress.
Treatment typically involves prescription drugs, but that isn’t always effective. If you suffer from migraines, whether occasionally or often, any relief or support can be comforting. With that in mind, we tracked down the best migraine-related apps.
Acupressure: Heal Yourself
Acupressure is based on traditional Chinese medicine, where pressure points are used to relieve pain and tension and motivate the body’s natural healing abilities. With this app, choose your ailment or pain, and watch as it identifies the pressure points that may provide relief. There are helpful diagrams so you can pinpoint the exact spot that will deliver the most benefits.
With BrainWave Tuner, change how your brain is functioning to improve your mood and sleep, as well as reduce pain and promote relaxation. The app uses subtle sounds to manipulate your brain activity. There are more than 20 programs for everything from migraines to self-hypnosis. Users report that engaging with the app before bed can improve sleep quality too.
Binaural Beats Therapy
The makers of Binaural Beats Therapy subscribe to the belief that rhythmic sound, or sound repetition, can influence brain function. While the practice itself is not new, it’s only recently that technology has been able to bring it into everyone’s homes. Use the sounds on this app to boost your creativity, help you fall asleep, and manage your migraine pain.
Similar to some digestive problems, migraines can be brought on by certain foods. Identifying those foods can be difficult as you move through your days and meals. Food Diary can help by making it easy to track what you’re eating and how you feel. The best part: being able to search back through your diary to see if a certain food has caused trouble in the past.
There’s a good chance there’s a pattern to your headaches — whether it’s in their timing or the triggers that set them off. Headache Diary makes it easier to identify these patterns so you can do something about it. Track your migraines, medications, foods, and more. You can even send your headache reports via email to your doctor.
The iHeadache app is designed to help you track your migraines more efficiently. Track the frequency and intensity of your pain, along with any precursors and triggers you can identify. The app was designed by a neurologist and even lets you create reports to share with your own doctor, so that getting the help you need to manage your migraines can be that much easier.
Manage My Pain Pro
One of the first things a doctor will tell you to do when you seek help for migraines is to track your headaches. Manage My Pain can help you do just that, and create reports that your doctor can use to identify the best treatments. It uses your inputs to design charts and calendar views that quantify your pain and the frequency of your migraines. You can then sync your information with the Cloud and share it directly with your treatment providers.
MedZam Headache Migraine Symptom Checker
Migraines can be a sign of a medical emergency. MedZam will help you determine whether or not you need immediate medical attention. But it also serves some very basic and helpful functions of a migraine tracker. It will identify the type of migraine you’re experiencing and recommend the best possible treatments. Best of all, there are no ads.
Record every migraine with ease using Migraine Buddy. The efficiently designed interface lets you enter a date and potential triggers — lack of sleep, anxiety, stress, weather, and more — with quick swipes, so tracking feels less like a burden. Questions on the intensity of your pain bring a new depth to migraine tracking, and you can also add custom fields to personalize how you record your migraine pain.
If foods are a common migraine trigger for you, Migraine Checked is something you’ll learn to depend on. Best of all, you can share information with friends and family who’d like to cook for you but aren’t sure what to include and what to leave out. Migraine Checked is also helpful as a shopping app, advising you on which foods may trigger a migraine, including the ingredients that may be responsible.
My Migraine Triggers
This app, from the makers of Excedrin, makes tracking your pain and the triggers that cause it easier. Understanding what may be triggering your migraines can help you manage their frequency and intensity. Enter information about your sleeping, eating, and exercise patterns, and the app helps pinpoint what foods, drinks, or activities could be contributing to your pain.
Period Tracker, My Calendar
Hormonal fluctuations throughout the month can take a woman on a roller coaster of emotions and symptoms. And when migraines are among those symptoms, tracking your cycle can be helpful in identifying the days when you should be prepared to deal with a splitting migraine. Period Tracker, My Calendar not only records your cycle, but also your weight, temperature, symptoms, and chance of becoming pregnant, too.
For some people who suffer with migraines, silence is a sacred coping mechanism. But when you’re trying to prevent a stress-induced migraine, or feel a migraine coming on, de-stressing can play a role in keeping you pain-free. Relax Melodies can play you a tune to help you chill out and find some peace. The app makers say its quiet, ambient sounds can put you to sleep in just 20 minutes.