Migraine is a complex condition that involves multiple phases of symptoms. After you recover from the phase of head pain, you might experience symptoms of postdrome. This phase is sometimes known as a “migraine hangover.”
Take a moment to learn how you can manage the symptoms of postdrome and get back to your regular routine while recovering from an episode of migraine.
During the postdrome phase of migraine, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- body aches
- neck stiffness
- residual discomfort in your head
- sensitivity to light
- trouble concentrating
Symptoms of postdrome typically resolve within a day or two. To help relieve body aches, neck stiffness, or head discomfort, it might help to take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If you’re continuing to take anti-migraine medication, ask your healthcare provider what a good option might be to address these issues.
Postdrome symptoms may also be managed with cold compresses or heating pads, depending on what works best for you. Some people find that a gentle message helps to relieve stiff or aching areas.
When you’re recovering from migraine, try to give yourself time to rest and recuperate. If possible, gradually ease back into your regular schedule.
For example, if you’re returning to work after taking time off due to migraine, it might help to continue with limited work hours for a couple of days.
Consider starting your workday a little later than usual or wrapping up early, if you can. Try to focus on relatively easy tasks on your first day back.
It might also help to:
- cancel or reschedule nonessential appointments and social commitments
- ask a friend, family member, or babysitter to keep your kids for a couple of hours
- schedule time for a nap, massage, or other relaxing activities
- take a leisurely walk, while you’re refraining from more vigorous exercise
If you experience light sensitivity as a symptom of migraine, consider limiting your exposure to computer screens and other sources of bright light while you recover.
If you need to use a computer for work, school, or other responsibilities, it might help to adjust the monitor settings to reduce the brightness or increase the refresh rate. It might also help to take regular breaks to give your eyes and mind a rest.
When you wrap up your responsibilities for the day, consider going for a gentle walk, taking a bath, or enjoying other restful activities. Unwinding in front of your television, computer, tablet, or phone screen might make lingering symptoms worse.
To promote healing, it’s important to give your body the rest, fluids, and nutrients it needs. For example, try to:
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help hydrate your body. This is especially important if you’ve vomited during an episode of migraine.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods, including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. If you’re feeling nauseous, it might help to stick to bland foods for a day or two.
For some people, certain foods seem to trigger migraine symptoms. For example, common triggers include alcohol, caffeinated beverages, smoked meats, and aged cheeses.
Aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) may also trigger symptoms in some cases. Try to avoid anything that triggers your symptoms.
When you’re getting back on track after a migraine, consider asking others for help.
If you’re struggling to meet a deadline while coping with migraine symptoms or their aftermath, your supervisor might be willing to give you an extension. Your co-workers or classmates might be able to help you catch up, too.
When it comes to your responsibilities at home, your friends or family members may be willing to pitch in.
For example, see if they could help with child care, chores, or errands. If you can hire someone to help with such tasks, that may also give you more time to rest or catch up on other responsibilities.
Your doctor might also be able to help. If you experience symptoms of migraine, let them know. Ask them if there are treatments available to help prevent and ease symptoms, including symptoms of postdrome.
It can take some time to recover from migraine symptoms. If possible, try to ease back into your regular routine. Take as much time as you can to rest and recover. Consider asking your friends, family members, and others for help.