hopefulmigrainer - just wanted to give you a little more input. I agree with the other poster regarding preventatives. I have had great luck with Verapamil and Trileptal. However, depending on what is causing your migraines and what kind of migraines you are having, the abortive treatments can vary greatly. I have to respectfully disagree with the statement regarding staying away from painkillers and/or muscle relaxants. My neurologist has me on several meds that work and by taking those meds as instructed, I am actually able to take smaller amounts of narcotics and avoid having to have IV narcotics, anti-inflammatories and steroids IV in the ER. I truly believe the harder you hit a migraine at the earliest onset, the better of you are. If you wait and "try to tough it out", your pain will be worse (in my opinion) and will last longer and you will require higher doses of stronger meds.
I don't advocate that any of us should use meds unless they are needed. However, I don't advocate that we suffer by trying to tough it out without meds, either. Your abortive meds (such as Relpax, Maxalt, Immitrex, etc.) can definitely help but for me, that is never enough. My migraines have nothing to do with the normal triggers - not hormonal and most of the time, not food related. Mine are either related to sleep pattern changes or barometric pressure changes. Unlike with food triggers, the barometric pressure is impossible to control and the sleep pattern changes are difficult because of my career.
Understand that a migraine isn't "just a regular headache". When you have migraine pain, every vessel in your head is dilated. This increases your blood flow throughout. Your blood pressure increases, your heart rate increases, etc. Treating a migraine isn't just about treating a headache - it is about treating an illness that effects your whole body.
Just a though - I hope, for your sake, that if you decide to do without any pain meds, your headaches don't become debilitating like mine for days and days on end. I just don't want anyone to feel like they shouldn't take any meds to help with pain when they have a migraine. I am a living, breathing example of someone who those meds didn't make worse - instead, they have truly given me my life back and I thank God every day that I have a neurologist who believes that you should be pain from from migraines!
DX: Migraines since June, 2006, kidney stones
RX: Daily - Verapamil, Trileptal
PRN: Relpax, Prednisone, Dilaudid, Lortab, Lidocaine Nasal Spray