The signs and symptoms of lupus in women and other people assigned female at birth are thought to be similar to those seen in people assigned male at birth. However, a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis published in Medicine¹ found that hair loss, sensitivity to light, oral ulcers, arthritis, and skin rashes were more prevalent in lupus patients assigned female at birth, whereas kidney issues and inflammation in the lungs and heart were more prevalent in lupus patients assigned male at birth.With that said, anyone with lupus can be affected by the following symptoms:1. Joint swelling, pain, and stiffnessJoint pain, swelling, and stiffness, particularly in the morning after waking up, are all classic signs of lupus, Dr. Buyon says. It most commonly presents in the wrists, knuckles, and fingers. This also makes the condition easy to confuse with rheumatoid arthritis, another autoimmune disease.“The textbook difference between lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is that lupus can affect joints on one side and not the other, whereas RA usually affects both sides equally,” Dr. Buyon explains. Swelling can also come and go with lupus, according to the Mayo Clinic, and doesn’t get progressively worse and potentially change the appearance of your joints like it does in RA. Lupus also tends to occur in younger patients than RA, Dr. Byon says.2. A butterfly-shaped face rashDeveloping a skin rash when exposed to sunlight is a very characteristic symptom of lupus. A rash can occur on any part of our body, the CDC notes, but one of the most common signs of lupus is a distinct red butterfly-shaped face rash that extends across the bridge of the nose and down both of the cheeks.About half of all people diagnosed with lupus end up developing this specific rash, also known as a malar rash², according to the Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. It often occurs after exposure to UV light, but some people with lupus anecdotally note that the face rash can also occur suddenly without a known trigger and may signify the beginning of a flare-up.3. Unusually high sensitivity to sunlightAbout half of people with lupus are sensitive to sunlight and other sources of UV light, which is known as photosensitivity, according to Johns Hopkins. Because of this, in addition to skin rashes, some people with lupus can experience fever, fatigue, or joint pain when they’re exposed to sunlight.“Ultraviolet light can act as a trigger for lupus flares, which is why it is recommended that patients with lupus wear sunscreen, hats, and long sleeves for protection when in the sun,” Kimberly DeQuattro, M.D., an assistant professor of rheumatology at Penn Medicine, tells SELF.4. FeverIf you have lupus, a fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit can manifest during a flare-up either due to bodily inflammation caused by the disease itself or an infection, the CDC says. “The reason why you can get a fever during a lupus flare is the same reason why you get a fever when you have an infection,” Lynn Ludmer, M.D., medical director of the Department of Rheumatology at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF. “The white blood cells (your illness fighters in the body) produce inflammatory chemicals that go up to the brain and trigger a fever response.”5. Chest painLupus often causes inflammation of the heart or its outer or inner linings. This can result in shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, interrupted blood flow, and ultimately an increased risk for heart disease, the Mayo Clinic notes. Lupus can also affect both the inside of the lungs and the outside lining of the lungs. “Some people say it hurts when they take a deep breath—that’s fluid around the lungs,” says Dr. Buyon. If your chest is bothering you when you breathe, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor. Even if it’s not a symptom of lupus, there could be another underlying health issue at play.6. Hair lossRoughly 70% of people who are diagnosed with lupus deal with some form of hair loss, according to Johns Hopkins. The hair becomes dry and brittle, leading to breakage. “It’s often in the frontal region” and sometimes can cause baldness because of how drastic it is, Dr. Buyon says. Lupus can also cause sores on the scalp, which can impact hair health.
Sherri Shepherd had to miss her spot guest-hosting The Wendy Williams Show on Monday after she had emergency surgery over the weekend. The 54-year-old came down with appendicitis, which was announced on the show by her replacement host, actor Michael Rapaport.”So Sherri was supposed to host today. Unfortunately, she had appendicitis,” he told The Wendy Williams Show audience. “She’s fine. She is fine. She had to go to the hospital last night for some emergency surgery. She’s feeling fine today and she is rested. Get well soon, Sherri. Everybody loves you!”Shepherd also confirmed the surgery on various social media accounts, where she posted a video clip from her hospital bed. “I just had an emergency appendectomy,” she says. “I don’t know where it came from, all of a sudden I was in a great deal of pain. I came in here to get some Metamucil and they said, ‘We gotta take out your appendix right away.’ So they removed my appendix.”The star clearly had her sense of humor still, because she said that the drama of the day was that her wig went missing. “I just found my wig. We started off, I went into surgery with the wig, I came out bald-headed looking like Ludacris,” she said. “But we have found my wig.” She also thanked the staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue for removing her appendix.Twitter contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.She’s expected to return as a guest host today and posted the photo of what would have been her hosting outfit that she decided to change up because her stomach is still swollen. “My stylist is frantically shopping for loose & flowing dresses right now!” she wrote.Instagram contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.The appendix is a finger-like tube attached to the large intestine—it’s a working part of the immune system in children, but stops doing this as an adult, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains. Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix caused by a blockage—this can happen due to various viruses or bacteria, trapped stool, or even tumors. Once it’s blocked, it becomes sore and swollen, and then blood flow to the appendix starts to diminish. The appendix can start to die, and holes can start to develop or it can even burst, all of which allows stool, mucus, and infection to get inside the abdomen, leading to a serious infection called peritonitis. Appendicitis is most common in people between the ages of 10 and 30 but can happen at any age, according got the Mayo Clinic.
Finding the best treatment for a chronic health condition is hardly ever a simple process—and rheumatoid arthritis is no different. After all, people’s symptoms can vary wildly in severity, so finding the right medication for you can take some time and a bit of experimentation.That’s because it can take several weeks for your rheumatoid arthritis medication to kick in, so you might not always know if it’s helping right away (if only!). Plus, some drugs may work for a while and then stop, prompting a relapse in symptoms. After a certain point, you may realize that your current treatment plan just isn’t doing it for you, and that’s pretty normal.But how can you tell when you’ve reached that point? The answer looks a little different for everyone, so we asked five people with rheumatoid arthritis when they knew it was time to switch things up. They’ve been there, done that, and their stories show that listening to your body, being honest with your doctor (and yourself), and being open to trying new approaches can literally be life-changing.1. Your symptoms start resurfacing gradually.Ashley Nicole, 38, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010. “My hands were extremely painful due to inflammation, swelling, and stiffness,” she tells SELF. “I also had limited mobility in my wrists.”The personal trainer and founder of RA Warrior Fitness relies on her joints to support her during work, so she can demonstrate exercises to clients. Nicole’s rheumatologist originally started her on a biologic medication, which targets the part of the immune system involved with causing rheumatoid arthritis. It helped—but only for a while. “It gave me relief from joint pain, but it gradually stopped working after about a year,” she recalls.Eventually, Nicole once again started dealing with joint pain in her hands and wrists, which got worse over time. So she visited her rheumatologist to get to the bottom of it. “I’m blessed to have an amazing rheumatologist,” Nicole says. “I talked to her about how I was feeling and wanted to try something new and she agreed.”Nicole tried several different medications after that because nothing worked fully. Finally, she tried the different biologic that she’s currently using, which has helped reduce her pain for the past four years. “It works like a charm,” Nicole says. “I have occasional discomfort, especially when the weather changes, but I’d rate most days a 2.5 or 3 out of 10 on a pain scale, with 10 being a huge, painful flare,” Nicole says. “I have my RA under control now. It’s a wonderful feeling.”2. Or your symptoms come back really suddenly.Kelly Rouba-Boyd was just two years old when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1982. “Normally, I was a really good toddler and my mom became concerned because I was rather fussy and had a fever. A little later on, I was limping,” the now-41-year-old tells SELF.Rouba-Boyd’s pediatrician immediately suspected she had arthritis due to these symptoms, and she received an official diagnosis not long after. Initially, Rouba-Boyd was treated with baby aspirin. “At that point in time, they didn’t have much to treat children with rheumatoid arthritis,” she explains. “But that did not do much to stop the progression of the disease.”
Being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis can drastically change the way you live your life and how you feel in your mind and body. The chronic health condition leads to really stiff, painful joints, so whether you’ve dealt with the symptoms for years or recently received a diagnosis, simply taking care of yourself can feel like a constant struggle.Although your health care team can give you valuable advice on how to manage your pain, only people who have psoriatic arthritis can truly understand the nuances of the condition—after all, they’ve already experienced the ups and downs of managing flare-ups and learned valuable lessons along the way.So, SELF spoke to four people who have psoriatic arthritis to dig into the most important things they’ve learned since their initial diagnosis. Keep reading for their insight on pain management, coping with mental health struggles, and embracing change.1. Slow down when you need to.Trying to do seemingly mindless tasks, like gripping a zipper or brushing your teeth, can be more difficult than you expect when your joints are especially stiff and painful. Jocelyn Hall, 36, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis eight years ago, says she’s learned to give herself extra time in bed to mentally and physically prepare for the day. And she encourages anyone else with the condition to allow themselves that grace if their schedule allows for it.Hall says her psoriatic arthritis symptoms usually feel the worst during the first 10 minutes after she wakes up. “It’s like walking through mud or like you’re running in water,” she tells SELF.That’s why she welcomes a slower pace. “I’ll sit up and read the news, and hopefully my boyfriend will bring me coffee,” Hall says. “I give myself those extra minutes in bed to rest and to get my mind going.” Once she’s ready to start her day, she takes a shower to help relax her stiff muscles.2. Give yourself permission to set new goals.It’s not always easy to live your life exactly as you did before a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis—but sometimes navigating all the new changes opens doors you’d never even consider.Ashley Krivohlavek, 37, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2013, originally wanted to use her master’s degree in museum studies to work on exhibitions. However, her symptoms can get in the way when it comes to hands-on work. “When you are working in a museum, sometimes you do have to lift heavy things—and that is not something that could be in my job description,” Krivohlavek tells SELF.While Krivohlavek tried to come to terms with what this meant for her future, she found valuable information and support through CreakyJoints, an advocacy organization for people with arthritis and rheumatic disease. She began volunteering with the group and sharing her own psoriatic arthritis story through the website. Through her experience, Krivohlavek found a new passion for health advocacy and decided to go back to school to study population health.
Another possible cause, and one you have absolutely no control over, is genetics. If one of your parents has a history of migraine, there’s a 50% chance that you’ll have the condition, too. Add both parents to the mix, and your odds increase to 75%, according to the Cleveland Clinic.Unfortunately, migraine triggers are different for everyone, so it’s hard to say if one thing will or will not set off symptoms for each person with the condition. That’s because things like genetic factors, age, biological sex, hormonal changes, reactions to physical and emotional stress, and sleep patterns differ from person to person, Medhat Mikhael, M.D., pain management specialist and medical director of the non-operative program at the Spine Health Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, tells SELF.Even if you have some idea of what to avoid, personal migraine triggers can be confusing. For instance, if you ate some fancy cheese and suspected it triggered a migraine, and then you ate the same cheese a month later and nothing happened, you were probably left scratching your head.Often, one specific migraine trigger doesn’t spur an attack each time you’re exposed to it. So, a better working theory about migraine attacks might consider a combination of triggers instead of one cause alone. And there are some common culprits that seem to tip the scales towards triggering a migraine for a lot of people.Non-food-related migraine triggersWe’ll dive into food-related triggers next, but let’s start with ones that aren’t on your dinner plate.HungerYou might want to think twice before skipping breakfast, or any other meal for that matter. That’s because foregoing meals or skimping on calories causes your blood sugar to drop, which can trigger a headache or a full-blown migraine episode, according to the National Headache Foundation.Stress and anxietyStress is something we all experience to some degree. But if you’re also susceptible to migraine, any increase in life stress, worry, or anxiety can trigger a migraine. In fact, stress is a trigger for migraine attacks in nearly 70% of people who experience migraines.4 Some studies even suggest that people with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, in particular, have an increased incidence of migraine, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, though the exact link isn’t known.DehydrationOne way to trigger a horrendous headache—including migraine—is to let yourself get dehydrated. While a lack of fluids may be the main culprit for some headaches, it seems that dehydration can aggravate a number of underlying medical conditions such as primary headache disorders, which includes our good friend migraine.5Weather changesEver thought your head was a weather psychic? You might be right. Drastic changes in heat, humidity, wind, and barometric pressure may be a migraine trigger for some people, according to the American Headache Society. While the research linking these two is sparse, it’s worth noting if you experience symptoms with the changing weather.ExerciseAccording to the American Migraine Foundation, exercise can both trigger and treat migraines. On one hand, regular exercise can reduce the frequency of migraines. That’s because exercise releases the natural painkillers in our brain called endorphins. It can also reduce stress and help us sleep better at night—two other migraine triggers. On the other hand, exercise has been known to trigger migraine in certain people. It’s not totally known why that’s the case, but it may have something to do with exercise increasing blood pressure, which affects the nerves in the brain.AllergiesAh, the smell of the outdoors. Blooming buds and tree pollen abound. For some people that may only lead to never-ending bouts of sneezing, wheezing, and congestion. But for others, these outdoor allergic offenders may also increase migraine frequency, too.7Light, sound, and smellThink about this the next time you’re considering a spritz of very potent perfume: Sensory stimuli, including bright light, loud sound, or strong smells can trigger migraine. Clifford Segil, M.D., a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF that among sensory triggers, visual stimulation appears to be the most common. Some people describe migraine being provoked by bright or flashing lights, while others report being triggered by certain visual patterns.Certain medicationsMedications can be a lifesaver for many chronic health conditions, including migraine attacks. But if you deal with regular migraine episodes and take acute pain medication more than 15 days a month, you may experience medication overuse headache (MOH), according to the American Migraine Foundation. This can happen if you start taking more medication—particularly pain medications like narcotics, triptans, and others—in response to an increase in attacks. Why this happens isn’t totally understood, but it is thought to have something to do with how these medications lower your threshold for pain while simultaneously reinforcing pain pathways in the brain.Teeth grindingBruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) can trigger headaches and even migraine episodes, according to the Mayo Clinic, since clenching your teeth at night can put a lot of stress on the temporomandibular joint and the supporting head and neck muscles. While wearing a nightguard or a custom orthotic appliance might not be the sexiest look, it could help you avoid your next migraine attack.Computer screensWe’re all guilty of staring at a screen too long sometimes. But if you’re susceptible to migraine, you may want to think twice before binge-watching your favorite Netflix series. According to Sage Journals,8 spending over two hours daily gazing at a screen is associated with migraine in young adults.Too much or too little sleepSleep is another big trigger for migraine, but like many things on this list, it’s not a simple explanation. Not sleeping enough can trigger a migraine, but so can sleeping too much, according to The Migraine Trust. The idea is that basically your circadian rhythm—what tells you when it’s time to sleep and wake up—gets all out of whack and triggers a migraine as a result.Certain hormonesAccording to Dr. Mikhael, fluctuations in female hormone levels, particularly estrogen, play an important role in the pathophysiology of migraine. Around the menstrual period, estrogen levels rapidly drop causing major changes in the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin, which can trigger a migraine attack.
In most research that has studied a person’s diet and its impact on psoriasis, he explains, the sample sizes tend to be small, so the data is limited. Further, many people who participated in these studies continued to take their prescribed psoriasis medication in addition to changing their diet as part of the research. For these types of experiments, people are asked to make detailed logs of their behaviors, which may encourage them to take their medications as prescribed without skipping doses, Dr. Feldman says—and when it feels like a researcher is “watching” you via your logs, you may be more inclined to take your meds consistently. “So while it might look like the dietary intervention was beneficial, it may have been beneficial only in that it caused people to take their other medicines better,” Dr. Feldman says.Unfortunately, because of the way many of these studies have been designed, it’s really hard to conclude which changes, including diet changes, are responsible for certain outcomes, like worsened or improved symptoms. That doesn’t mean it’s out of the question that certain diet changes can have a beneficial impact on psoriasis—it just means that more research that addresses these issues needs to be done so scientists have more solid data to work with.With that said, it’s really unlikely that there will ever be one “psoriasis diet” to help each person with the condition. “You’re not going to cure psoriasis with diet—this is a chronic disease,” Dr. Feldman says. “But if you find that when you eat certain things they seem to exacerbate your psoriasis, avoiding those things makes entirely good sense.”So far, there are two main diet approaches for people with psoriasis: additive diets and subtractive diets. With an additive diet, you’d focus on consuming more of a specific food or nutrient. With a subtractive diet, you’d slowly remove certain foods or nutrients.This is tricky territory. Any time you make a diet change, especially if you have a chronic health condition, it’s best to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian who is familiar with the disease, so they can guide you through the process and help you avoid risky side effects, like lower energy, unintended weight loss, or nutrient deficiencies.Here’s a closer look at some popular diet changes people make when they have psoriasis—and what the science says about each one so far:Anti-inflammatory dietPsoriasis lesions are set off by inflammation in the body, so it makes sense to assume that “anti-inflammatory” foods could help tame that irregular immune response. Researchers believe that foods with certain nutrients may reduce oxidative stress in your body, a process that contributes to inflammation, but it’s an area of research that is still being explored. A typical list of “anti-inflammatory” foods is pretty expansive and diverse, including berries, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, tomatoes, and so much more. The theory is that these foods may prevent inflammation from starting in the first place or reduce its impact.For example, a fat called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that is found in fatty fish like salmon is thought to help reduce the number of inflammatory chemicals in the body, according to Dermatology Online Journal1. However, in the case of psoriasis, researchers are still unsure if consuming EPA has much of an effect on a person’s symptoms. Many studies looking at EPA and psoriasis specifically involve using fish oil supplements instead of whole fatty fish, which may not offer the same theorized benefit. Dr. Feldman’s team found that fish oil studies have really conflicting results: Some people saw no improvement, some said their psoriasis got better, and others said their psoriasis actually got worse.
Answer From April Chang-Miller, M.D.Although rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects joints, it sometimes also causes lung disease. Occasionally, lung problems surface before the joint inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis.Men in their 50s and 60s who have more-active rheumatoid arthritis and a history of smoking are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis-related lung disease.The lung problems most often linked to rheumatoid arthritis include:Scarring within the lungs. Scarring related to long-term inflammation (interstitial lung disease) may cause shortness of breath, a chronic dry cough, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.Lung nodules. Small lumps can form in the lungs (rheumatoid nodules), as well as in other parts of the body. Lung nodules usually cause no signs or symptoms, and they don’t pose a risk of lung cancer. In some cases, however, a nodule can rupture and cause a collapsed lung.Pleural disease. The tissue surrounding the lungs, known as the pleura (PLOOR-uh), can become inflamed. Pleural inflammation is often accompanied by a buildup of fluid between two layers of the pleura (pleural effusion). Sometimes the fluid resolves on its own. A large pleural effusion, however, can cause shortness of breath. Pleural disease may also cause a fever and pain on breathing.Small airway obstruction. The walls of the lungs’ small airways can become thickened because of chronic inflammation and infection (bronchiectasis) or inflamed or injured (bronchiolitis). This may cause mucus to build up in the lungs, as well as shortness of breath, a chronic dry cough, fatigue and weakness.Contact your doctor promptly if you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience any unexplained breathing problems. Sometimes treatment is aimed at the rheumatoid arthritis. In other cases, treatment involves medication to suppress the immune system or a procedure to remove fluid surrounding the lungs.Updated: 11/26/2020Publication Date: 2/7/2013
Once the medication took effect, Ingram was able to trade food delivery apps for recipes again. Actions she once did regularly became major markers of progress. “I was able to start chopping up vegetables again,” Ingram recalls. “That was exciting—to be able to grip the knife and repetitively chop up and down.”It wasn’t just the familiar flavors and motions that Ingram was happy to get back. “When I was at my lowest on my sickest days, and I wasn’t able to cook for myself, it felt like a loss of independence,” she says. Regaining the ability to do something as seemingly simple as lift up a pot or stir soup has made her feel more in control.Ingram still deals with joint pain and stiffness sometimes, but now she can just rest for an afternoon and feel better. Before her treatment, Ingram wouldn’t be able to move for days when the pain became unbearable. “I wouldn’t say that you always get your whole life back to the way it was,” she says. However, she adds that treatment “definitely improves the quality of your day-to-day life.”3. “I’m training for my first bodybuilding contest.”Lauren Scholl, 33, views exercise as her me time. Long-distance running and dancing used to be her favorite ways to unwind and zone out. In fact, she was once a competitive dancer, but that career came to a halt when she developed psoriatic arthritis around five years ago.“I’ve been through about six or seven different drugs that unfortunately did not work for me,” Scholl tells SELF. She says joining CreakyJoints, an organization for people with arthritis and rheumatic disease, gave her a lot of support during the process. “Knowing that you’re not alone and you’re not the only one going through this made a huge impact on my life,” she says.Her sons, now five and eight years old, were also very young at the time of her diagnosis. Scholl says changing their diapers, preparing their bottles, and generally just trying to keep up with their energy was physically overwhelming with her joint pain. She remembers waking up dreading the physical toll it took on her body.Eventually, though, Scholl found a medication that worked. She receives a biologic infusion once a month. It makes her mood a bit low for about 48 hours, but she says that side effect is worth it: “I get almost a full month of feeling like myself.”Being able to run around and go to the park with her sons without having to grit her teeth through the pain has been life-changing. “My symptoms have curbed enough that I’m able to enjoy things like playing with my kids now that they’re older,” she says.Now, as a personal trainer, being able to work out is the second-best change in her life. “I feel like I can give so much more to my clients,” she says. Scholl also started bodybuilding and structured her routine so she isn’t always strengthening the same muscles. “Instead of running every single day, which is constant training on your feet, this has allowed me to give my biggest problem areas, like my knees and my feet, enough time to recover and not trigger inflammation,” she explains.Being able to see her own progress is a big mental boost—and she’s set to compete in her first bikini competition in April 2022. Her sons are impressed too. “I’ve got my five-year-old practicing his deadlift with a broomstick, and my eight-year-old can be found flexing around the house!” Scholl says. “They think it’s pretty cool.”Related:
Prodrome: This is the “pre-headache” phase where you may start to see some warning signs like neck stiffness, mood changes, and frequent yawning. The prodrome phase can happen about 24 to 48 hours before the headache starts. Approximately 30% of people who get migraine experience these pre-headache symptoms.Aura: Up to 20% of people with migraine will experience sensory changes known as an aura. Most commonly, an aura changes how you see things, so you might notice sparkles, dots, flashing lights, wavy lines, or blind spots in your vision. Aside from affecting your eyes, an aura can make you feel numb, tingly, and cause ringing in your ears. These symptoms usually disappear just before the pain in the head begins. Headaches that occur with auras are known as “migraine with aura,” and headaches that don’t are known as “migraine without aura”Attack: This is when the actual migraine head pain hits—and you may also have nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound, as we mentioned above.Postdrome: After an attack ends, some people get a “migraine hangover,” meaning they feel depleted, fatigued, and just out-of-it for a day or so. Postdrome is more common than prodrome, with roughly 80% of people who deal with migraine getting to this stage.The entire sequence can last anywhere from eight hours to three days, depending on how many stages you experience, the severity of the migraine, and whether you treat your migraine symptoms.What are the best migraine treatments for relief?Migraine treatment is very individualized, so you’ll want to speak with your doctor about how to find the best option for you and your symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a neurologist, who better understands the intricacies of brain disorders.“When patients have headaches that are not being well-controlled, we take into account their medical history, what other medical problems they may have, and what the possible side effects of each medication are,” Anne Csere, D.O., an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology, Pain, and Headache Medicine at the University of South Florida, tells SELF. For example, certain migraine treatments are not recommended for people who plan to become pregnant or who have a history of heart disease, she explains. Price is also an important factor because some medications are expensive and not covered by insurance.Here’s a breakdown of the most common treatment options for migraine relief:Abortive medicationsAbortive medications are designed to stop migraine once it has started, and these can include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. “The important thing with these medications is to take them soon after the headache starts,” says Dr. Csere. “These medications work best early in the migraine’s phase.”Abortive medications include OTC pain relievers you probably already have on hand, like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen. Your doctor might recommend taking one of these medications with caffeine if you aren’t sensitive to it because it causes your blood vessels to contract, which can help relieve some of your pain. (This also makes the medications more effective).
“Those are warning signs that you probably did a little too much and should not be pushing it,” Phillip J. Adler, Ph.D., A.T.C., operations manager of athletic training outreach at Spectrum Health Medical Group, tells SELF.However, doing some light activity is fine (and encouraged, for reasons we’ll explain below), as long as it doesn’t feel painful. The key here is to do a different exercise (and work a different set of muscles) than the one that initially made your muscles sore, Kevin M. Pennington, A.T.C., manager at Northwestern Medicine Athletic Training & Sports Performance Clinic, tells SELF. “You don’t want to continue to fatigue or stress the muscles that feel sore,” he says. “Otherwise, they don’t recover correctly and that can lead to pain, fatigue, injury, and a decrease in performance.”What helps relieve muscle soreness after a tough workout?Unfortunately, if you’re already in the throes of monumental muscle soreness, the only surefire remedy is time. But there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain and find DOMS relief while you wait.Enjoy some light movement.Yes, this sucks. “But if you’re really sore and you decide you’re not going to get off the couch, that’s the worst thing you can do,” says McCall. This is because activity increases circulation, improving blood flow throughout the body.“It’s thought that increased blood flow and nutrients to the muscles does, in fact, speed up the repair process, which in turn should reduce DOMS,” says Seedman. While more research needs to be done, we do know that blood carries nutrients and oxygen to muscle tissue, he explains. The idea is that the faster these nutrients get to their destination (via blood flow), the faster they can get to work, and the faster you’ll feel better.Again, this doesn’t mean you should go back to your regularly scheduled workout programming—we’re talking gentle activity, like going for a walk or hopping onto a recumbent bike. If you can manage it, Seedman also recommends some very light strength training. “Blood flow is huge, and that’s why strength training is so productive,” he says. “It’s one of the best ways to get blood flow [directly] into those muscles.”But seriously, light means superlight, since you don’t want to do more damage to the muscle fibers, as we mentioned above. Seedman suggests using just 25 to 50% of the weight you’d normally use, or stick to bodyweight exercises.Prioritize hydration.Step two: Drink water. “A brief body of research shows a correlation between dehydration and increased muscle soreness and DOMS,” says Seedman. While more research needs to be done, “researchers and practitioners have postulated that if dehydration increases soreness, then increased levels of hydration can minimize it,” he adds.The main theory here is that water helps flush out waste products, Seedman says. When muscles break down, they release waste products and toxins that need to be filtered out of the body, he explains, and these waste products are associated with increased soreness.Do some light stretching.Again, the keyword is light. Stretching can be a great way to release tightness and increase your range of motion when you’re sore—which can make you feel better, even though it’s not actually healing the tears in your muscles or making them repair any faster. (While stretching preworkout usually focuses on dynamic moves, you can use static stretching after your workout, as SELF recently reported. This can help increase your range of motion, and, since your muscles are already warm, it can feel easier to get in that good stretch.)