Migraine at Work: Working 9 to 5 — Or Maybe Not!


An excerpt from National Migraine and Headache Awareness MonthMigraine at Work: Working 9 to 5- Or Maybe Not! written by Mary Franklin.

Tips for Discussing Migraine at Work

Before beginning the discussion with your immediate supervisor, or preferably with the human resources department, be prepared. More than 40 million individuals in the United States experience migraine disease, so there is a good chance that the person with whom you are conversing, knows someone or may have personal experience with this disorder. However, if he or she is not migraine literate, you may need to provide some educational tools about migraine disorder. […]

Migraine Rescue Kit

Before the talk, consider how to manage your acute attacks during work hours. Organize a migraine rescue kit with materials that you would need in addition to your medications. The kit could contain an icepack, face mask, earplugs, a list of your medications, and an emergency contact list if you need to have someone drive you home or pick-up your children from school. Let your supervisor as well as your colleagues know where the kit is located. […]


Consider what accommodations you may need to reduce migraine triggers as well as aid during an acute migraine attack. […]


Finally, you may want to address work schedules. Flexibility can be the key to success as you may need to start work later in order to relieve the headache that awakened you. […]

Be proactive in advocating for yourself. Be open to discussions with your supervisors and your colleagues. We have, too often, heard of careers being stymied by this disease. Confront it with your best defense: education.

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