A battery-operated “headband”… magnetic energy rays…and an unusual “massage” technique.
These are three new treatments for migraine headaches that don’t involve prescription drugs – which most migraine sufferers rely on for relief.
Take the Cefaly. It looks like a space age headband and was approved to treat migraines by the FDA in March 2014.
In a Web MD article, Dr. Myrna Cardiel, a clinical associate professor of neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center, said, “This device is a promising step forward in treating migraine headaches, as it addresses an important part of what we believe triggers and maintains a migraine attack.”
Then there’s the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator – aka “TMS” – which the FDA approved in December 2013.
“The Cerena TMS is another tool in the battle to relieve migraines,” said Dr. Mark Green in a HealthDay article.
Dr. Green, who is director of Headache and Pain Management at the Mount Sinai Medical in New York City, added, “Experience with TMS over the past few years have shown that these agents have the potential to reduce the pain of an attack without the use of medications, or in addition to medical treatment.”
Lastly, we have the aforementioned “massage” technique…except that it’s really not a massage.
Paul Bacho, an athletic trainer from Cleveland Ohio, described how he administers it: “What I do is have the patient lie on a massage table, on his or her stomach, so I can access specific areas of the back, shoulders and neck. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s a technique where I push and pull certain muscles in these areas in order to rebalance them.”
Most people with chronic headaches, he said, suffer from muscular imbalance because of lousy posture, and this imbalance causes tight muscles that restrict blood flow and push onto nerve endings.
“That blood flow restriction and pressure on nerve endings is what causes most chronic headaches,” he said, adding that he initially developed his technique for tension headache sufferers.
“It works for people with migraines, too,” he said, “provided those migraines are triggered by tension.
“Muscular tension is a common trigger for migraine headaches.”
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 36 million Americans have migraines, and nearly one in four households include someone who suffers from the disease.
For more information about migraine headaches, visit migraineresearchfoundation.org or tensionheadaches.com