Migraine could be treated with electrical stimulation patch

Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 19:07:18-05

Migraines can be debilitating ,but this new research sounds very promising. 

Seventy-one adults suffering with two to eight migraines every month were separated into two groups.  One group was treated with a new electrical stimulation patch, while the others were treated with a sham stimulation treatment. 

Researchers found 58 percent of participants with moderate to severe migraines said their pain disappeared or become mild after using the electrical stimulation patch at the highest stimulation level, compared with 24 percent in the other group.

The electrical stimulation patch has rubber electrodes and a chip that gives off electric impulses. It’s worn on the arm and the stimulating effect blocks pain signals from reaching the brain.

Other than a tingle sensation in your arm, the researchers say there are no side effects. They hope the device will be ready for the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s approval next year. 

In the meantime if you suffer with migraines, here are my prescriptions:

  1. Keep a journal to track your daily activities including your food.  You’ll learn what your triggers are and hopefully you can avoid them.
  2. Try a strategy called “Learn to Cope”.  It’s a gradual process where you’re exposed to triggers to help desensitize you.
  3. Keep your routine regular.  Your brain is sensitive to environmental changes so best to keep regular sleep and meal times.
  4. Exercise regularly for 30 minutes 5 days a week.  It reduces tension and can help prevent migraines.

There are several medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs better known as aspirin and ibuprofen.  There’s also triptans and beta-blockers.

There’s another nerve stimulation device that’s similar to a headband that was recently approved by the FDA. 

If you suffer with migraines, see your doctor to discuss what options are best for you.