Due to the complexity of migraine, and vestibular migraine, finding a treatment that works for you can seem impossible. However, with so much new migraine research, there is more evidence for new treatments constantly coming out. This is great, but can be hard to keep up with! One of the latest and greatest treatments for migraine are neuromodulation devices. That’s just a fancy word for electrical stimulation machines used to moderate headache and migraine attacks. The following devices can be either be used as treatments for preventative care, acute attacks, or both! Some have more research than others, and it’s not for everyone, however, anything that we can do to avoid migraine overuse headache and prevent migraine without pharmaceuticals is a win in my book!
Cefaly is by far the most popular new migraine-neuromodulation device I’ve seen recently. Patients love it, people all over Instagram love it, it gets all-around good reviews. I like it for a few reasons. The first is that they give a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you have migraine, you know by now that you need 90 days to determine if something work for you or not, and Cefaly provides that experience, because if it doesn’t work for you, you can send it back free of charge. Additionally, the first week is free, and it can be on a payment plan. Next, you don’t need a prescription. You can literally buy ti from Amazon and it will ship right to your door for a one-time charge. You do need to get new electrodes once in a while, but you can decrease the number you use by following the directions on the inside of the box to prepare your forehead correctly. The downside? there aren’t many, however, you will look like you belong in Star Trek or like you’re some sort of alien for an hour every day. It does prevent you from going out, unless you wear a big hat, or just don’t care that people might give you a funny look. Additionally, some people just don’t like the sensation, and therefore won’t use it.
The preventative mode is to be worn daily for 20 minutes, and an acute treatment is 60 minutes. You simply place it on your forehead, turn it on, and you’re good to go! You can even fall asleep with it on! In my opinion, it’s worth a shot!
sTMS uses magnetic wave fields to pulse through your brain and soft tissue into your head to decrease the frequency of Migraine attacks. sTMS has been used for years, but the eNeura device is one of the first devices that can be used from home. You simply place it behind your head at the base of your neck and press a button to direct an impulse into your brain to prevent and treat migraine attacks. You will need to have a doctor prescribe it to you, so click here to find a doctor in your area who is familiar with the device and can see if it’s right for you.
Nerivio is used as a peripheral nerve stimulator in your arm to ‘confuse’ nerves in your brain to distract the pain from migraine. The message from your arm is sent to your brainstem and inhibits the pain signals from your brain stem that are causing the painful migraine. According to their research found on their homepage, 74% of people found it at least moderately helpful in relieving migraine pain. Additionally, it has an app that helps to track your migraine frequency and control the stimulation from your arm. You can wear it out, as it is on your arm instead of your forehead, and it will still be discrete. This one can be covered by your insurance, so if you’re looking for something that’s important to you, this may be a good fit!
GammaCore stimulates the Vagus nerve, which is the long nerve that wanders through your whole body. It affects your brain stem, heart, gastrointestinal tract, and more. GammaCore device is to be pressed against your neck, right next to where you can feel your pulse, for a specific duration of time. The biggest con to GammaCore is its price. The cost of GammaCore is about $200 every three months. This may seems expensive, however for some people it can reduce the number of other medications and hospital visits they may need to pay for. This would more than make up the difference. If it works for you it could absolutely be worth it! You do need a prescription to receive it, so ask your doctor!