Electrical stimulation has shown promise in the treatment of migraines and one device worn on the forehead, the Cefaly, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of migraines. A recently reported study has found that a second electrical stimulation (electric stim) device that is worn on the arm, rather than the head, provides significant relief during a migraine attack for some people, according to a report in Neurology.
The pilot study used Theranica’s Nerivio Migra device, a wireless patch that is worn on the arm and can be controlled by a smartphone app. The device was studied in Israel in 71 people with episodic migraine, who had 2 to 8 migraine attacks per months. They were asked to apply the device to their upper arm as soon as possible after the start of a migraine and keep it on for 20 minutes (299 treatments). They were not taking any preventative medications and were told not to take any rescue medications for 2 hours after the onset of the migraine.
The devices were programmed to give either a sham stimulation, at a very low frequency, or to give an active stimulation (1 of 3 different therapeutic levels: 200-μs, 150-μs, and 100-μs pulse width stimuli per individual). The stimulation feels like a mild tingling, less noticeable than getting electrical stimulation therapy for an injury. During the active stimulation at the 3 highest levels, 64% of people had a reduction in their pain by at least 50% 2 hours after the treatment, compared to 26% of people who used the sham stimulation. For those with moderate to severe pain, 58% said their pain was reduced to mild or no pain with the highest level of stimulation compared to 24% who received sham stimulation (30% said they had no pain, compared to 6% receiving sham stimulation).
These results need to be confirmed with additional studies, but they are exciting.
Read the full article at https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/resources/news-and-research/electric-stim-armband-may-reduce-migraine-pain.
Image courtesy of http://theranica.com.