Did you know that migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world? Although migraines impact over 39 million people in the US alone, there is still considerable debate surrounding the best way to treat them.
If you suffer from migraines, you’ve probably tried all the usual methods, from prescription medications to lying in a dark room. So, here’s a list of 4 less common treatments that are gaining popularity in 2021.
It might sound drastic, but preliminary research has shown that Botox can actually decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. A recent Empire Medical Training post notes that patients often feel relief just 24 hours after treatment. For ongoing treatment of migraines, you’ll likely need to commit to top ups of botox in both your neck and head approximately every 12 weeks. Doctors aren’t completely sure why the treatment is so effective, but believe it is because Botox paralyses nerve terminals, which are responsible for transmitting pain, before they can carry those signals to your brain.
2. Daith Piercings
Though the evidence is more anecdotal than with botox, some migraine sufferers swear that getting a daith piercing caused their symptoms to lessen or disappear. A daith piercing is placed through the ear’s inner cartilage fold, next to the entrance to the ear canal. The reason this fashionable piercing is rumoured to help with migraines is linked to acupuncture, which uses pressure points to treat maladies. The position of the daith piercing is claimed to activate a key pressure point in the ear which traditional medicine believes may relieve headache symptoms.
3. Tinted Glasses
Some migraine sufferers find that their pain is brought on when they encounter particular patterns, such as high-contrast stripes (like a pedestrian crossing) or harmful wavelengths of light. By reducing the stress on the already over stimulated visual cortex, research has found that tinted glasses can help to normalize brain activity and reduce migraine severity. Tinted glasses for migraines generally use a rose-coloured filter, which blocks out the blue-green light commonly found in harsh fluorescent lamps.
4. Cefaly Headband
Just recently approved by the FDA, the Cefaly Headband has performed well in clinical studies. In a trial published by the Journal of Neurology, the length of patients’ migraines were reportedly reduced by up to 30%. The band uses an electrode that rests against the user’s forehead and delivers a series of gentle electric impulses that stimulate the nerves just above the eyes. While additional research is still required, it’s believed that using the device for just 20 minutes a day could not only lessen the longevity of migraines but potentially prevent them altogether.
Keep in mind, the Cefaly Headband is currently prescription only, so speak with your primary care physician to find out whether it’s a suitable treatment for you.
No one deserves to suffer through the pain of untreated migraines. If you’ve exhausted all the traditional therapies, why not give one of the 4 cutting edge treatments above a go?