Migraineurs may someday in future open their medicine cabinet not for medicine, but a smart patch that will help ease their pain!
In a new study which was published in journal Neurology, it was found that a wireless patch that uses electrical stimulation to block pain signals could help ease migraine pain and also reduce the intake of traditional migraine medication. More research is needed in this to confirm the results, but researchers are now hopeful that this kind of drug-free solution comes without any side effects like drowsiness, nausea, or muscle weakness appears to be on the horizon.
A small group of migraineurs who get between three and seven attacks in a month applied this patch on their upper arm immediately after the onset of migraine and kept it there for around 25 minutes. They took no other medication and received either a stimulation, placebo at very low frequency, or active stimulation at one of the four levels. Around 63 percent of the participants reported at least 55 percent reduction in pain at the three highest electrical stimulation levels. Even more encouraging results are for those who started using it with moderate headache pain, 56 percent of them were easily able to lower the pain levels to mild or no pain at all with highest possible stimulation.
“These results are encouraging and similar to the ones seen for various triptan medications,” said Dr. Yarnitsky. Triptans is the most favored migraine treatment and works by causing blood vessels to constrict, thus effectively blocking the pathways to the brain.
The Nerivio Migra, a revolutionary wireless patch, uses specially designed rubber electrodes and a chip on an armband to transmit electrical stimulation through a smartphone app. The stimulation prevents migraine pain signals from reaching the brain.
The results of this patch are exciting. People who get migraines are now interested in some drug free treatment. According to David Yarnitsky, MD, at Technion Faculty of Medicine, Israel, this device is very easy to use, has no side effects, and can be use easily in work or social setting.
There are rubber electrodes and a chip in the patch that produces mild electrical pulses that help in blocking pain signals from reaching the brain, the study authors said.
With the onset of migraine, it’s possible for the user to control the intensity of electrical impulses with the help of a smartphone app, explains Dr. David Yarnitsky. This wireless patch helped in reducing intensity of headaches for study participants, while the ones who were wearing sham patches got poorer results.
It’s possible to use skin stimulation to the tolerable intensity so that it’s not painful for you and is still able to substantially diminish or stop the development of migraine attack, as long as you do it fast enough in your migraine attack.
It has no side effects and you just feel a tingle in your upper arm. You get better results if you start the treatment within 15-20 minutes of the first signs of a migraine.