Neurologist Jennifer Williams McVige says some devices now on the market are proven to reduce pain for some migraine suffers without the use of drugs. Submitted photo

While advances in drug treatment have been all the rage in migraine treatment, there are some people who insist the conversation doesn’t end at medication.

Jennifer Williams McVige is a neurologist with Dent Neurologic Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., who specializes in adult headache, concussion, pediatric neurology and neuroimaging. “The most interesting and promising treatments in my opinion, have been the devices,” she says.

The devices in question, typically worn on the upper arm during a migraine, use “neuromodulation” to help decrease migraine pain.

“Depending on the type of device,” McVige says, “this may target a nerve or a sensory pathway. These treatments give patients an opportunity to treat their migraine without having to use pharmaceutical medications. This is especially welcomed for those individuals that have not tolerated medications due to side effect profiles, have difficulty taking oral medications, or have pre-existing medical conditions that make it challenging to treat with certain medications.”

The Nerivio, for example, is a device strapped to the upper arm for 45 minutes during the migraine. The device is smartphone controlled, and uses neuromodulation to alter pain sensations, ultimately decreasing the painful effects of the migraine, according to experts.

— Mark LaFlamme, Sun Journal 

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