What Devices Can Help Manage Headaches?

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July 6, 2022
September 8, 2021
3
minutes
What Devices Can Help Manage Headaches?

A number of devices have recently been developed to help migraine without the need of medication. Some are helpful when migraine strikes, others can be helpful to prevent migraine attacks

Cefaly

The Cefaly device is a transcutaneous nerve stimulator - it relaxes superficial nerves on the surface of the scalp.  There are a few settings that you can use - one can be used a few times a day to help prevent migraine, the other can be used to stop a migraine acutely.  This is available now without a prescription. 

Gammacore

The Gammacore device is an external vagus nerve stimulator - it increase the activity of the vagus nerve we talked about above, and by doing that increases the relaxation response of your nervous system. It is approved for cluster and migraine headaches. 

Nerivio

The Nerivio device is a remote neurostimulator - it’s worn on the arm and it uses a specific stimulation frequency to decrease the brain’s pain sensory attention from the migraine attack.  It is approved for the acute treatment of migraines. 

Allay Lamp

The Allay Lamp is a green light that emits a specific frequency of light in the green spectrum that decreases light sensitivity.  Light sensitivity is a hallmark of migraine, and this lamp might allow you to still carry out many activities when you otherwise would be left in the dark.

Unavailable Right Now

Two devices have been developed that unfortunately are not available at this time.  The Spring TMS device uses a technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stop aura and prevent migraine attacks.  It stimulates the cortex of the brain with an electromagnetic pulse - similar to how an MRI obtains imaging information.  Repetitive TMS has been used to treat depression, anxiety and OCD, this device uses single pulses of stimulation instead.  The company the developed this device is currently undergoing bankruptcy but there may be plans to sell this device to another company and it may be available in the future. 

The Relivion device uses the technology of the Cefaly device to stimulate both the forehead nerves and nerves in the back of the head, called the occipital nerves.  It was recently approved by the FDA and the company will be making it available for patients in the next few months.

The market for migraine medical devices and tools is growing at a high rate and can be hard to navigate. If you need guidance in picking what device might help your individual case, join Neura Health now and get advice from the trained specialist

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Thomas Berk, MD
Thomas Berk is Medical Director at Neura Health and a former Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
About the Author
Thomas Berk, MD is Medical Director of Neura Health and a neurologist and headache specialist based in New York City. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, he has over 12 years of clinical experience. He graduated from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and completed his neurology residency at NYU as well. He completed a headache fellowship at the Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia. He is an emerging leader of the American Headache Society and has been on the Super Doctors list of rising stars for the past five years.

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