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UK: NHS approves Cefaly electrical stimulation device for migraine

Sasha

Fine, thank you
Messages
17,863
Location
UK
My mum sent me a cutting from the Daily Wail about this, and I wondered if anyone had tried it. I think it's been on the market for a while but only just approved by NICE.

Daily Wail said:
Electronic headband that could end migraine misery for millions is approved on the NHS
  • £250 headband works by emitting electrical pulses to the brain
  • Used for 20 minutes a day or when migraine strikes to ease symptoms
  • Battery powered device found to work on between 40 and 75% of patients
  • Experts say Cefaly could eliminate the need for drugs in some sufferers
By BEN SPENCER MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 16:48, 25 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:23, 25 May 2016

The high-tech Cefaly headband tackles migraines by sending mild electrical pulses into the forehead, just above the eye

A high tech headband could offer relief for millions of people who suffer with migraines.

England's health watchdog gave the green light for the new Cefaly device to be used on the NHS.

The £250 headband tackles migraines by sending mild electrical pulses into the forehead, just above the eye.

Worn for 20 minutes a day - or whenever a migraine strikes - it has been shown to reduce the severity and frequency of attacks in four out of ten patients.

It does this by relaxing the trigeminal nerve - which runs through the skull and is thought to be the source of migraines.

This stops migraines happening so often, but also enables people to cope better with the attacks when they occur.

Around eight million Britons - three quarters of them women - suffer migraine attacks, which often involve dizziness, nausea and crippling pain.

Although painkillers and other drugs can ease the symptoms, they do not work for everyone and as yet no drug has been found that can actually prevent the attacks....

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...sery-millions-approved-NHS.html#ixzz4B1tJ6X6U
 

bertiedog

Senior Member
Messages
1,736
Location
South East England, UK
I have had the Cefaly for over 2 years with mixed results. It has never stopped my migraines from starting for the past couple of years, only Imigran will do this.

Sometimes it helps to use it when I have taken painkillers to make them more effective but all in all it hasn't worked for me.

The other downside is that the electrodes are pretty rubbish. They don't last very long however well you look after them and 3 replacement ones cost around £19. The electrodes that are in my TENS machine last miles longer and are very inexpensive so I do think it's something the company should address.

If you have a severe migraine and the electrodes are wearing out a bit they can severely irritate me so much so I cannot wait for the 20 minutes to end and have to tear it off. It can feel most unpleasant.

The interesting thing is that when I first got it and I used it every morning on the 2nd setting it did seem to stop headaches developing but for whatever reason it just stopped working for me.
 

Sasha

Fine, thank you
Messages
17,863
Location
UK
Thanks for your experience, @bertiedog. My concern with this is if it would somehow lower your threshold for migraines in the longer term, and from what I've read, the RCTs haven't followed patients up for very long (which is why I'm keen to go to the source material). The fact that you adapted to it makes me concerned about this risk (though I'm no biologist and don't know whether that's a reasonable fear).
 

Sasha

Fine, thank you
Messages
17,863
Location
UK
Migraine is another illness where it's a huge burden on sufferers and on the economy, and is very prevalent, but hardly gets any research: and there seems to be considerable variation among people in what causes it (high-tyramine foods are a definite trigger for me) - pointing to a need for the sort of work that Ron Davis is doing for ME/CFS, looking at the underlying molecular mechanisms and aiming at personalised medicine, IMO.