As we enter a new decade, doctors and patients are increasingly turning to tech solutions to diagnose and treat diseases. A prime example of this new approach is in the treatment of migraine, a chronic disease that affects more than 38 million people in the United States alone.
New migraine treatments
For many years, people living with migraine had only a few medications classes to choose from for acute pain relief. We were limited in helping those for whom drugs were not effective, or for those who could not tolerate their side effects. This made it difficult to manage the patient’s migraine. Migraine is often debilitating, with severe pain, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, making an increase in the range of treatments to treat migraine a critical goal.
New drug-free migraine treatment solutions have now been developed using neuromodulation. Neuromodulation utilizes electrical or magnetic impulses to modulate nerve activity in order to relieve the pain and associated symptoms of migraine. There are different neuromodulation devices including vagal nerve stimulation, transcutaneous magnetic stimulation, and TENS units. They have been placed on the head, face, or neck.
A new FDA-approved neuromodulation device, Theranica’s Nerivio™, received a great amount of attention after being named one of TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019. Worn on the arm, it uses remote electrical neuromodulation to activate the pain control system. It was found in clinical studies to be as effective as traditional pharmaceutical options with fewer side effects. Nerivio is both a first line and a complementary treatment for migraine headache.
This new drug-free approach to migraine treatment is just one example of the power of the medical and technology communities to create new solutions for old problems. This is bringing new, unique treatment options to patients, physicians, and healthcare systems.