What Is Neurostimulation For Migraines?

It may sound counter-intuitive… why would I want to stimulate my nervous system if I am having a migraine or suffer from migraines?  Well, headache specialists are not crazy. Stimulation of the nerve can actually cause the brain to settle down, and remain calm.

The migraine brain is a very sensitive brain, and we look for ways to help the brain to stay calm and be less sensitive.  Neurostimulators may actually “stimulate” the areas of your brain that send the calming messages to the rest of the brain or nerves.

There are many different neurostimulators either on the market or currently being researched.  There are devices to stimulate the supraorbital nerve (sits right at your eyebrow), the occipital nerve (back of the head), the SPG or sphenopalatine ganglion (right behind your nose/cheek), and even the vagus nerve in the neck.

Some of the neurostimulators are just applied to the skin and used to get rid of a headache, and others are surgically implanted devices for more intractable and chronic headache disorders.  These devices can be used alone or in combination with other treatments to relieve headaches of various sorts.

By: Audrey Halpern, MD, BC