In December, the FDA approved the first device to treat migraine headaches. It’s a truly remarkable milestone that can help many people get relief from their migraines. The only problem is: we don’t know why it works, or how, or for whom, which goes to show how complex migraine headaches are, and why people need to try different options if they are not getting good results with their current treatment.
Magnetic Pulses Drive Migraines Away
The new device is called the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS), and it’s intended to be used as a prescription device for treatment of classic migraines. Classic migraines are those that are preceded by auras.
To use Cerena, people hold the device to the back of their head when they experience migraines, and press a button, releasing a magnetic pulse into the brain.
The most important random clinical trial showed that 38% of people were pain free two hours after using Cerena, as compared to only 17% of controls using a sham device. Perhaps more remarkably, 34% of people were still pain free 24 hours after using the device, compared to only 10% who were pain free after using control treatment.
Limitations and Provisos
Although Cerena has been shown to effectively reduce pain for these patients, it hasn’t been shown to reduce other symptoms associated with migraines, such as nausea, light sensitivity, sound-sensitivity, and more. So, this tells us that it’s only affecting one component of migraines, not the entire migraine complex.
Cerena has also not been tested for migraines without aura, which are a completely different phenomenon, nor has it been tested for other types of headaches.
Cerena is also not suitable for people who have metal objects in their head that may respond to the magnetic pulse.
A Diversity of Migraine Treatments
The Cerena joins an already diverse array of migraine treatments that are all effective for some people, but not effective for others. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Migraine.com, migraine sufferers tried and average of 4 migraine treatments, and still only about 34% of them were satisfied with their results. People need to be aware that there are many different treatments available and need to consider treatments beyond drugs and painkillers.
TMJ treatment can help many people with migraines. It can lead to a reduction in the frequency and severity of migraines for some people.
If you have not tried TMJ treatment and you continue to suffer with migraines despite treatment, please contact Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics for an evaluation at our Spokane or Spokane Valley office.