PEMF Therapy for Migraine Treatment
Is PEMF Therapy for Migraine Treatment Effective?
Anyone that has ever suffered from a migraine knows they are the worst of the worst among headaches. A migraine is an intense form of a headache coupled with nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. There are endless triggers for migraines including stress, light sensitivity, insufficient sleep, depression, poor posture, and allergies. On average, 1 out of 6 Americans and research suggests a higher prevalence of migraines in the following groups:
- Those ages 18-44 (17.9%)
- Unemployed (21.4%)
- Income lower than $35,000 annually (19.9%)
- The elderly and disabled (16.4%)
From medication to even having surgery, there are a variety of migraine prevention options that exist. PEMF therapy could be a good option for those that want to take an approach to migraine relief that is non-invasive, drug-free, and requires no downtime.
The Four Stages of Migraines
Before we dive into the effectiveness of PEMF therapy for migraine treatment you should know that headaches account for roughly 3% of all emergency room visits, annually. Migraines often go undiagnosed and are commonly left untreated. They commonly begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood and each migraine typically passes through four stages:
Stage 1: Prodrome
Prodrome: 1 or 2 days prior to experiencing the migraine subtle changes may be experienced, a forewarning that a migraine is coming:
- Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
- Increased thirst and urination
- Frequent yawning
Stage 2: Aura
Aura: Aura may come prior or during the migraine but not everyone experiences them. Aura is associated with the nervous system and is typically described as visual disturbances like flashes of light and wavy, zigzag vision. Some experience auras as sensory, motor or verbal disturbances, feeling as though they are generally weak and that someone is touching them. Aura symptoms may gradually build and become more intense for periods of 20 – 60 minutes.
A person with an aura migraine may also experience:
- Vision loss
- Tingling sensations in limbs
- Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking
- Hear noises or music
- Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
Stage 3: Headache
Headache: Migraines on average last anywhere from 4 – 72 hours when left untreated. How often they occur is different for everyone, they may be seldom, random, or frequent (several times a month). For a migraine headache the symptoms are:
- Throbbing or pulsing pain on one of both sides of the head
- Sensitivity to light, sound, possibly smells and touch
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, maybe even fainting
Stage 4: Postdrome
Postdrome: Post-drome occurs after a migraine, leaving you feeling drained or wiped out, although some people report feeling elated. In the 24 hours following a migraine you may experience:
- Sensitivity to light and sound
It’s important to note that not everyone experiences all four stages of a migraine, or may not experience all four stages for every migraine. See a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Headache with fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizure, double vision, weakness, numbness or difficulty speaking
- Abrupt severe headache that hits like a thunderclap
- Headache after an injury
- Chronic headache that is aggravated by coughing, exertion, straining or sudden movement
- New headache if you’re over 50
Migraine & PEMF Therapy Study
Now we know the symptoms when to see a doctor, and that a lot of people are coping with migraines, but is PEMF therapy for migraine treatment effective? A study completed in 2013 investigated PEMF therapy for refractory migraines and the results suggest that yes, PEMF therapy for migraine treatment is effective.
Patients who do not respond well to or cannot tolerate the standard medication treatments are said to have Refractory Migraine. For these patients, there is yet to be a treatment that addresses all the factors associated with the migraine with minimal side effects. PEMF therapy for migraine treatment may be able to help.
This study utilized 30 participants aged between 17 – 55, both male and female. It excluded anyone who was pregnant, had a malignancy or epilepsy. The study was double-blind placebo-controlled with the active group receiving PEMF therapy for migraine treatment at 10 Hz for 6 sessions, 3 sessions a week in phase 1 and 6 sessions a week in phase 2. A 70cm loop was placed around the head for the duration of each session.
The placebo group were placed under the same equipment, only it wasn’t turned on for 3 sessions per week. Effectiveness was measured by monitoring the following:
- Migraine disability score
- Headache frequency
- Headache duration
- Headache intensity
- Missed work
The participants in the active group reported significant improvement in their headaches with regards to duration and work-loss hours in comparison to the placebo group after 2 weeks of treatment. The active group continued to see improvement over a 4 – 8 month period, noting a significant reduction in the duration of their headaches, in the number of medications they took and in the amount of time they missed work.
Is PEMF Therapy for Migraine Treatment Effective?
The good news is the findings showed the PEMF therapy for migraine treatment was effective. The great news is you don’t need a prescription to experience PEMF therapy for migraine treatment nor will it interfere with any medications or treatment you are currently undergoing. PEMF is a wonderful companion modality therapy for migraines that you can experience for yourself.