PEMF therapy for Migraines

PEMF Therapy for Migraines

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical trials in December 2015 has confirmed the benefits of PEMF therapy for migraines in terms of the treatment of the migraine itself as well as in terms of treating migraines prophylactically.

This study is merely one of many studies that shed light on the fact that PEMF therapy for migraines can be beneficial for both addressing the pain and symptoms associated with migraines, as well as providing prophylactic benefits in terms of reducing the occurrence, frequency and duration of headaches and migraines.

PEMF therapy for migrainesMigraines and headaches tend to be both acute and chronic conditions, and they take a huge toll on your work and your family life. The work hours lost due to migraines for migraine sufferers is considerable, not to mention time lost with family. Reducing migraine frequency from an average of ten days to three may not sound like a lot but over the course of a lifetime, that works out to far too much time lost which you could have spent appreciating your loved one.  This aspect was taken into account in the new clinical trial on PEMF therapy for migraines.

This study used a PEMF device producing a frequency of 10Hz at intensities of between 4 and five micro-Tesla and treatment sessions of six sessions a week. Patients received PEMF therapy three times a week. Therapy three times a week seems to pale in comparison to losing previous time with your loved ones on a regular basis.

According to the study, results reported included average days lost to migraine that decreased from 9.78 to 3 in the treatment group. In other words, patients who received regular therapy reduced the frequency of their migraines by more than two thirds! Work hours lost dropped from 40.8 to 7.4 in the treatment group or less than a quarter of the hours previously lost due to migraines.

Other PEMF therapy for Migraine Studies

As mentioned, this study is one of many studies on PEMF therapy for migraines and headaches.

In another double blind placebo controlled study, 42 subjects were treated with PEMF therapy for one hour a day, 5 days a week for two weeks. Seventy-three percent of the patients who received treatment reported a substantial reduction in headaches, with 45% reporting a good decrease and 14% reporting an excellent decrease in the migraines suffered.

A review of PEMF therapy for migraines published in 2007 by the Journal of Applied Psychophysiology Biofeedback Journal analyzed the results of 9 studies and found at PEMF therapy for the treatment of migraines and headaches merited further investigation. Since then studies have continued to show the benefits of PEMF and TENs therapy for headaches and migraines.

How PEMF Therapy for Migraines can Help

Sadly, despite mounting evidence that PEMF therapy benefits migraines and headaches, exactly how TENS therapy and PEMF therapy helps migraines and the underlying mechanisms of the treatment have yet to be identified. PEMF studies have however shown that magnetic fields produce certain clinical and physiological effects.[1]

Researchers speculate that PEMF therapy could benefit migraine patients in several ways:

  1. Through neurochemical pathways – in other words via the neurons of the nervous system
  2. Through electrophysiological pathways – in other words interaction with the motor cortical elements of the brain; and or
  3. Through cardiovascular pathways – by affecting the circulatory systems and blood flow.

PEMF Therapy for Migraines and Neurochemical Effects

This would certainly not be the first study to point out that PEMF therapy affects the nerves and the nervous system. In fact, there are numerous PEMF studies that show benefits for nervous system support and in some cases nerve regeneration using PEMF and or magnetic therapy.[2]

Many of the theories on migraines also include neurochemical explanations of what causes migraines. Since PEMF and TENS therapy can influence and affect the nervous system, it seems obvious that this may account for some of the benefits obtained from PEMF therapy.

PEMF Therapy for Migraines and Electrophysiological Effects

Similarly, PEMF therapy has been used for various conditions related to the cortex and the brain. PEMF therapy has been recognized as a possible therapy for depression[3] and researchers have found that frequencies like 1Hz and 20Hz may help to regulate motor cortex activity.

According to research, migraine sufferers often exhibit abnormal cortical excitability, particularly before a migraine attacks so by regulating this activity, researchers speculate that PEMF may benefit migraine patients.

PEMF Therapy for Migraines and Cardiovascular Effects

TENS therapy and PEMF has also been approved for increasing circulation and blood flow and there are also new studies suggesting PEMF therapy benefits the heart rate and blood pressure.[4] A new TENS healthcare glove has just been released to help monitor and then treat patients suffering from high blood pressure. Studies have also been done on healthy individuals that have shown the effects of treatment on blood pressure and heart rate.

Since abnormal blood flow is often seen as one of the underlying causes of migraine, being able to regulate healthy blood flow to the brain may therefore possibly alleviate the symptoms of migraine. Studies on how PEMF therapy benefits Alzheimer’s disease also suggest PEMF therapy can benefit this particular area of the body.

PEMF Therapy for Migraines – Conclusion

You don’t have to understand exactly how something works to benefit from the therapy. We all drive cars and yet most of us have no idea how the engine works and we all switch on the electricity at home with similar levels of expertise in electrical engineering. We don’t need to know how a microwave works to warm up our food.

The bottom line for most of us is that studies continue to show, time and again, that drugless therapies like TENS and PEMF have the power to help reduce some of the pain and discomfort we experience as a result of migraines and headaches without side-effects.

Although most of the studies differ in their methodology, approach and even in their application, according to the Review, there were no adverse events reported amongst all of the participants of these studies. With all of the warnings about drugs and side-effects, a therapy that offers potential benefit without potential side-effects should surely be one of the first therapies that a physician tries.

Sources and Studies for PEMF therapy for Migraines:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17975726

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1493213; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2029930

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25241755

[4] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hfm.20361/abstract

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