Migraine cures have varied widely through out the years. Bizarre treatments were developed and centuries ago "tripanning" meant opening the skull to let the pain out. (Ugh!)
Migraine cures are being promoted widely throughout the Internet and many of them quite frankly are false!
I recently came across one with over 100 tips to prevent headaches. Well, about 30 of them are the same things just reworded! Another product floating around the net right now is "Head On". Quite honestly this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen for headache treatment. It is a wax (I repeat WAX) stick with a small amount of a few herbs in it. You are supposed to rub it on your forehead during a headache and it will magically take it away!
Please don't waste your hard earned money on items like this.
The product to the right is called "migraine magic" but I doubt it magically takes the headache away. in fact, it looks to me as if it would actually cause a headache.
One patient asked me once about pedicures. Apparently her pedicurist (correct term?) advised her that getting regular pedicures and having her feet rubbed would cure her migraines. My lady was pretty intelligent and she doubted this but wanted to ask me anyway. I reassured her that if this person was referring to a form of reflexology..that has been proven in many studies to be ineffective..for anything! Reflexology is what is known as a "sham" science or pseudoscience. In other words it has a high placebo effect. Not one of the migraine cures I could recommend.
Although many studies have been done in the field of headaches in regards to herbs and alternative treatments, to date only a handful have been proven sucessful in migraine prevention.
Feverfew, vitamin B2, and magnesium
have helped reduce the frequency and severity of migraine.
The result is a feedback method to the central areas of the brain that are responsible for triggering headaches.
Read more about occipital stimulation for cluster and migraine headache.
There has been interest in recent years about the connection between migraines and PFO's or patent foramen ovale. This is a small hole in the wall of the heart between two chambers that pump blood.
We are all born with this, but in about 80% of the population, this hole closes spontaneously.
In some migraineurs, the hole is still open.
So what is the connection between a PFO and migraine? Well, at the present time we are not sure.
It has been noticed that many times when this hole is closed surgically, migraines improve or even disappear. Again we are not exactly sure why. There are several theories, but I won't get into that here.
The bottom line is this: there are only a few studies to date on migraines and PFO's and the inital indications are that you should probably NOT have a PFO closed to try and cure migraines.
The evidence is not strong enough at the present time to show that this procedure will improve your headaches.
In fact, we had one patient we advised, not to have this done. He had no cardiac symptoms (chest pain, strokes or MI) and yet he insisted on having his PFO closed. His headaches actually changed and became more frequent.
I should mention that PFO's seem to be more strongly associated with
migraine with aura.
Once again, this surgical method brought interest when it was broadcast on television.
This method involves a surgical implatation of the electrodes near the back of the skull, the occiptal nerves. These nerve are just under the skin and if inflamed result in cervicogenic headache, and occipital neuralgia. Many times these two types of headaches may cascade forward and be a cause of migraine.
If this is the case, then the surgical treatment may be of some help, but would be considered only if medications have failed. The device eventually overstimulates the nerves so no pain is felt.
The surgery is being offered at various clinics in the United States, one of which is
The Michigan Head and Pain Center.