March 11, 2014 – On Tuesday the US FDA announced the approval of a new device to treat migraines. It is called Cefaly and will be produced in Belgium.

It uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and it is the first of its kind.

Cefaly was intended as an alternative to medications and other treatments that have shown only mild success to this point. Some dentist have been treating migraines with TENS for decades, but awareness has been slow to spread.

TENS helps to relax the muscles, allowing them to sit at their desired length. Migraines can occur from poor blood flow in muscles that are fatigued, or tired. After TENS, the muscles are no longer fatigued.

Approximately 10% of the population is effected by migraines, and are more intense and “pounding” than a typical headache. They can last for a few minutes to days and even weeks. Light can make it worse, and is often accompanied by nausea. Three times as many women are effected than men.

The FDA describes Cefaly as a “portable, battery powered prescription device that resembles a plastic headband worn across the forehead and atop the ears”.

A study reveals that Cefaly did not stop all migraines, and did not stop the intensity of the migraines that did occur. It also showed that about 70% of the users were satisfied with the device and would continue to use it. Some complaints included sleepiness during treatment, and headaches afterward.

As a prescribed device you must see a doctor in order to use it. Doctors recommend knowing the cause of your migraines before proceeding with any treatment that may simply mask its symptoms. As mentioned, St Augustine migraines have been treated by your World Golf Village dentist for years. Studies indicate that migraines may in part, be due to poor sleep. The poor sleep may be a result of a sleep breathing disorder.

Migraines can be debilitating. The FDA clearance of this device is another step towards relief, but it is just another tool in the tool belt of battling migraines. See your World Golf Village dentist for more details.