Protocol for the treatment of Migraine with the Stimpod NMS460

About Migraine

Migraine was considered to be vascular in origin for much of the 20th century, but according to the International Association for the Study of Pain, today it is considered to be a disorder of the brain, with abnormalities in the vasculature occurring secondary to the primary neuronal events. The disorder within the brain is understood to be due to cortical spreading depression and is thought to be the underlying mechanism of “aura” and may be implicated in the generation of the migraine headache.

Migraine and tension-type headache are now known to be the most common types of primary headache. This former type of headache is unilateral in location and also creates nausea and or photophobia.

The best scientific evidence that exists for treatment is for use of topiramate or Botulinum toxin injections for pharmacological prevention of chronic migraine. Non-pharmacological measures are to identify and avoid the triggers and maintain regular daily activities and sleep patterns, aerobic exercise, biofeedback and relaxation techniques among others. The efficacy of migraine therapy using electrostimulation of peripheral nerves is currently being investigated in studies that are pending. From the above it appears that muscle relaxation and improvement in circulation may assist or ameliorate the condition.

Migraines and the Stimpod NMS460

Many patients report relief after receiving treatment with the Stimpod NMS460 to alleviate their headaches from migraine and other aetiologies. The rationale behind this approach is to target nerve structures that supply muscles and influence blood vessels.

It is therefore suggested that treatment should target: the cervical nerves, C2 and C3 that are accessible between the attachment of the sternocleidomastoid and the trapezius muscles to the occiput. It is recommended to treat the upper reach of the brachial plexus (BP) superior to the clavicle as this has a branch emanating from C4 and by treating the BP, this may impact upon secondary trigger points in the upper and middle trapezius. Treatment can be applied at the facets laterally of C3/4, C2/3 and even at the transverse process of C1/2.

Patients will often indicate which nerve when stimulated follows the path of their specific area of the headache. The Stimpod NMS460 can also be applied to a particular trigger point that aggravates the headache, including the nuchal muscles at the occiput.

It is notable that patients who experience dizziness and nausea due to degeneration in the vestibular region respond well to the Stimpod NMS460 at the C2 and C3 nerves as above and also inferior to the ear on the auricular nerve. This treatment may therefore also assist in the migraine symptomatology.

Treatment Protocol with the Stimpod NMS460

Treat for 5 minutes either unilaterally or bilaterally at C2/3. This is effective if if the headache has created severe cervical muscle spasm and has affected the cervical range of movement and mobility.

Treat for 5 minutes on any area from the above suggestions that appear to influence the migraine headache. The patient should assist with guidance to the specific area.

Treat daily when severe, two or three times weekly. When the headache is under control or the frequency has diminished then treat once weekly.

It is possible that patients will improve and the number of migraines will diminish and patients may achieve a preventative benefit from once monthly treatment.

Patients suffering from severe migraine may best be served by acquiring their own device when regulations permit as a treatment and preventative for this condition.

Tension-type headaches may benefit from a similar treatment regimen and this would then include a bilateral approach.

About the author

Professor Phyllis Berger is Adjunct Professor at the School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences at the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a BSc Physiotherapy degree and is also the Chairperson of the Acupuncture Group South African Society of Physiotherapy.

Professor Berger has been using the Stimpod NMS460’s non-interventional pulsed radio frequency technology for the treatment of neuropathic pain and symptoms emanating from different aetiologies since 2009. Prof Berger has also used the Stimpod for neurogenic conditions caused by degeneration, inflammation or injury to nerve tissue.