DENVER (CBS4) – A new treatment is helping prevent painful migraines — and it’s drug-free.
The patient wears the device that looks like a high-tech headband once a day.
“My head would throb … breathing, it would throb,” said Robert Paradis, who had a migraine nearly every day for the last 18 years.
“Pain would be centralized in one location almost like you’re taking an ice pick and sticking it into the skull,” Paradis said.
He tried a myriad of medications, physical therapy, biofeedback, and even Botox — but nothing was working.
“Your whole life is run by the migraines.”
Then last April he tried Cefaly.
“As soon as I got it I saw immediate results.”
Cefaly is a battery-powered plastic headband. Paradis sticks an electrode on his forehead and then he puts the device on. He wears it for 20 minutes every night.
“Right now I can feel a tingling on my forehead just above my eyebrows.”
Cefaly works by stimulating nerves beneath the forehead that trigger migraine headaches and can actually prevent them.
“We’ve been waiting for Cefaly,” headache specialist Dr. Cori Millen said.
Millen said Cefaly has been used in Europe for years but was only approved by the Food and Drug Administration last March.
“I’ve had patients come in and say, ‘Since I’ve begun using Cefaly, I’ve now begun doing activities that I haven’t done for years,’ “ Millen said.
Count Paradis among them. He’s down to a few mild headaches a week and believes he’s a different person.
“People throw life-changing out a lot, but it really, really was,” he said.
Cefaly may not work for everyone. Those who suffer from migraines should talk to their doctor. It’s prescription only, costs about $350, and is not covered by insurance.