Procedure May Offer Relief for Chronic Migraines

June is Migraine Awareness Month and doctors in Dallas want people to know about a treatment that could help reduce headache pain for the millions of people who suffer from chronic migraines.

Hannah Gruver said her migraines started when she was 13-years-old. Every day for 10 years she had anything from a dull headache to a powerful migraine.

"There were a lot of times that I had to sit in my room with a pillow over my head, because anything I did hurt," Gruver said.

Gruver now uses a treatment called the Omega Migraine Procedure that offers relief for some migraine sufferers by using stimulation to trick the brain into not feeling headache pain.

According to Dr. Darren Schuhmacher, with Migraine Treatement Centers of America, doctors insert a small wire under the skin and on the nerves in the head. This wire that's about the size of fishing line then sends electrical stimulation to those nerves.

Gruver also has a battery pack that is under skin and sits on her back. It acts like a pacemaker to keep the electrical stimulation going.

She said when she turns up the stimulation, she can feel them. "You know they're there, and if I turn my head a certain way it presses more, so I can feel more of them. But normally I just forget they're there."

Schuhmacher said this treatment doesn't work for everyone, but there has been about an 80 to 90 percent success rate for people who go through the trial process and end up having the treatment.

"You really want to try everything else, before you proceed onto something that's more invasive like this," said Schuhmacher.

Schuhmacher said people travel from surrounding states to Dallas just to have this surgery.

According to the Migraine Treatment Centers of America, women are three times more likely to have a migraine than men. They added that insurance usually covers most of the cost of the Omega treatment.


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