Device for Migraine Headaches Hastings NE
North Platte, NE
By Jennifer Arnold
Just thinking about going to the dentist gives some people a headache. But in Scarsdale, New York, headache sufferers are clamoring to get an appointment with dentist Mark Friedman. What they’re lining up for is time with a device that delivers a unique treatment called Intraoral Vasoconstriction (IVC), which seems to provide significant headache relief.
The treatment has made all the difference in the world to Lynn Michel, a 60-something New Yorker who had suffered with severe migraines for four years. She was taking heavy doses of prescription medication—as many as nine pills a day—for her migraines, and still had no relief. But after three or four IVC treatments, her headaches disappeared. “I became a human being again,” she says. Michel goes back for one or two treatments a year, but four years after her first visit, she’s still free of drugs—and migraines.
The theory behind the treatment is that the device eases inflammation on a particular spot on the gums (above the upper molars) that Friedman had noticed in many migraine sufferers. The inflammation presses on a nerve that runs from the jaw to the eye, causing the pain, says Friedman. “The treatment is something like putting an ice bag on a swollen ankle,” he says.
The handheld IVD device is made of two small metal tubes that circulate ice water. For each treatment, patients hold it to their gums just behind their upper molars for 30 to 40 minutes—then follow up at home by applying a topical anti-inflammatory gel. “The chilling jump-starts the process and relieves the pain,” Friedman says. “The gel then works to help prevent it from recurring.”
In one of Friedman’s studies, volunteers reduced the frequency and severity of their headaches by 81 percent after one month of treatment with the gel. In another, the method was more effective than Imitrex, the most common prescription migraine medication. (Plus, it’s free of Imitrex’s potential cardiovascular complications.) And soon it will be available to people who don’t live in Scarsdale; Friedman recently gained FDA approval for his way cool device, and plans to begin distributing it soon. Resources: headachecontrol.com
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