Are you prone to suffering from migraines? Past the point of being told to massage your temples and are more at the ‘give me all of the migraine painkillers’ end of the spectrum? Well, according to the latest stats from the American Migraine Association, you’re not alone, with over 36 million Americans suffering regularly from migraines and 20 per cent of Australians nation wide. Beyond loss of vision and debilitating pain, it’s also recognised as the third most common and the seventh most disabling medical disorder in the world. And with no cure or solid treatment yet available.
Until now… a new app, called RELAXaHEAD has been developed by leading neuroscience experts at the New York University School Of Medicine that has the potential to significantly reduce migraines. According to researchers, regular migraine sufferers who used RELAXaHEAD app at least twice a week experienced on average, four less migraine attacks per month, according to the official study published in the Nature Digital MedicineTrusted Source this month. As part of the clinical trial, the university researchers, tested the app in a clinical trial that recruited 51 patients that suffered severe migraines, with 13 average per month, asking them to use the app 20 minutes every day over 90 days.
The app, developed in conjunction with Boston-based software firm Irody Inc delivered a therapy known as ‘progressive muscle relaxation’ (PMR) that teaches deep breathing exercise alongside tensing and relaxing muscle groups to reduce stress. During the trial, participants were asked to journal how they felt, how many migraines they experienced and how many minutes they did the exercises on the app each week. The result? Those who stuck to the prescribed time spent on the app experienced an average of four less migraines each month, meanwhile those who were sporadic with their app use still experienced at least two less migraines a month.
Not a bad outcome for something that’s as simple as plugging in headphones and kicking back to relax and unwind. While RELAXaHEAD is yet to be launched on iTunes, with such promising reduction rates, it’s only a matter of time before it hits the mainstream – migraine sufferers, stay tuned!