Migraines are a nuisance

25.05.2020

Migraines are a relatively frequent problem among the population; It is estimated that about 12% of adults in western countries suffer from it regularly, being a slightly more frequent disorder among women.

In addition, unfortunately, it is estimated that most people who have developed migraines take around 2 years to receive a diagnosis, which makes the situation more damaging to their quality of life.

Fortunately, as this type of headache has been investigated, some effective therapeutic proposals for managing migraine symptoms have been discovered, and one of them is neurofeedback, a form of intervention for the one we will talk about in this article.

What are migraines?

Migraine is a disorder characterized mainly by the appearance of a headache of moderate or severe intensity, which affects approximately half of the head, and which can last for several hours. Along with this main symptom, others such as nausea and dizziness, sensitivity to light, and a phenomenon known as aura are frequent, characterized by being a disturbance of the senses, especially vision.

On the other hand, migraine manifests its symptoms in episodes that normally appear several weeks apart, and when they produce very sharp pain, they are capable of leaving the person incapacitated for several hours.

However, migraine is a relatively benign disease, since it does not directly cause death, although it is true that it is associated with an increased risk of suffering strokes. In any case, it is a problem harmful enough that many people go to health professionals to treat this pathology, since in addition to causing pain, sometimes it involves spending many hours in bed.

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How is neurofeedback applied to the treatment of migraines?

The causes of migraines are complex, and not fully understood by science, in part because there is so much variation between people. However, it seems that there is a combination of biological and genetic factors, and others that are of environmental origin.

In any case, what is known is that in situations that trigger migraine symptoms there are several phenomena that can be controlled voluntarily by the person who has developed this disorder. The problem is that normally, these people do not know that a certain process that is taking place in their body is part of the causes of their migraine episodes. Neurofeedback is a way to become aware of what those factors are and to learn to control them.

Explained in more detail, neurofeedback is a therapeutic intervention procedure that consists of measuring a person's electrical brain activity (applying sensors over their head, without making any incision in the skin) and giving them that information in real time, so that learn to regulate your nerve activation patterns.

It is a method that is useful to help patients modulate their psychophysiological state according to their well-being goals, and for this reason, it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of various disorders, one of them being migraine.

In the case of migraine, neurofeedback trains the person to correct the amplitude of the neuronal activation frequencies of certain parts of the cortex of the brain, causing the symptoms to lose strength. Through this strategy, which takes place over several sessions, migraines appear much less frequently, and usually through weaker symptoms. It has also been shown that its effects are maintained over time once the neurofeedback session cycle has ended.

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