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30 March 2009

Treatment of migraine attacks by compression of temporal superficial arteries using a device

Carlo CianchettiABCDEFG, Maria Elisabetta CianchettiBCF, Tiziana PisanoBCF, Yousef HmaidanBCF

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(4): CR185-188 :: ID: 869619

Abstract

Background
We recently reported that prolonged compression of the scalp arteries blocks pain in a large percentage of migraine attacks. We aimed to determine whether the use of a simple device that compresses the temporal superficial arteries can ameliorate migraine pain.
Material and Method
Thirty consecutive patients (21 women, 9 men), who had positive effect with prolonged digital compression, were included in this study. Subjects were instructed to apply a simple device that firmly compresses both temporal arteries at the onset of each migraine attack.
Results
Eight subjects terminated treatment because of localized pain induced by compression of the device. In the remaining 22 subjects, 38.4% of all attacks in the first treatment month and 52.5% in the second month were aborted or attenuated by at least 1 degree of severity. Painkiller use dropped from a mean of 6.9 tablets in the month prior to use of the device to a mean of 4.5 in the first month and 3.8 in the second month of application of the device; the differences were statistically significant for both months (p<.001). Opinions regarding the effect of the device were positive for 15 subjects (slightly for 3, moderately for 8, and markedly for 4) and negative for 3; the remaining 4 subjects were uncertain as to its effect.
Conclusions
A simple device that induces compression of the temporal arteries can abort or reduce pain in a significant number of migraine attacks. This represents a new method for treating migraine attacks and suggests the involvement of extracranial nociceptive afferents in the pathophysiology of migraine.

Keywords: Migraine Disorders - therapy, Equipment and Supplies, Adolescent, Temporal Arteries - physiopathology, young adult

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750