Significant advancement is being made in the development of nerve stimulation and modulator devices for the management of migraine and pain.
There are two devices currently available in Australia: Cefaly and gammaCore. Cefaly can be purchased online by anyone, but gammaCore you need a prescription for.
A third device you may see people talking about is called Nerivio. This device is currently only available in the US and Israel, but we have been in touch with the manufacturers and will update you if there is any progress on bringing it to Australia.
The underlying theory behind the approach is that electrical or magnetic pulses delivered to specific nerves or to areas of the brain can prevent migraine attacks or reduce the severity of symptoms during attacks. These devices are used in addition to, not as a replacement for, drug therapies.
An External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation device (e-TNS), CEFALY sends tiny electrical impulses through a self-adhesive electrode placed on the forehead to stimulate the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the main nerve in your face and is very important in the migraine attack storm. The Cefal can be used acutely, at the time of an attack, to reduce and relieve symptoms. It can also be used for 20 minutes a day to help in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
Cefaly can be ordered from their website and will cost around $400 (full price is $570 but they usually have a sale offer of some kind). You can also check in the Migraine Australia Chat Group - we allow people to sell their Cefaly second hand if it doesn't work for them.
gammaCore is a Vagas Nerve Stimulator (VNS) device that is TGA approved for the management of primary headache conditions such as cluster headache and migraine. The vagas nerve is an important communication highway between the brain and the rest of the body, and has an important part in regulating pain.
Find out more about how it works from this site
gammaCore™ is available by prescription only. Under Australian law, this device is restricted to sale by or on the order of a licenced healthcare provider. You will need to talk to your neurologist about whether this device is right for you.
This flyer outlines how you can get gammaCore in Australia.