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Benefits of Neurotherapy with Headache and Migraine Management

Chronic pain, including migraines, can have a widespread impact on overall brain function, but also present with co-morbidities that often develop in association with pain e.g. anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances.

Migraine and chronic pain sufferers may require long-term medication, often with undesirable side-effects. The search for better pain management options has made considerable progress in the last few decades, with patients and clinicians alike turning to neurofeedback therapy as a promising option.

Neurofeedback training has been found to be effective in decreasing the intensity and frequency of headaches and migraines, particularly in children and adolescents. Training with neurofeedback can also provide long-term relief for people suffering from migraines, with this lasting alleviation as the main goal.

Resources on the Benefits of Neurotherapy with Headaches and Migraines

  • Bjork, M. H., Stovner, L.J., Engstrom, M., Stjern, J., Hagen, K. & Sand, T. (2009). Interictal quantitative EEG in migraine: a blinded, controlled study. Journal of Headache and Pain, 10, 1129-1136.

  • Clemens, B., Baniok, J., Piros, P., Bessengei, M., Veto. S, Toth, M. & Kondaker, I. (2008). Three-dimensional localization of abnormal EEG activity in migraine: a low resolution electromagnetic topography (LORETA) study of migraine patients in the pain-free interval. Brain Topography, 21, 36-42.

  • Collura, T. F., & Thatcher, R. W. (2011). Clinical benefit to patients suffering from recurrent migraine headaches and who opted to stop medication and take a neurofeedback treatment series. Clinical EEG and neuroscience: official journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS), 42(2), VIII-IX.

  • Farahani, D. M., Tavallaie, S. A., Ahmadi, K., & Ashtiani, A. F. (2014). Comparison of Neurofeedback and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Efficacy on Treatment of Primary Headaches: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Iranian red crescent medical journal, 16(8), e17799. doi:10.5812/ircmj.17799

  • Frishberg B, Rosenberg J, Matchhar D. Evidence-based guidelines in the primary care setting: neuroimaging studies in patients with acute headache. Available at http://www.aan.org.

  • Guan, M., Ma, L. J., Li, L., Yan, B., Zhao, L., Tong, L., . . . Shi, D. P. (2015). Self-Regulation of Brain Activity in Patients with Postherpetic Neuralgia: A Double-Blind Randomized Study Using Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback. PLOS ONE, 10(4), e0123675. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123675

  • Kropp, P., & Niederberger, U. (2010). Biofeedback for headaches. SCHMERZ, 24(3), 279-288. doi:10.1007/s00482-010-0892-4

  • Kropp, P., Siniatchkin, M., & Gerber, W.-D. (2002). On the Pathophysiology of Migraine—Links for “Empirically Based Treatment” with Neurofeedback. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 27(3), 203-213. doi:10.1023/A:1016251912324

  • Mauskop, A. (2012). Nonmedication, alternative, and complementary treatments for migraine. Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology, 18(4, Headache), 796-806.

  • Nelson, D. V., & Esty, M. L. (2015). Neurotherapy for chronic headache following traumatic brain injury. Military Medical Research, 2(1). doi:10.1186/s40779-015-0049-y

  • Nestoriuc, Y., & Martin, A. (2007). Efficacy of biofeedback for migraine: A meta-analysis. Pain, 128(1–2), 111-127. doi:http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pain.2006.09.007

  • Othmer, S.O. (1994). EEG biofeedback training. Journal of Mind Technology, 2, 43-47.

  • Sanchez, P. A., Cardona, A. M., Massaro, M., & Volcy, M. (2013). Bio-Neurofeedback and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Combined with Pharmacologic Therapies in Patients with Primary Headache. Cephalalgia, 33(S8), 268-268.

  • Siniatchkin, M., Hierundar, A., Kropp, P., Kuhnert, R., Gerber, W.-D., & Stephani, U. (2000). Self-regulation of slow cortical potentials in children with migraine: an exploratory study. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 25(1), 13-32.

  • Stokes, D. A., & Lappin, M. S. (2010). Neurofeedback and biofeedback with 37 migraineurs: A clinical outcome study. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 6(1), 9-9. doi:10.1186/1744-9081-6-9

  • Walker, J. E. (2011). QEEG-Guided Neurofeedback for Recurrent Migraine Headaches. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 42(1), 59-61. doi:10.1177/155005941104200112