Procedure helps migraine sufferers treat recurring pain - WSMV Channel 4

Procedure helps migraine sufferers treat recurring pain

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For people who have battled migraines for years, relief can come from something very small and very cutting-edge.

Michelle Bufford says a pain-free walk to the car is reason enough to celebrate.

"I love to be outside in the sunlight," she said.

At age 20, she had a bad car wreck and broke her car's windshield with her head. From that day on, she suffered severe headaches, including some that lasted weeks.

"It feels like your brain is too big for your skull and there's just so much pressure that it just feels like there needs to be a release," she said.

Bufford tried dozens of meds, chiropractors, dentists and even massage therapy. But when the migraines wouldn't stop, she turned to a treatment called the Omega Migraine Procedure.

"In the past 10 years, we have really started advancing the use of neuromodulation to treat intractable headaches," said Dr. Matt Rupert, with the Migraine Treatment Centers of America.

Rupert said the procedure this is a last resort for treating migraines and involves placing a small device, connected to wires, under the skin.

The wires can send electrical signals to the nerves that cause headache pain. So, when someone feels a headache coming on, they can send that signal to help stop the pain.

"It's kind of like a little mouse, and I put it back here on the battery, which is under my skin, turn it on and all I do is hit this button," Bufford said.

It's been one year since Bufford had the procedure, and she's now looking forward to pain-free family outings.

"We're getting ready to go to the beach, and I'm thinking, 'It's not going to hurt to go on vacation and be outside,'" she said.

Again, this procedure is considered a last resort for patients who've exhausted all other options when it comes to migraines.

The device is FDA approved, but, when it comes to using it to treat face and head pain, it's still considered off-label use.

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