Chronic Migraines & The Cefaly Device


It looks like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie; however, the gadget is anything but a figment of imagination. It’s called the Cefaly device and since the FDA’s approval of its use for migraine treatment, the super sleek tiara-like apparatus has been taking the migraine community by storm. The makers claim that Cefaly (when worn for the recommended number of sessions) can reduce migraine frequency and lessen the amount of medication migraine sufferers take to manage symptoms. If you suffer from chronic migraines, here’s what you need to know about this unique new treatment tool:

What is the Cefaly device?

Cefaly is a thin, lightweight device, worn across the forehead. The device uses an electrode to exude specific micro-impulses that stimulate the trigeminal nerve endings, which branch out across your head, face and neck. The neurostimulation of these nerve endings create a sedative effect that, when repeated regularly, helps to reduce migraine frequency and the need for medication. 

How do you use the Cefaly device?

Chronic migraine sufferers use the device in 20-minute increments. First, the user places an adhesive electrode on the horizontal line between their eyebrows. Next, they place the Cefaly device around ther head so that the arms rest above the ears (like a pair of glasses) and the bridge section connects to the electrode adhesive on the forehead. Once properly fitted, users simply push the power button, adjust the intensity to their level of comfort and either relax or continue with their daily activity until the 20-minute session is complete.

Does the Cefaly device actually work?

Since 2008, the device has been studied and tested in clinical trials. According to results, 81% of regular users (whom use the device in accordance with medical recommendations) have been content with the outcome. Users claim the device has allowed them to reduce migraine medication usage by an average of 75% and the amount of migraine attacks they experience has decreased by an average of 77%. 

 In one study, published in The Journal of Headache and Pain in 2013, 2,313 chronic migraine sufferers participated in a trial period with the Cefaly device. They were instructed to use the device a certain amount of times and report their level of satisfaction.

  • After approximately 58.2 days, 46.6% of users were not satisfied with the product, however, it was discovered that they had not been using the device according to the recommended time.
  • The remaining 54.4% who did use the device correctly were satisfied and willing to purchase the device.

You may also be interested in this article: How Much Do You Know About Neurostimulation Therapy?

In another study, 67 chronic migraine sufferers participated in a double-blinded, sham-controlled trial, which means every patient thought they were using the Cefaly device but some were using devices that only looked and felt like the Cefaly.

  • Both the sham group and the group using the actual Cefaly device reported a 20% decrease in migraine frequency during the first month.
  • In the second and third months, the device-using group reported a 29.7% reduction in migraine attacks while the sham group only reported a 4.9% reduction.
  • The device-using group also experienced a 36.64% decrease in acute medication treatment for their chronic migraines while the sham group only experienced a .46% reduction in medication usage.

What are the side effects?

The Cefaly device is safe for use in individuals 18 years of age or older who suffer from chronic migraine episodes. No serious side effects have been reported and all side effects that were experienced were mild and reversible, including:

  • Discomfort in wearing the device
  • Fatigue during and/or after using the device
  • Headache after one session
  • Skin irritation on the forehead

How much is the Cefaly device?

According to federal law, the device can only be purchased by a physician or according to a physician’s order. Each Cefaly device costs $295 and the electrode adhesives cost $25 for a three pack. Each adhesive can be used up to 20 times.

If you are like thousands of others, struggling to find relief for your chronic migraine episodes, the Cefaly device might be your long awaited solution. Because of the Cefaly device’s great success in clinical trials, chronic migraine sufferers are lining up for their chance to try this new treatment. The vast majority of users agree that the device is simple to use and effective. Best of all, the side effects are minimal compared to those associated with prescription medications. Talk to your doctor to find out if the Cefaly device is right for you. Only they can prescribe this unique new treatment.

Join the conversation

Image Source: Cefaly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.