Migraine Sufferers Look to Oxygen Therapy for Relief

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Sufferers of migraines headaches might see some relief in their future thanks to two types of oxygen therapy, according to a review of research from several separate studies [1].

Migraine sufferer

Many people are affected by migraine headaches or know people who are. Migraines are considered a neurological syndrome that, alongside the painful headaches, are often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to light.

Cluster headaches are less known. They tend to affect only one side of your head, and are discernible thanks to their piercing quality.

The Cochrane Collaboration, publishers of The Cochrane Library, evaluate medical research, and in this instance compared nine studies focusing on the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and normobaric oxygen therapy.

Normobaric and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Normobaric oxygen therapy consists of inhaling pure oxygen at a normal room pressure through an oxygen mask. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is more commonly known and is when a patient will breathe oxygen in a specially designed chamber that increases the atmospheric pressure around the body.

Three of the studies that focused on hyperbaric treatment of migraines saw a large number of patients experience a significant relief from migraines after 40-45 minutes in a hyperbaric chamber. Two other studies found a much larger percentage of their patients suffering from cluster headaches experience relief after only 15 minutes of normobaric oxygen therapy.

All studies were tested against placebo/sham studies to gauge their realistic potential for medical benefit.

Hyperbaric chamber for migraine relief

“We believe that hyperbaric oxygen is also a reasonable measure for migraine sufferers who have not responded to other measures to treat an acute attack,” said lead reviewer Michael Bennett, of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. “However, the poor availability of hyperbaric chambers makes this an option only in a minority of health facilities.”

In the case of oxygen treatments, access to technology comes hand in hand with knowledge of what to do with that technology. Kirchner’s treatment for the thousands of patients that he has dealt with is avoiding triggers and taking preventive and symptomatic medications.

Migraines and Cluster Headaches

I believe that the root cause of migraines and cluster headaches are either a spinal misalignment in the cervical region or toxic compounds introduced into the body. I also believe two substances seem to aggravate or contribute to the initiation of these headaches. They are aspartame and MSG. I recommend eliminating these substances from your dietary intake and seeing a qualified natural healthcare practitioner or chiropractor for proper diagnosis and therapy.

For people who can afford spending around $12,000-15,000, you can purchase your own portable hyperbaric chamber.

References (1)
  1. Center for the Advancement of Health. Oxygen Therapy Might Ease Pain Of Migraine, Cluster Headaches. 17 Jul7 2008. http://www.cfah.org/hbns/getDocument.cfm?documentID=1740. (last accessed: 2008-07-28).

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