A research team from the Albany Medical Center designed a method that may alleviate pain associated with headaches and migraines by up to 35 percent. Patients who underwent the new procedure also reported using fewer painkillers when pain reoccurred.
According to the preliminary research data, researchers sprayed a lidocaine-based nasal spray inside the nasal cavity of the study participants. Before the trial, patients were requested to assess on a scale ranging from one to 10 (ten representing excruciating pain) what was the pain level of their current migraines or headaches.
Nearly all patients reported on an average eight or more. After the treatment, though, this figure dropped to four and maintained its status over one month following the procedure.
Scientists said that their new medical procedure can relief pain in migraine sufferers by up to 35 percent over one month after the intervention.
Also, the study authors described the technique as “a minimally invasive treatment option,” while Dr. Kenneth Mandato, one of the researchers involved in the study, said that the spray was “safe, convenient and innovative.”
However, the study received no funding from big pharmas, so that may be true.
During the clinical trial, scientists monitored 112 patients diagnosed with migraines or cluster headaches that were both painful and reoccurring. Doctors inserted a catheter into every participant’s nostrils and sprayed with anesthetic a nerve linked to headache pain, called the sphenopalatine ganglion. According to the researchers, the procedure was very smooth and no patient required sedation.
Dr. Mandato explained that the sphenopalatine ganglion is a nerve bundle very similar to a complex highway of nerves that has many nerve signals, while its exits are going in all directions. The researcher also said that the spray short-circuited the neural pathway that caused pain within that bundle.
After the procedure, pain levels dropped from 8 to 4 and maintained their position a full month. After one month the pain levels ticked to five, so researchers currently plan to wait six months to see whether the procedure’s effects could last that long.
However, the new procedure wasn’t beneficial for all patients. Nearly 6 percent (seven people) reported no improvement in their initial pain levels and no alleviation whatsoever. But 88 percent said they needed less pain relief medication after the procedure.
Scientists acknowledged that their cure was only a temporary solution that had to be repeated every few months. Yet, the benefits are significantly better than those of the conventional drugs since the new treatment will not allow the body of a patient to get used to the anesthetic as traditional pain suppressors do.
Image Source: WiseGEEK
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