Are the Cefaly and sTMS Mini for Migraine the Same?

Health Professional


Are the Cefaly device and the eNeura sTMS device the same, but made by different companies? I’ve been reading about both of them and am interested in trying one. Also, my doctor says they’re just glorified TENS machines. How can I talk him into prescribing one for me? Thank you, Shelley.


Dear Shelley;

No, the Cefaly and the sTMS mini are very different devices. The Cefaly is an external trigeminal nerve stimulator (eTNS). It delivers small electrical pulses to the upper branch of the trigeminal nerve and is used for 20 minutes per session. It’s approved by the FDA for Migraine prevention.

The eNeura sTMS mini, delivers magnetic pulses, one at a time, to the back of the head. It’s approved by the FDA for the acute treatment of Migraine with aura and for preventive treatment of Migraine with aura and Migraine without aura. Rather than stimulating a nerve, sTMS works acutely by interrupting the cortical spreading depression that drives a Migraine attack. Preventively, it keeps cortical spreading depression from starting.

As for “talking your doctor into prescribing one,” did you ask why he or she feels they’re “just glorified TENS machines?” Perhaps he or she doesn’t understand what they are. If this is your family doctor or a general practice neurologist, it may be that they aren’t aware of what these devices are and that they’ve both been shown to be effective in clinical trials. It may be time for you to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. You can find more on this in our article Why, How, and Where to Find a Migraine Specialist.

Thank you for your question,

Dave Watson and Teri Robert

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