I’m confused about something and hope you can help. I’ve been using the Cefaly and have been reading about the Spring device. Do they work the same? Should I try the Spring even if the Cefaly isn’t doing me any good? Thank you, Cheryl.
The Cefaly and the Spring are both external devices. That’s about where their similarities end. They are vastly different.
The Cefaly delivers electrical pulses via an electrode to stimulate the trigeminal nerve. The theory behind the preventive use of the Cefaly is that the neurostimulation sedates the trigeminal nerve, and that the sedative effect helps reduce migraine frequency.
The Spring is used to deliver a magnetic pulse to the back of the head. At this time, it’s FDA approved for the acute treatment of migraine with aura and is in clinical trials for preventive treatment. When used as acute treatment, it interrupts the irregular wave of electrical activity that occurs in the brain during a migraine attack (cortical spreading depression). When used for migraine prevention, it’s used twice a day to prevent the cortical spreading depression from starting.
We can’t advise you as to whether you should try the Spring. Only a doctor who has reviewed your medical history and examined you in person should offer that advice. That said, the Cefaly not working for you doesn’t indicate that the Spring won’t work. The two devices work very differently.
Thank you for your question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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© David Watson and Teri Robert, 2017.
Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialist and the director of the West Virginia University Headache Center. Dr. Watson takes a special interest in migraines, cluster headaches, and tension-type headaches. He strives to stay up-to-date on current research and treatments and regularly attends continuing medical education conferences. “Dr. Dave” is also very active in the migraine community, taking part in and leading advocacy efforts to benefit the entire community. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Runnin’ for Research, a nonprofit organization that helps interested patients and doctors set up races in their areas to raise research funding for headache disorders. He’s also a regular participant in the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy’s “Headache on the Hill” event and is co-secretary of the American Headache and Migraine Association. You can follow Dr. Watson on Twitter.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.