HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you've had migraine headaches, you know they can be debilitating - and you're not alone. 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. So, a Hawaii doctor is hoping to ease patients' pain - without them having to pop a pill.
Migraines aren't just really bad headaches. Attacks can last between four and 72 hours. Medications are available, but what if you want a natural remedy? It used to be, you just pull out a bag of frozen peas and stick it on your forehead, but a new proto-type targets a different area.
It's a simple ice pack made of neoprene, but instead of placing it on the head, it's designed for the neck. The idea is: to cool where the biggest blood vessels to the brain are nearest the skin. If you chill the forehead, cold has to penetrate the scalp and skull to get to those blood vessels, but our carotid arteries are near the neck.
"90% of your brain's blood supply comes right through those carotid arteries, and they come close to the skin's surface," says neck wrap inventor, Dr. Adam Sprouse-Blum. "So, while counter-intuitive, anatomically, it makes a little bit more sense, potentially, to cool off this location."
Migraines include severe throbbing, generally to one side of the head. They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and touch. Sprouse-Blum says folks have been using cold remedies for over a century to relieve migraines. That's why he's launched a clinical trial to see if his neck theory really works.
"This isn't really new science. It's just applying stuff that going on, but in a new location, and yeah, people haven't really done it, but that's why we're doing it," explains Sprouse-Blum.
Researchers are looking for men and women between ages 18 and 65 to participate. You cannot be on more than three migraine medications during this study - which lasts about two months.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, these types of headaches account for $13 billion annually in lost workplace productivity.
For information on how you can participate in the clinical trial, contact Dr. Adam Sprouse-Blum at email@example.com.