Head Band for Migraine Headache Relief


  • This was presented at the 34th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Headache, Toronto, Canada, in June 1992.

N. Vijayan, M.D., Headache & Neurology Clinic, 1020 29th Street, #350, Sacramento, CA 95816



Application of an ice pack and local scalp pressure are the most commonly used non-pharmacological methods for temporary relief of migraine headache pain. An elastic band secured around the head with Velcro(r) and firm rubber discs inserted under the band was used to apply local pressure over the area of maximum pain in 25 patients with migraine headache. Three headaches were studied in each patient. Two patients dropped out because of local tenderness which prevented them from using the band. The 23 remaining patients used the band in a total of 69 headaches. Pain relief was monitored for 30 minutes at 10 minute intervals. Sixty headaches (87%) were relieved. Nine headaches (13%) were not improved. Sixty-seven percent of those who improved (40 headaches) had relief of over 80%, twenty-five percent (15 headaches) improved between 50–60% and eight percent (5 headaches) had less than 50% improvement. Pain severity steadily increased when the band was released. Temporary relief of pain from mechanical compression of the scalp supports the possibility that at least part of the pain in migraine headache originates from dilated blood vessels in the scalp.