Migraine health app could help reduce headaches, study says

Migraine health app - Woman with headache

Migraine sufferers may be able to find some relief with new mhealth app.

A small study conducted by NYU researchers, has found that a migraine health app based on relaxation, could help migraine sufferers lower the number of headaches they experience each month.

Users of the app experienced an average of four fewer headache days per month.

According to the report in Nature Digital Medicine, study participants who used the migraine health app twice a week experienced an average of four fewer headaches.

The researchers’ app is called RELAXaHEAD and is based on the technique of progressive muscle relaxation. This technique is a proven method for migraine prevention and the study team analyzed 51 patients in their 30s and 40s who usually had 13 or more headache days, monthly.

The participants were asked to complete a daily headache diary and to engage in progressive muscle relaxation with the mhealth app for 20 minutes every day, for 90 days. Almost one third of the study participants were considered to have a severe migraine disability. This meant that the headaches negatively impacted their lives, causing them to miss notable amounts of family activities, work or school because of them.

On average, participants used the RELAXaHEAD app on 22 days per month for about 11 minutes daily. Approximately half used it once per week, while a third used it twice or more times each week.

Overall, the participants who used the app two times per week had four fewer headache days in the following month, and those who used it once per week had two fewer headache days.

The migraine health app could be beneficial to headache sufferers.

Approximately one in six adults in the United States suffer from migraines, with women being at the most risk.

“Migraine is now the second most disabling condition in terms of disability-adjusted years lost,” said lead author Dr. Mia Minen of NYU Langone Health in New York City, reports Canoe.

Although the migraine health app was initially created as a research tool, Minen’s team is looking into ways to Migraine health app - Woman with headacheexpands access to the app or include it in office visits. Additionally they are studying if the app has the potential to help healthcare providers with migraine patients who want behavioral therapy.

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