Scientists at the New York University School of Medicine have developed the RELAXaHead app, a smartphone application aimed at migraine sufferers that guides them through a relaxation technique called progressive muscle relaxation, or PMR.
Migraine frequency varies among individuals, ranging from once a year to several times a week. Migraines can cause severe head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The cause of migraines can be genetic and hormonal, or even affected by lifestyle factors such as stress and anxiety.
Fewer headaches over time
Researchers looked at the effectiveness of RELAXaHead on 51 migraine patients. They used the app for 90 days and kept a daily record on how frequent and severe their headaches were; the app kept track of how long patients used PMR.
Results showed that the patients who practiced PMR with the app at least twice a week experienced on average four fewer headache days per months. Senior study author Dr. Mia Minen then suggests that accessible smartphone technologies “can effectively teach patients lifelong skills needed to manage their migraines.”
PMR therapy via RELAXaHead dropped to 51% after six weeks, and 29% after 90 days, so Minen’s team is planning to find ways to encourage more frequent sessions, as well as study ways to introduce the app into their clinical practices. RELAXaHead is not yet available to the public.
Story from AFP.
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