Headache Treatment: Magnesium and TENS

Apart from aromatherapy, acupuncture, hot and cold packs, biofeedpack, hypnosis, and cold laser treatment, there are two more ways to treat headaches. These are the use of magnesium and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS). 

Although no specific studies have been done to confirm that magnesium is useful in treating headaches, yet in some patients, it has been found to be an effective remedy for headaches. Magnesium is generally used as a preventative measure and is most useful for treating migraines and sometimes cluster headaches as well. Magnesium makes certain vascular changes, which prevent headache, in the first place itself. Some trials also show that it can be used in abortive migraine treatment.

The recommended dose of magnesium is 200-500 mg per day, and an intake of a higher dose may cause toxic reactions in your body. Therefore, you must consult a physician before you start taking magnesium to treat your headache.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS)
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) is a relatively new way to treat headaches. Even though the TENS machine has not been found to be quite credible, yet headache patients report a significant improvement by using this machine.

The TENS machine works on two principles.

The first principle on which a TENS machine works is that it alters the way the pain signals are transmitted to the brain. The spinal cord has the ability to carry only a limited number of pain messages in a given time. What the TENS machine does is that it creates a large number of sensory impulses and the spinal cord is unable to carry such a large number of messages in such a limited time. So, the pain impulses are unable to reach the brain.

  The other principle on which the TENS machine works is to straightaway block the pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. This is the more popular method of usage.

Almost all the TENS unit operate on a small 9-volt battery. Though these devices are most useful in neck and back problems, headaches can also be cured with the help of these units. Since the TENS machines have virtually no side-effects, they can be used by almost anybody, except for a few exceptional cases. These include pregnant ladies, epileptic patients, people using pacemakers and by those whose cause of pain has not been diagnosed yet.

Using the TENS machine requires a particular process to be followed. So, it is important to consult your doctor before you start using this machine.