Updated: May 1, 2020
Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world, affecting over 1 billion people worldwide. More severe migraines often leave sufferers with light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and head pain. These symptoms can be debilitating to the point of missing work, school, events with family and friends, and much more. Though typically the primary cause of migraines are unknown, those who suffer on a consistent basis typically turn to medication in order to ease their symptoms. In the study explored below, researchers proposed another route to take for migraines sufferers called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).
Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise that involves tensing a group of muscles as you inhale, and relaxing them as you exhale. PMR has been used in the past for anxiety, stress, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and digestive disturbances. Mental calmness is thought to play a part in the effects of PRM, influencing muscle relaxation to bring a whole body sense of relaxation as well.
The app, RELAXaHEAD, was created in part by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and used in conjunction with traditional migraine medication in this study.
The conclusion of their study found that individuals who used the app for migraine symptoms had four fewer migraine days per month when the app was used twice per week, as opposed to non-users.