Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 18 (4), 796-806

Nonmedication, Alternative, and Complementary Treatments for Migraine

Affiliations
Review

Nonmedication, Alternative, and Complementary Treatments for Migraine

Alexander Mauskop. Continuum (Minneap Minn).

Abstract

Purpose of review: The efficacy of some nonpharmacologic therapies appears to approach that of most drugs used for the prevention of migraine and tension-type headaches. These therapies often carry a very low risk of serious side effects and frequently are much less expensive than pharmacologic therapies. Considering this combination of efficacy, minimal side effects, and cost savings, medications should generally not be prescribed alone but rather in combination with nonpharmacologic therapies.

Recent findings: In addition to the established nonpharmacologic therapies, such as biofeedback, relaxation training, butterbur, riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation, recent data provide support for the use of aerobic exercise and acupuncture. Discovery of the high incidence of the C677T mutation of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene, MTHFR, and attendant elevation of homocysteine levels in patients with migraine with aura led to a trial of cyanocobalamin, folate, and pyridoxine in these patients. This trial showed that taking these three supplements resulted in a reduction of homocysteine levels and improvement of migraines.

Summary: Therapies proven (to various degrees) to be effective for migraine include aerobic exercise; biofeedback; other forms of relaxation training; cognitive therapies; acupuncture; and supplementation with magnesium, CoQ10, riboflavin, butterbur, feverfew, and cyanocobalamin with folate and pyridoxine.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 15 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles
Feedback