Well-Established and Empirically Supported Behavioral Treatments for Migraine

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2015 Jul;19(7):34. doi: 10.1007/s11916-015-0500-5.


This paper provides an overview of the well-established and empirically supported behavioral interventions for the treatment of migraine. The considerable evidence base addressing behavioral interventions amassed since 1969 has conclusively established the efficacy of therapies featuring combinations of relaxation, biofeedback, and stress management training, and demonstrated they are capable of yielding benefits on par with pharmacological therapies for migraine. Behavioral interventions also are well suited for delivery across a variety of different contexts (e.g., group vs. individual, standard clinic vs. limited therapist contact, face-to-face vs. technology-assisted). Despite the amply established efficacy and effectiveness of these self-management interventions for the treatment of migraine, the availability and implementation of these approaches remain limited for many headache sufferers. We anticipate the technological advances in delivery platforms will provide better access to behavioral self-management strategies for migraine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / physiology*
  • Headache / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods
  • Tension-Type Headache / therapy*