Patients with chronic migraines are often refractory to medical treatment. Therefore, they might need other strategies to modulate their pain, according to their level of disability. Neuromodulation can be achieved with several tools: meditation, biofeedback, physical therapy, drugs and electric neurostimulation (ENS). ENS can be applied to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), either invasively (cortical or deep brain) or non-invasively [cranial electrotherapy stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation]. Among chronic primary headaches, cluster headaches are most often treated either through deep brain stimulation or occipital nerve stimulation because there is a high level of disability related to this condition. ENS, employed through several modalities such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, interferential currents and pulsed radiofrequency, has been applied to the peripheral nervous system at several sites. We briefly review the indications for the use of peripheral ENS at the site of the occipital nerves for the treatment of chronic migraine.
Neurol Sci. 2012 May;33 Suppl 1:29-31. Perini F, De Boni A. Headache Center, St. Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy, email@example.com.