Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

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Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Tee on Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:11 am

I have heard of cluster headache people using this - but has anyone tried it for migraine?
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Published: Sun, August 7, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Q. You have written about treating migraines without drugs. Although this might sound like pseudoscience, I’ve found oxygen to be a godsend.

A headache specialist who has heard about oxygen therapy can prescribe a tank of oxygen. It’s a bit cumbersome because you have to keep a tank and hoses handy, but at the very first sign of a migraine or cluster headache, take in about 4 liters per minute of oxygen.

The sooner you begin treating at the onset of a headache (during the “halo” stage preferably, before the pain starts), the better this method works.

It does not work for everybody; it seems to work better for cluster headaches than for classic migraines. If it works for you the first time, it will never fail to work thereafter. For me, it’s like a miracle.

A. Oxygen treatment for cluster headaches is not pseudoscience. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Dec. 9, 2009) found that inhaled high-flow oxygen frequently resulted in pain relief within 15 minutes. This treatment was significantly more effective than inhaling plain air with the same equipment.

The value of oxygen therapy for migraine headaches, on the other hand, remains controversial. There is not enough research on this approach to be certain of its effectiveness.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2011/aug/07/oxygen-therapy-for-bad-headaches/

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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Sarah on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:46 am

I haven't, but I'd love to try it. Smile
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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by whitzendJane on Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:34 am

Sorry to tell you it only works for cluster headaches...different part of the brain etc. Absolutely no evidence it works with Migs.
I have a mate with CH and migraine and she said 'it does b*gger all' if she has a migraine.

Sorry to be the kill joy..

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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Sarah on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:31 am

Doesn't surprise me - I think far more people would have been prescribed it by now if it was particularly successful with migraines.
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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Katie on Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:51 am

4 lpm through a none rebreather mask- who is this numpty who is giving advice that could suffocate people?

This is VERY bad advice and fails to comply with UK home oxygen prescriping.

Even for cluster headaches it does not work like a miracle let alone all the time. lets get things into perspective 4 lpm is NOT a high flow for a none rebreather mask. My prescription is for 15 lpm meaning even a large O2 tank lasts only a short period of time. The valves of medical oxygen tanks are a heck of a lot better graduated and the high flow valves are different to the low flow for continous O2 use.

O2 for CH is prescriped following the BASH guidelines and NICE policy because it works for most people most of the time. It does not stop the pain but it can notch it down a tad and given that cluster headache can produce a pain level that makes migraine look nice that is not a bad thing.

Shame no-one who let that letter through verified current research on O2 use in primary headache disorders with Queen's Square and similar neurological hospitals.



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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Tee on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:55 am

Thanks for that Katie - goes to show you that even national papers can get it wrong....

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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Katie on Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:31 pm

Tee- newspapers only exist to sell copy for profit.

Professional journals tend to be a bit better for verifiable provinence as they provide citations that allow you to backtrack and examine research. Sadly most paper use 'miracle cure' to sell their papers as they know how desperate some people with chronic conditions can become.
Its just snake oil 'cure all' in a new format

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Re: Oxygen therapy for bad headaches

Post by Sarah on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:23 pm

Scary stuff!
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