HOUSTON - People from all over the country are coming to Houston to try a neurostimulation procedure in an effort to get relief from migraine pain that can be intense, crippling and relentless.
"I went to a neurologist. I was hospitalized. They put me on preventative medicines. We tried acupuncture and even Botox. I tried biofeedback and nothing was working," said Jenny Bruner, who dealt with debilitating daily migraine headaches for close to seven years.
"I didn't see any hope. It was so frustrating just living in constant pain," added the school teacher who says she met with more than a dozen doctors and tried 62 different medications trying to get her life back.
"Staying in bed constantly in the dark- it is unbearable because you are not able to eat because you are nauseated all the time," said Bruner.
Bruner is one of millions of people who suffer from chronic migraines.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 12 percent of the population is affected and three times more women have migraines than men.
The 32-year-old traveled from Houston to Wichita Falls to try and find relief in something a friend found online. A neurostimulation treatment branded as Transforma.
"They are somewhat skeptical that a procedure like this would work for them and we understand that because they have literally been through everything," said Dr. Jack Chapman, an intervention pain specialist with Advance Migraine Relief.
In the procedure, doctors implant tiny leads beneath the skin. They connect to a small battery pack implanted in the lower back.
The battery pack sends small electrical pulses to two areas of the head and the patient can adjust the strength of the pulses based on the level of pain.
"We are turning on a small electrical signal to the nerve to basically to shut off or change that nerves transmission of the pain that people interpret as a headache," explained Dr. Chapman.
"It feels kind of like you are getting a massage and some people describe it as champagne bubbles," described Bruner, as she showed how you cannot see the leads or the battery pack through her skin.
Bruner says the treatment changed her life.
She felt better in a month, experienced fewer headaches and was actually able to start dating again.
Now she's married!
"So I was just so very thankful that this worked," said the newlywed.
Neurostimulation has been around for many years but it's still considered experimental by many insurance companies because it has not yet been approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraines.
This type of therapy is usually for patients like Jenny who have failed all traditional treatments.
For more information on the treatment:
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