PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The stress from COVID-19 has led to a spike in migraine headaches. They plague millions of people and can be difficult to treat.
Thomas Jefferson University’s Headache Center has a new digital platform to help patients manage the pain.
A new app on her phone has been a game-changer for Sarah Ogden, helping her to better manage the migraine headaches that have devastated her life.
“It’s more of a coach, it’s reinforcing what I need to be doing every day and it’s keeping me in line,” she said.
The digital platform comes from the Jefferson Headache Center and the app called Ctrl M Health.
“It assesses you, makes recommendations, points you in the right direction,” said Dr. William Young with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
He says it’s an integrative program that uses health psychology and pain neuroscience and gives strategies to empower migraine patients.
“It looks at critical elements like nutrition, hydration, sleep, neuromuscular health, posture, meditation and biofeedback,” Dr. Young said. “It makes a difference in how you take care of yourself, how you address these things.”
The app includes a personalized plan for physical, emotional and social support, plus guidance on supplements specifically designed for the migraine community.
Ogden says meditation with a green-tinted light on the app has helped her.
“It’s really nice to have this app that kind of helps break into manageable pieces, what I need to do for myself so I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed,” she said.
It’s been a long battle for Ogden, who was active with the Miles for Migraine charity and her team called “Sunglasses At Night.” But now with the pandemic, many activities and resources aren’t available.
“This is something you can use right in your home. It’s accessible to everyone,” she said.
The migraine platform is designed to complement treatments provided by doctors.