Migraines can be a constant struggle for those who suffer from them. The pounding pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea can make everyday activities almost unbearable. While there are various treatments available, many migraine sufferers are searching for drug-free alternatives to find relief. One proven way to naturally treat migraine pain is by stimulating the vagus nerve.

What Is the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve is the most complex cranial nerve in your body. It’s a long, winding bundle of nerves that runs from your brainstem down through your neck, chest, and into your abdomen, and then branches to the heart, lungs, stomach, and other organs.

The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in many functions within the body, including inflammation and pain regulation, digestion, heart rate, immunity, and stress. Many would consider the vagus nerve as the nervous system’s “superhighway,” sending important communication between your brain and many other parts of the body.

The Connection Between the Vagus Nerve and Migraine

The exact cause of migraine is not yet fully understood, but it’s believed to involve abnormal brain activity and inflammation in the blood vessels around the brain. Since the vagus nerve plays a key role in regulating pain and inflammation, stimulating it will block the pain signals that are causing the migraine attack. As a result, vagus nerve stimulation can provide fast relief and prevent future attacks before they start. The best part is that you can stimulate the vagus nerve non-invasively. In other words, it can be done without surgery, injections, or medications.

The efficacy of this migraine treatment method is backed by a wealth of research. Clinical trials have reinforced that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for migraine prevention is safe and tolerable, especially for patients who have migraine with aura (visual disturbances).1 Research has also shown that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation can effectively and safely treat episodic migraine as early as 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes after an attack.2

gammaCore™ Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation (nVNS)

gammaCore nVNS is a portable, easy-to-use medical device that provides clinically proven, reliable relief from headache pain by gently stimulating the vagus nerve. With 6 FDA-cleared indications for headache, gammaCore can be used to prevent pain before it starts or quickly stop painful attacks when they happen without any pills, injections, or drug-like side effects.

During treatments, gammaCore nVNS is placed on the neck, where the vagus nerve is most easily accessible. It works by sending gentle electrical energy non-invasively through the skin, which stimulates the vagus nerve and begins sending messages to the brain. Since the vagus nerve plays an important role in regulating pain, stimulating it with gammaCore can block the signals that cause migraine pain.

Treatment sessions are quick and easy, consisting of 2 two-minute stimulations on the same side of the neck. For preventive treatments, use gammaCore twice daily (once in the morning and again at night). You can also use gammaCore up to 24 times a day for fast-acting migraine pain relief when you need it.

To see if gammaCore is right for you, visit our clinic finder to locate a health care provider near you, or contact our dedicated Customer Experience team at 888-903-2673 or customerservice@electrocore.com.

1. Najib, U., Smith, T., Hindiyeh, N., et al. (2020). Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for prevention of migraine: The multicenter, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled PREMIUM II trial. Cephalalgia, 42(7), 560-569. https://doi.org/10.1177/03331024211068813
2. Tassorelli, C., Grazzi, L., De Tommaso, M., et al. (2020). Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation as acute therapy for migraine: The randomized PRESTO study. Neurology, 91(4). https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005857