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How hyperbaric oxygen therapy for migraines can provide you relief

Other Medical Conditions and HBOT | Published: August 17th 2022, 02:26PM

Learn how the healing powers of oxygen function as treatment for migraine headaches


With around 12% of Americans battling migraines, that leaves many people suffering from a frustrating and debilitating experience that often makes day-to-day activities unbearable. [1] 

Continue reading to learn more about migraines and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can provide you with the relief you deserve.


What are migraines?

Many people have the misconception that migraines are simply a headache, but they are often much more severe.

Migraines are an extreme type of headache that cause a throbbing or pulsing sensation on one side of the head. They can last hours or even days, and the pain can become so severe that it impedes your ability to complete day-to-day activities. 


What causes migraines?

The exact cause of migraines aren’t fully understood, but there are a number of migraine triggers and risk factors, including: 

  • Genetics. Around 80% of people who suffer from migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease. [2]
  • Age. While migraines can appear at any age, the first one often appears during adolescence and typically peak during your 30s. 
  • Hormonal changes in women. Women are three times as likely to suffer from migraines than men. For women who do have migraines, they may begin before or shortly after the beginning of menstruation because the fluctuation in estrogen that triggers your menstrual period can also trigger migraines. Hormonal changes can also be brought on by birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Stress levels. Increased stress levels from work or home can trigger migraines. 
  • Drinks. Alcoholic drinks, especially wine, and too much caffeine can also trigger migraines. 
  • Sensory stimuli. Bright or flashing lights, loud sounds, and strong smells are also often the cause of a migraine. [1]


What are the symptoms of migraines?

The primary symptom of a migraine is a headache. There are four stages of symptoms that people with migraines typically go through: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.

The prodrome stage occurs one to two days before the onset of your migraine. People typically notice subtle changes that warn them of an upcoming migraine such as:

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes, from euphoria to depression
  • Food cravings
  • Neck stiffness

aura stage may occur before or during a migraine. The symptoms during this stage are usually visual, and each symptom begins gradually, building up over several minutes and can last up to 60 minutes.

The attack stage is during the migraine, which can last anywhere from four to 72 hours if untreated. Symptoms include:

  • Pain usually on one side of your head, but often on both sides
  • Pain that throbs or pulses
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smell and touch
  • Nausea and vomiting

The final stage, or the
post-drome stage, occurs after the migraine passes, and causes you to feel drained, confused, or washed out and to experience pain during sudden head movements. [1]


What are the most common types of migraine treatment? 

Although they can’t be cured, migraines are a chronic condition that can be managed through proper diagnosis and treatment.

There are two main treatments for migraines involving medication: 

  • Abortive medication is taken when you notice the first sign of a migraine when the pain is mild. This type of medication helps stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. 
  • Preventative medication is prescribed when headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month, and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. It is used to reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. [2]

While many people suffering from migraines manage the pain themselves using over-the-counter medication, it’s important to note that taking painkillers too often can trigger medication-overuse headaches. [1]


How can hyperbaric oxygen therapy help with migraines?

If you’re interested in an alternative to or additional solution from medication, research studies have been conducted over the years to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in minimizing or eliminating symptoms for patients suffering from migraines.

In one study, nine out of ten patients felt relief when they received hyperbaric oxygen therapy during a migraine, causing the researchers to conclude that HBOT may be useful as an abortive treatment for migraines. [3]

In another study, a 23 year old female with an 11 year history of migraines received hyperbaric oxygen therapy five days a week for one hour each day for a total of 40 sessions. At the end of her 40-day treatment period, she reported only experiencing one single episode of a mild migraine during the entire course of treatment. [4]


Want to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for migraines?

Please visit our research library to view studies on the topic under ‘Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Chronic Pain/Migraine Headache.’


Ready to get the help you deserve?

At our medical centers in Orlando and New Smyrna Beach, our Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center team is ready to support you in finding relief from migraine headaches. 

“I treated my first migraine patient 16 years ago when I was new in the hyperbaric field,” shares Erika Jordan, hyperbaric director and founder of Hyperbaric Healing Treatment Center. “I could tell she was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, so besides my necessary questions, I kept small talk short, and proceeded with her treatment. 

She laid in the chamber for about 45 minutes with her eyes closed and was completely still. All of a sudden her eyes opened and she seemed much more comfortable. After about 90 minutes in the chamber, she emerged and came out like she was almost a different person. She then explained she had a history of major migraines, medication made her feel worse, and when her migraines got really bad, she would undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy and instantly have relief for months post treatment. 

It was really exciting for me to see the immediate relief and benefits from just one treatment in the chamber for a migraine patient. After that firsthand experience I made sure to mention these benefits to others suffering from migraines and many have had relief as well.”

Equipped with entertainment streaming capabilities, our monoplace hyperbaric chambers will provide you with a safe, secure, and comfortable healing environment for your hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments. 


We hope to see you soon at HHTC!

Our team of hyperbaric specialists are ready to answer any questions you may have before your treatments! We welcome you to contact us today.



1: Mayo Clinic | Migraine 

2: Cleveland Clinic | Migraine Headaches 

3: National Library of Medicine | A preliminary report on hyperbaric oxygen in the relief of migraine headache

4: Medical Gas Research | Revisiting the expanded use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treatment of resistant migraines

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