Oxygen Therapy For Headaches

Birdbomb

VNS Guru
Moderator
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
0
Points
0
OXYGEN THERAPY FOR HEADACHES

By George H. Sands, M.D.
Beth Israel Medical Center
New York, New York


Oxygen treatment of headaches was first mentioned in literature in 1939. Mr. Charles E. Rhein, Linde Air Products Co., reported to Dr. Alvarez at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN the successful treatment of severe "migraine" attacks by breathing pure oxygen. Subsequently, Dr. Alvarez noted that the treatment with 100 percent oxygen at a flow of six to eight liters a minute would often produce relief. Sometimes patients would not be able to obtain relief with this treatment, whereas at other times they would. In 1940, Dr. Alvarez reported the treatment of over 100 persons suffering from headache attacks. They were treated with oxygen with a nasal type of mask and a flow of six to eight liters a minute. He found that 80 percent of "migrainous" headaches were completely or significantly relieved. Dr. Alvarez also found that patients with other types of headaches were often helped through the use of oxygen inhalation and that the prompt institution of therapy had a better chance of resulting in relief than if it was delayed. This work was much less rigorous than that done recently.


The first significant work done on oxygen inhalation was that of Dr. Kudrow who investigated patients with cluster headaches. Fifty-two out-patients were treated with 100 percent oxygen at a flow of seven liters per minute. 75 percent of these patients had "complete or almost complete cessation of head pain within 15 minutes: for at least seven of 10 attacks." Dr. Kudrow found that there is greater effect of oxygen inhalation in patients with episodic cluster. Patients younger than 50 years of age appeared to have a better response than those above age 50. However, this was not considered statistically significant. Also of interest was that 62 percent of those responding to oxygen had their attacks relieved within seven minutes of starting therapy. Dr. Kudrow did a second trial in a crossover fashion, comparing sublingual ergotamine tartrate and oxygen inhalation in the abortive treatment of cluster headache. Fifty patients selected at random used either 100 percent oxygen or the ergotamine to treat their headaches. After 10 cluster headaches were treated with one modality the patient then used the other treatment for 10 headaches. Eighty-two percent of the subjects found at least seven out of 10 cluster headaches were successfully relieved by the oxygen, while 70 percent treated their headaches successfully with ergotamine. These results were not considered statistically different.

Dr. Fogan studied 19 patients with cluster headache in the most rigorous fashion possible through a double-blind crossover study comparing oxygen versus air inhalation. He found there was a significant difference in the relief obtained in those patients inhaling oxygen versus air. By making this comparison Dr. Fogan was able to be sure that the oxygen was the significant factor in successfully treating the cluster headaches. He eliminated the other associated factors involved with the inhalation of a gas, such as the gas tank and the oxygen mask.

The way in which oxygen inhalation reduces headache pain is unknown. Researchers have shown that there is an increased blood flow in the brain in both cluster and migraine headaches, although both headaches do not have the same degree of increased flow. It has been shown that oxygen causes a marked decrease in cerebral blood flow that is coincident with the reduced degree of pain in cluster headache.

While it is clear that oxygen is a very useful therapy in cluster headaches, its utility in migraine headaches is less well documented. It is unlikely that the literature of the 1930s and 1940s was able to distinguish between migraine and cluster headaches. Thus, any belief ascribed to migraine headaches in that era could have confused patients with cluster headaches with those of migraine headaches. Some investigators have found it useful, however, to use oxygen therapy in patients with migraine headaches. I have found approximately 50 percent of my patients with migraine headaches will be able to achieve some relief with oxygen therapy. They use 100 percent oxygen for eight to nine liters a minute for up to 30 minutes. If no effect has been achieved by that time, it is unlikely that one will occur.

The side effects of oxygen inhalation are rare. Cluster headache patients are very often smokers and if one should happen to light up while an oxygen tank is open, the result can be explosive. Another side effect of oxygen use was found by Dr. Kudrow who noticed that 25 percent of his study patients had rebound cluster headaches after oxygen inhalation therapy. No other side effects have been found and therefore, oxygen therapy is safe. Oxygen could be preferred to ergotamine's use since ergotamine often causes nausea and vomiting as well as a sense of unreality and leg cramps. Ergotamine cannot be used in patients with hypertension, peripheral vascular disease or infections when oxygen obviously can be. It has been suggested that oxygen therapy when used together with ergotamine will give greater relief than the sum of the effect found by using either one alone.

Oxygen therapy is not a well-known modality for headache patients. Many physicians are unaware of the benefits of oxygen therapy, as are third-party payers who hesitate to reimburse for its use. Sometimes this can be overcome by a letter from the treating physician. Since approximately 50 percent of patients respond to oxygen therapy, it is worth trying it before going to the expense and effort of having an oxygen tank installed in one's home.

http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Oxygen_Therapy
 

Stacy

Your Hostess
Messages
188
Reaction score
0
Points
0
This is very interesting. I never thought about it, but i used to be a huge fan of SCUBA diving. Haven't done that in YEARS! What fun though. I never had a headache and didn't have seizures either. I always felt great.
 

Birdbomb

VNS Guru
Moderator
Messages
2,398
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have used my oxygen consentrator for headaches. I just crank up the oxygen level and breath and in no time they are gone.
 

Bernard

Your Host
Administrator
Benefactor
Messages
6,611
Reaction score
72
Points
203
[joking]I just put my kids in time-out.[/joking]
 

RobinN

Super Mom
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
0
Points
161
I never heard of this before. Now where does one need to go to get 100% oxygen?

I have one beginning to take hold, but I think it is because I had that second margarita last night.
I just can not seem to have any alcohol at all (well beer doesn't seem to have the same effect). I took my B-complex and 500mg of magnesium (I need to purchase more ionic magnesium), warm water, and I am waiting for my research to be concluded. I get extremely tight at the back of my neck, and tension is always increased in my upper back. I am not sure how it is related, but I notice it each and every time.
 

Bernard

Your Host
Administrator
Benefactor
Messages
6,611
Reaction score
72
Points
203
You can get an oxygen tank and mask at most any medical supply store I think. I'm not sure if you need a prescription or not though.

RobinN said:
I get extremely tight at the back of my neck, and tension is always increased in my upper back.
See headache relief from 2 tennis balls and a sock

And for completeness on the topic of headache relief, I include a reference to ionized magnesium. :)
 

angel

New
Messages
760
Reaction score
0
Points
0
You can get an oxygen tank and mask at most any medical supply store I think. I'm not sure if you need a prescription or not though.



See headache relief from 2 tennis balls and a sock

And for completeness on the topic of headache relief, I include a reference to ionized magnesium. :)
ill try to pick up some ionized magnesium Ive never heard of it.... also will read about the 2tennis balls my spin from cd has been bothering me a little so who knows I also read that complex partual seizures can cause headaches and numbness .....

the kids in my house have been grounded so its not from that... mom had to put her foot down yesterday... :) I love them they could never give me a headache...lol

" being mean to each other yesterday"
 

RobinN

Super Mom
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
0
Points
161
Now I get it.
HBOT - that is also being used in helping parents reverse Autism which is another neurological disorder. I remember all of the Oxygen Bars that were so popular a few years ago.
http://www.drcranton.com/hbo/conditions_treated.htm
Because oxygen cannot be patented, profits on sales of oxygen are too small to pay for studies that meet FDA requirements.
http://www.drcranton.com/hbo/widelyaccepted.htm
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive and social function in children with chronic brain injury, according to a study presented at a symposium on hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
http://www.drcranton.com/hbo/hbo_proven_to_benefit_cp.htm
 
Last edited:

brain

Account Closed
Inactive
Messages
3,452
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have an old Neurologist who uses
HBOT, and it's very successful to a
degree - it works for people with MILD
Epilepsy, but anything above that, he
will NOT do or perform it; as they seem
to provoke seizures (the more severe
your epilepsy you are, the higher your
risk). He is very experienced and very
knowledgeable in this field.

HBOT is very similar to those oxygen
tanks/tubes that scuba divers have to
use if they experience from surfacing
too quickly; same decompression tank/tube
except that they use the formula of what-
ever the scuba diver was using in their
breathing tanks and the depth.

Everything is carefully monitored from
A to Z. Even those who are healthy can
experience seizures or cardiac problems
in those HBOTS, which remains extremely
low risk; however the benefits is quite
rewarding and much better than what an
chiropractor or an acupuncture can offer.
There are people who have reported and
Medical Doctors who have confirmed that
people's vision had improved, hearing have
improved, back have improved, their nerves
have improved. But it's not for everyone
though.

My ex's co-worker underwent the HBOT
for carpal tunnel's syndrome and was actually
spared surgery; but the flip side of it was it
was very expensive (back then, when they
were new). And when our neighbor next door
who underwent HBOT because of optic nerve
problem after 3 visits, his vision improved
where he could can his glasses altogether and
it would last about 6-8 months before he had
needs to use the HBOT again.

But there's been a lot of changes now on
these HBOTS - so I've not been updated on
them, but I know they work, and I know some
people who have used them and seen the
results of it for a fact that they work.

HBOTS can only go so far, that's the whole
problem ~ they are limited as far as what
they can do and how much they can do.
 

RobinN

Super Mom
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
0
Points
161
HBOTS can only go so far, that's the whole
problem ~ they are limited as far as what
they can do and how much they can do.
Would be nice to find the magic potion. However, I think this is true for most therapy.
Thank you so much for that wonderful background on HBOT. I personally would love to give it a try.
 

Bernard

Your Host
Administrator
Benefactor
Messages
6,611
Reaction score
72
Points
203
A member at yourepilepsy.org.uk tried the oxygen therapy (borrowed a tank from neighbor) after reading this thread and had nice results:

it works, it really works

:clap:
 

BuckeyeFan

Grandpa
Messages
1,907
Reaction score
0
Points
161
:ponder:

If you need a script for oxygen and can't get one, just stop by your local welding supply shop. Exact same thing, just a different use and delivery method. No issues with contamination.

When I was an emt, we got our O2 from the same place that supplied the small weld shops.

:ponder:
 

RobinN

Super Mom
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
0
Points
161
You are everywhere spreading good ideas, Bernard. I am so glad that it helps.
When the EMTs come for Rebecca they almost always give her oxygen. They say it always helps with the post ictal headache, and helps patients come out of the fog quicker.

I still swear by the magnesium. It continues to amaze me.
 
Messages
584
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Hi Robin,

I am not new to seizures..just being diagnosed. So I am still learning everything. I am wondering about the magnesium...my level was o.k. but does it help anyways to prevent the seizures. I obviously will talk to my neuro first, but what are your thoughts??

Thanks!
Michelle :)
 

RobinN

Super Mom
Messages
7,836
Reaction score
0
Points
161
Michelle - I don't know why I didn't see this and your question.

My thoughts are this are YES it can help prevent some seizures. I wouldn't take a neurologist final say, as all the migraine sites are now suggesting this as a therapy. You might do your research first and then ask if s/he would be against you trying it. Our neuro said do it, that is why Rebecca is taking 1000 mg (115 lbs).

From what I have read, many are deficient in this mineral.
 

haird18

Banned
Banned
Messages
222
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I belong to several headache orgs.

I have heard of this oxgen therapy many times but the problem with is me it is hard to pin point exactly where the headaches are coming from! Like I've mentioned before I have severe brain deformities since birth and sevrere abuse . So my headaches could of come from anywhere and caused from mutiple things! Another thing it is causing me so many complications!
David
 

Meetz1064

Fantastico
Moderator
Messages
3,777
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have heard

of this. Actually, I use this oxygen therapy for physical rehab for my back, and while we working out, I had a few occasions where the oxygen reieved an oncoming migraine for me...........
 

alivenwell

Veteran
Messages
1,604
Reaction score
0
Points
156
I've heard about oxygen being blown into the nasal/mouth area especially for those who suffer from apnea. And, in one class, the instructor suggested tacking a single tennis ball onto the back of sleepwear so that the person sleeps on his/her side rather than the back. It opens up the airway. Our esophagus starts to relax during sleep and we can get small brief lapses in breathing because of that.

So, I think oxygen therapy would be very useful for numerous purposes.
 

vapour

New
Messages
329
Reaction score
0
Points
0
been reading this thread since I have a headache currently.

Oxygen was also given to me at the ER on the first occassion...too much ativan.

But I do get migraines.. just not very often, but I wonder how many people would actualyl really consider this a therapy. I dont really like taking meds, but its more comfortabel to shuv a pain killer in my mouth than breathe oxygen for 30 mintes or however long.... though the oxygen does sound much more healthier..and obviously is.
 
Top