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Migraine Pet Peeve: The Word Cure

Migraine Pet Peeve: The Word Cure

Everyone wants there to be a cure for migraine. Unfortunately, some people who are not educated about migraine disease or who are pedaling products to desperate migraineurs will try to lead you to believe there is one. There isn’t.

Managing migraine

Don’t get me wrong: We can do so very much to manage our migraine disease. We have access to a great category of medications called triptans and medications for nausea, sleep and pain. We can manage how we relate to our migraine disease using alternative and complementary therapies, such as cold therapy, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy, psychotherapy and so many other options.

Being aware of false statements

My issue is when people build an entire business around the idea of targeting people who are suffering and so desperate they will do or try almost anything if there is even a remote chance it will help alleviate their migraines. I know I’ve been there, and I’m certain many of you reading this have been, too. It’s not just people manufacturing supplements who are pedaling this lie. There is even a book available on called The Migraine Cure.

As a migraineur myself and an advocate for other migraineurs, I feel protective of you guys. People trying to prey on my community fires up the mama bear in me and makes me incredibly angry.

So what’s the takeaway here? Be discerning in what you choose to believe, buy and try as treatments for migraine disease. Here are my recommendations:

  • Steer clear of anything or anyone using the term cure with respect to migraine. It’s a huge red flag.
  • Perhaps even more importantly, if a doctor or other health care provider ever suggests he/she can cure your migraines with a treatment or surgery, run, don’t walk, out of that office and don’t go back. Headache disorders specialists, heck, even well trained doctors, know there is no cure for migraine (yet) and would never suggest there is one.
  • Never buy a product, such as a supplement, that says it can cure your migraines. They are preying on your desperation to make money, plain and simple. If they were interested in actually helping migraine patients they would be more educated about the disease than to suggest there is a cure.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Anna Eidt
    5 years ago

    Thank you for this. In trying to responsibly research every possible pain management strategies, I’ve gotten lost down the rabbit hole of self-appointed migraine experts more than once and have come out feeling resentful of empty promises and lost time.

    I don’t doubt there are lots of people out there who have unconventional but valuable strategies to offer, but claiming to have *the* answer or a “cure” is arrogant and irresponsible when dealing with such a complex and diverse condition.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    I’m rather fond of my idea of a magic wand for making Migraines go away. What do you think?

  • body
    7 years ago

    Nice article. Don’t we all wish there was a magic pill or other cure, especially in the throes of an acute attack when we are so very vulnerable. I like your comments about management. Thank goodness there are some things we can do to lessen the frequency and severity of our attacks.

  • bearpeterson
    7 years ago

    Nicely written Diana,
    You said the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time now, although you did use far fewer expletives than I normally use when talking about snake oil salesmen.

  • KellyG-SincerelySickStyle
    7 years ago

    I’m the same way. If I click on a website and see the word “cure”, I immediately close out. I always tell people new to the disease anyone promising a cure is selling snake oil. It’s awful the way people will prey on the desperation of those living with chronic illness.

  • vickigewe
    7 years ago

    Just two weeks ago, while being chewed out by an ignorant, offensive excuse for a doctor, he told me that it was not likely that I truly have had a constant migraine for nearly 15 years because if so, I’d have gone to a neurologist and gotten cured! He didn’t come back properly apologetic after talking to my headache specialist, one of only a dozen or so neurologists I’ve seen, when she told him I’m the 2nd most complex patient she has ever seen (I really feel sorry for the 1st!), so I’ve written a letter of complaint to the hospital that I will send as soon as I get feedback from my headache doctor. The doctor even refused me fluids during a major heat wave while I had the flu, telling me to get out of the hospital!

  • Diana-Lee author
    7 years ago

    Oh, dear. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. We shouldn’t need to apologize for being difficult to treat. We didn’t ask for this! Good for you for writing a letter to let the hospital know how he treated you. Unacceptable.

  • Dr. Dan Sallee
    7 years ago

    Excellent article! I couldn’t agree more. While I have dedicated my career and have solely focused my practice on treating migraine headaches I too am an advocate for fellow sufferers not a predator. Being honest with patients and empowering them with knowledge is the best approach.

  • lori
    7 years ago

    This is such a great post and a reminder to be educated and mindful of what people/ads say and do to make us think they know more about our disease than we do ourselves.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    I have things I say in our house… A lot. My family calls them Ellenisms. Here is your Ellenism for the day…

    “Curing is for hams.
    Treatments are for patients.”

  • alig0118
    7 years ago

    I completely agree. There is an advertisement on Facebook for a cold wrap headband for headache and migraine suffers that was created by a NASA scientist and leading neurologist that is supposed to be ‘the best.’ I’ve heard that some item is ‘the best’ so many times that it immediately puts my on the defensive. I do admit found the website for the product and did some research after I read this article.
    Thank you for writing about false ‘cures’ and products. Educating yourself on every thing migraine is daunting and your advice is very valuable.

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