A series of panels featuring Nerivio, a set of earbuds to symbolize a meditation app, and fertility and pregnancy safety for use

Migraine Wearable Device - Nerivio

Recently, I shared an article highlighting my experience with Cove, an online migraine concierge service. In addition to having 24x7 access to a migraine specialist, Cove introduced me to some new treatment options for my migraines.

When I first met with my online neurologist, I had answered yes to the question, “Are you currently pregnant or trying to conceive?” In truth, I feel like I’ve spent most of the last five years saying yes to this question - but that’s life with infertility for you (and I’ll share much more on this later). Anyway, as I detailed here, I was introduced to Cove during a season of hormonally triggered migraines, and I knew that whatever treatment option I explored needed to be pregnancy safe. My new migraine specialist explained that currently, none of the preventative migraine medications were approved for pregnancy, and that my best option would be to utilize the Nerivio device.

Before this moment, I’d never heard of Nerivio!

What is Nerivio?

Nerivio is a drug-free, FDA authorized non-invasive migraine relief wearable device. Say what? Nerivio is a neuromodulation device, similar to that of a TENS unit, that you wear on your arm between your shoulder and your elbow.

How does it work?

Nerivio uses Remote Electrical Neuromodulation (REN) a novel technique that stimulates the nerves in your upper arm to modify the pain signals in your brain. More specifically, “the message from the arm is received by a brainstem pain regulation center that can inhibit pain signals by releasing neurotransmitters, resulting in significant pain relief which can end the migraine attack.”1

How do I use the device?

It’s important to note that Nerivio is most successful when implemented during the first 60 minutes of a migraine attack! At the onset of the migraine, it’s best to initiate a Nerivio treatment cycle. To begin, you’ll take the device out of the package, and you’ll place it on your upper arm, between the shoulder and the elbow. There are two electrode pads on the device which will help keep it in place, and there is an adjustable band that comes with the device to make sure it stays stable during treatment.

Once the device is in position, it’s controlled by an app on your smartphone. To initiate treatment, you simply select the start button, and then begin amplifying the intensity of the neuromoduation. It’ll feel like a subtle buzz or gentle vibration against your arm, and you should aim for the treatment level to be strong yet comfortable and not painful. This will allow for the maximum clinical benefit of treatment. The treatment will last for 45 minutes, during which you can either rest or resume your regular activities while wearing the device.

During treatment, the app will offer you a guided meditation to listen to, or you can proceed in the quiet. It will also prompt you with some questions about your current migraine, and will follow up after treatment with some additional questions.

Are there other benefits to the app?

Yes! The app not only allows you to start a treatment, adjust the intensity of said treatment, and track the treatment duration, but it’s also able to track your migraine history (including symptoms and treatment) and provides insights on your history that you can share with your healthcare professionals.

My experience with Nerivio

I was incredibly intrigued upon receiving Nerivio, and have used it for every migraine attack I’ve gotten since. I find that it is definitely more effective the sooner I use it (which sometimes feels challenging to get up out of bed and get the device, and then turn it on and initiate treatment, but I’m always glad once I’ve done it). Most times, I have paired the device with a migraine abortive medication, and I’ve found that my migraine relief comes faster than when I just take the abortive medication. It also usually prevents me from having to take a second dose of medication. Each device is programmed for 12 treatment cycles, and with Cove, my prescription auto-refills every 3 months. During this past season, I didn’t use all 12 treatments, so I delayed my refill by 2 months so I didn’t have multiple devices sitting around. Overall, my feelings on Nervio are that it’s a great aid for migraine support, although in truth it is often a part of my treatment plan and not my entire treatment plan.

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

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