What color is pain relief? A pilot study from University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson suggests green — at least when it comes to migraines.
Previously, researchers discovered that green light could lead to pain relief in rats. Now, researchers are exploring the healing hue as a preventive treatment for people who experience migraines.
A migraine is a headache of extreme intensity and can cause symptoms that interfere with daily activities, such as throbbing pain, intense nausea, vomiting and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.
For some, a migraine can last for a couple hours. For others, a few days.
Although pain relief can be found through some medications, people can experience unwanted side effects or minimal effectiveness.
Participants in the study fell into two categories: those who had episodic migraines, or up to 14 headache days per month, and chronic migraines, or 15 or more headache days per month for three or more months.
At first, the participants spent one to two hours every day in a dark room with a white light strip, which served as a control condition. After 10 weeks of the white lighting, participants stopped for two weeks as part of a “washout” period.
Then, for another 10 weeks, participants spent one to two hours daily with a strip that emitted green light, at the same brightness level as the previous white. On average, the green light treatment resulted in a decrease in the number of migraines participants experienced.
Further research is required to explore the light’s effects in a larger participant pool and account for the placebo effect. But the early results could be a green light in the drive for migraine relief.