Headache and smartphone use

Smartphone use in patients with primary headache is connected to more medication use and less pain relief, new research shows.

In a new study (Neurology Clinical Practice) the ivestigators found 96% of patients with headache who used smartphones took pain relievers compared to 81% of their counterparts with headache who did not use smartphones.

Furthermore, smartphone users reported they received less pain relief from analgesics vs those who did not use smartphones - with 84% of smartphone users reporting moderate or complete relief of headache pain vs 94% of non-users.

Smartphone technology is advancing at a rapid rate and excessive engagement with these devices is raising health concerns.

The investigators identified 400 patients aged ≥ 14 years with primary headache, which includes migraine, tension headache, and other headache types.

Participants were divided into two groups - non-smartphone users (NSUs) and smartphone users (SUs).

SUs were further subdivided, with those who scored 0 to 1 on the smartphone addiction questionnaire defined as "low SUs," and those who scored ≥1 defined as "high SUs."

Migraine was the most common headache type in both groups, followed by chronic migraine/chronic tension-type headache.