Life stresses can often take a toll on your physical and mental health, causing muscle strains in the head and neck and even emotional distress. These factors lead to headaches, which affect over 45 million Americans, or one in six, each year, says Discovery Health. While most headaches can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, some headaches may bring a lifetime of chronic pain.

For Texas teenager, Lulu Alvarado, migraines every hour of everyday for 10 months straight was an ordinary thing. Chronic daily headaches were something she "just got used to," she said to WFAA channel 8, an ABC affiliate station in Dallas. The 17-year-old girl, who is also a conscientious student and a varsity cheerleader, has suffered from migraines since her traumatic fall on ice last year — until a breakthrough treatment for migraine headaches came to her rescue.

The Omega Procedure

Dr. Scott Farley from North Texas performed on Alvarado what could be the next 'quick fix' for chronic migraine pain — the Omega procedure. The surgical procedure can provide long-lasting relief for those who suffer from continuous headaches that debilitate their basic motor skills. According to The Migraine Treatment Centers of America, the procedure is based on neurostimulation — the use of light electrical currents to activate or modulate neurons and ultimately relieve chronic pain.

The Omega procedure is not a first course of treatment for chronic migraine sufferers but instead is used for those who have undergone a series of treatments like IV (Intravenous) relief or neurological evaluations that have not yielded results.

Omega Trial Procedure

A patient who has been approved by a specialist to undergo the Omega procedure must first go through a trial. "A patient is with local anesthetic just to numb the area like a dentist might do in your mouth and then they put the leads across so they can trial this for a short period of time - meaning three, four or five days," said Farley to WFAA. The electrical lead, the small wires that are implanted under the skin, is first inserted near the eyebrow and then comes across the eyebrows to provide neurostimulation to the chronic migraine patient. The wires are connected to a rechargeable battery that is said to last up to 10 years, and are implanted under the skin in either your lower back or upper buttock. The battery delivers electrical impulses to the nerves in your head that are responsible for chronic pain, in order to prevent them from signaling pain to your brain.

During the trial, migraine sufferers are encouraged to do everything possible to trigger a migraine to test the success rate of the neurostimulation — proven to work in four out of five patients, says the Migraine Treatment Centers of America. However, for patients that do not experience success with the trial, the electric leads are implanted under the skin and are undetectable or cannot be seen.

Post-Trial Omega Procedure

If the Omega procedure turns out to be a success, patients can eliminate their daily chronic headaches. The Omega migraine procedure has an 80 to 90 percent success rate and often doesn't require the patients to take migraine medications because the neurostimulation proves to be highly effective. "You know the numbing you feel on your hands and your feet, it's like tingling, that's how it feels in my head," said Alvarado. "It massages my head." The 17-year-old can even control the intensity of the electrical impulses she receives with the device.

To find out if the procedure is right for you, the Migraine Treatment Centers of America offers assistance and counseling to chronic migraine sufferers who are looking to win the battle against this neurological issue.