Severe headache sufferers will be given a gadget rather than pills to alleviate the pain, the head of NHS England announced on Wednesday.
Cluster headaches, which are often mistaken for migraines, are one of the most debilitating conditions known to medical science, with women often describing the pain as worse than childbirth.
Now sufferers will be offered a hand-held device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve to block the pain signals that cause the headaches.
The gadget, known as gammaCore, can also treat migraines, but is being rolled out initially for cluster headaches.
It is applied to the neck to deliver a small electric current for two minutes at a time.
According to The Migraine Trust, cluster headaches affect between 1 and 2 per cent of the population, meaning up to 110,000 adults in Britain are at risk.
It is one of a raft of new treatments, tests and procedures announced by Sir Simon Stephens at the Reform health conference in London on Wednesday.
SOURCE: Sarah Knapton