Botox or other botulinum derivatives such as Xeomin and Dysport can give hope to millions of people who suffer from debilitating headaches.
Originally used to help treat forehead wrinkles, the discovery that Botox can prevents headaches was somewhat accidental. Patients who used Botox for cosmetic purposes began to report to their surgeons that they noticed fewer headaches. This led to a large study which showed that Botox was effective in decreasing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. The FDA gave approval for treating chronic migraines in Adults in 2010.
It is thought that Botox helps headaches by blocking the transmission of pain signals between nerves which can be a headache trigger. More info.
My headache treatment protocol involves carefully injecting very small amounts of Botox into the muscles of the face, head and neck. This is known as the microdroplet technique, and focuses individually on the common headache areas which are unique to each patient.
I use extremely tiny needles, cooling packs, and a distractor named Buzzy to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Most patients feel very little to no pain.
Botox takes about 4 days to reach its effect, and treatments need to be repeated every 3 months. Depending on your personal condition, Botox may be covered by your insurance.
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Travis Shaw, M.D. is a double board certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive/ENT surgeon