Treatment of longterm migraine headaches
Botulinum toxin A is useful not just in masking the signs of ageing, but also in the treatment of longterm, or chronic, migraine headaches.
Chronic migraine headaches and Botulinum toxin A:
People suffering from migraine headaches for 15 days or more per month, each attack lasting 4 hours or more are considered to be chronic migraine sufferers, and are the typical subjects for treatment with Botulinum toxin A.
95% of migraine sufferers have trigger points, physical spots on the body, typically around the head, neck and shoulders, excessive tension or other stress in any of which can trigger a migraine attack.
Studies have found that about two-thirds of chronic migraine sufferers have the severity and number of attacks significantly reduced by Botulinum toxin A treatment, with about half of these having their pain almost completely removed. Unfortunately, for the remaining one-third, Botulinum toxin A is not effective.
Although Botulinum A toxin is officially recognised as a treatment for chronic migraine, this does not exclude the possibility that it may be effective in the treatment of other types of debilitating headache attacks.
It is thought to block nerve signal transmission in the nerve endings, and to have a knock-on effect in those central pain processing systems of the brain responsible for triggering migraine headaches.
Patients are given minute multiple injections of Botulinum toxin A into the muscles of the forehead, plus into the side and back of head if necessary, and sometimes also into the neck.
You should notice improvements 7-14 days after treatment.
Treatment totally blocks the nerve endings for about 6 - 12 weeks before new nerve endings grow to replace them.
Your next treatment should be planned before the effects wear off. This usually happens after 9 - 12 months.
Results can be fast, taking effect within a week, or they can take several weeks for the full effects to develop.
Patients will usually need several treatment sessions for the beneficial effects to start to build up, and will probably need to continue over a prolonged period to maintain the improvement.
Although this is not a cure for migraine, many patients have the severity and frequency of headache attacks significantly reduced by this treatment. In some patients, even if treatment is not wholly effective, their need for other pain-killing medicines may well be greatly reduced.
As has been found in at least one major clinical trial, some patients can benefit by having several rounds of treatment.
Chronic Migraine Headache Treatment