Botox and Headaches
In October of 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox injection (onabotulinumtoxin A) to treat headaches in the adult patient.  Thermal imaging and various other studies have determined an increase in the activity of musculature of the skull as well as an increase in the vascular flow to certain areas in patients who complain of headaches.  The treatment of headaches has included medications that treat an acute attack, and medications that attempt to prevent an acute headache. There have been treatments developed using behavioral therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, and even the fringes of science have tried to offer homeopathic, reflexology, crystal and magnet therapy as treatment for headaches.
The addition of Botox to our "headache arsenal" heralds in a new age in the treatment of many types of headaches and patients in whom the root cause of their headaches lies in other areas of the head.  Many patients who have conditions concerning jaw problems, TMJ, dental, and tooth grinding often trigger severe bouts of headaches from these.  As mentioned above, studies have shown an increase in the activity of the muscles of the head in patients who suffer headaches.  Botox works by paralyzing the nerve to muscle junction thereby allowing the muscles in the area to relieve the tension that may be causing the head to hurt.
In order to treat patients suffering from chronic headaches, Botox is given approximately every twelve weeks through a series of injections in the head and neck directly at the source of the problem.   This medication is normally used with great success.  For example, you may be suffering with headaches for quite some time.  After enduring the requisite repetitive neuro-imaging and being on the popular and unpopular headache medications, you could ultimately be placed on narcotic medications to cope with the pain.  Your particular headache episode may be unrelenting for up to six months before you finally decide to try something new.  You might then see your physician for a consultation, explain your long bout with pain and trial of medicines, then finally be deemed a candidate for the Botox treatment. 
If, in fact, you are a candidate for this treatment, you would normally be counseled about the benefits and risks of the treatment.  In most cases, the injections are tolerated quite well.  Your doctor or his/her staff would probably call you the next day and usually find that you are relieved of your headache pain and that you also got a good night's sleep for the first time in months.  What is most important is that you will probably no longer require narcotic pain medications for your headache. 
The use of Botox for headaches is sure to increase, as more patient success stories are shared and the results repeated.  The experience and knowledge that comes from training as a Medical Doctor (M.D.) in the fields of pharmacology and human anatomy is paramount in the successful use of this tool, which can be very successful for some types of headaches, generally successful for others, yet remembering that not all types of headaches will respond to this treatment.  Only a trained and knowledgeable Medical Doctor can determine if this treatment is appropriate for you and your specific headache.
John Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center 

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA  30096