A most unexpected and welcome side effect of Botox treatments for the correction of wrinkles has been the relief of migraines. At first it was considered coincidental but the frequency in which migraine sufferers obtained relief lasting as long as the Botox was too profound to ignore, and neurologists began to investigate the role of Botox in the treatment of migraines.
Neurologists concluded that Botox did give some, but not all, migraine patients relief and it is now part of the standard treatment regimen. The theory is that in some cases muscle contraction compresses the nerves that cause the pain in a migraine headache.
A new and even more interesting development is the role of plastic surgery in the treatment of migraines. A plastic surgeon, Dr. Guyuron, began to identify muscles which are trigger points for migraines by injecting Botox. If the headaches are releieved by injecting Botox into a muscle, such as the one that causes the squint line, he reasoned that surgical removal of a portion of the offending muscle would give long term relief. Thus far the success rates with this technique have ranged from 50% to 90%.
Additional research on this innovative approach to the treatment of migraines will be forthcoming, but it already appears clear that Botox and plastic surgery are valuable additions to the treatment options now available to migraine patients.