This is for Louise, who asked me to blog about new treatments for migraine, involving injections, and for any of you who also suffer from migraine headaches. One recently approved treatment uses injections of Botox, the botulinum toxin used to remove facial wrinkles. It’s a poison which paralyzes muscles and has been approved by the FDA for treatment of severe, frequent migraines (more than 15 days a month). Multiple small injections paralyze muscles in the neck and scalp and have been found effective for some people who suffer this kind of headache. It was not found to help people with less frequent migraine and is not without risk of side effects, mainly involving paralysis or weakness of other muscles.
Another type of treatment uses electric stimulation to the occipital nerve in the back of the neck. A small device is implanted under the skin and a battery is also implanted at another location. According to the Mayo Clinic article (see link above), this procedure helps for some people but needs further study and is not without risk of infection or problems with the wires.
So, looks like these therapies may not be for ordinary migraine sufferer. However, take a look at this page of alternative therapies for migraine. It reports on a variety of treatments and/or preventive methods from acupuncture and chiropractic to herbs and minerals, to cold therapy, and more.
Happy New Year! Here’s wishing you a headache-free 2011.