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BOTOX - It's Not Just for Your Face

A Case Study:

Susan had debilitating headaches for many years. She was tired of depending on Imitrex (sumatriptan) for control of the severe migraines and it was not working as well as it once did. These headaches were occurring most days or at least three times per week, and they were seriously messing with Susan's life. They were of a severity that she was completely non-functional for the entire day or two that the symptoms were present. When I asked if she had neck pain she said yes. When I asked if it was chronic and mostly on one side she said, "Yes, on the right." When I asked if she thought her neck could be part of her headaches she said yes again. When her right neck and shoulder became really tight and painful she knew she was in for a headache.

Upon examination Susan demonstrated great shortening and contraction of the right scalene and trapezius muscles, as evidenced by misalignment of the upper ribs and shoulder blade on the right. I told her that these shoulder muscles were connected to a part of her neck vertebrae and skull that, when they are out of place, can cause interference with blood drainage from her head and, therefore, cause a headache.

After weeks of my treatment Susan continued to take one step forward and one back. She could tell my therapies helped but that tight muscle area on the right kept coming back. Since this case was much more persistent than the usual cervicogenic headache I decided to recommend a new procedure that was showing very positive results in studies for headache sufferers. I sent Susan to a specialist to have botox injections on the right side in those tight muscles. After the injections these muscles became relaxed for about a year. During this time my adjustments and treatments worked so well that Susan needed very few of them and she had no headaches and soon was released until they began returning many months later. At that time more adjustments and botox provided the desired result for another approximate year. Today Susan still needs the annual Botox injection and occasional Chiropractic therapy and is relatively headache free.

The Clostridium Botulinum bacterium produces a powerful neurotoxin that is capable of stopping muscle contraction for long periods of time. Onabotulinumtoxin A (trade name Botox) received approval from the FDA in 2010 for the treatment of chronic migraines. This approval is more specified for that type of migraine for which the patient "perceives pressure from an outside source." If that sounds to you like cervicogenic headache having an element of neck and muscle pain along with the headache you are on the right track. You can read other articles about cervicogenic headache by going to and selecting the Information page.

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