When a killer headache or migraine hits, the average person takes over-the-counter medication like Excedrin or Ibuprofen, and crashes into bed in a dark room. Some people eventually make it to the doctor to get a preventative prescription medication.
But are there any other options for chronic headaches and migraines besides the typical over-the-counter or prescription medication? There are some surprising alternatives to try, especially if a pill isn’t cutting it.
A new pilot study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology is testing a new treatment method for "suicide" or cluster headaches, ScienceDaily reported.
Researchers would use a needle-like tool inserted up the nose to inject Botox into a nerve bundle. A Botox injection could stop a “flow of impulses along the nerves,” according to researchers.
Dr. Houtan Chaboki, a facial plastic surgeon, said in an email that for some patients with “large jaw muscles” he will inject Botox as a method to slim their face. However, some patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and teeth grinding have noticed they have less in the way of pain and headaches after the Botox sessions as well.
“Typically, I need to give a much higher dose into each masseter muscle, as compared to forehead wrinkles, for jaw volume reduction and pain improvement,” Chaboki said.
“Unlike Botox for wrinkles, results for masseter muscle treatment gradually develop over months, but the treatment needs to be repeated less often, usually after several months.”
He said insurance does not pay for these procedures so it can be pricy, and it needs to be done two to three times a year to keep lasting benefits.
There are other treatment methods that have been around longer but people may not know about commonly.
According to MedicineNet, trigger point injections are a pain management treatment. “TPI is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax,” according to the article.