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Headache Treatment With Muscle Relaxant Injections

What is the treatment?

When a small amount of muscle relaxant is injected, it interferes with the connection between the nerve and the muscle and stops the muscle contracting.  As the muscle is no longer able to move, it takes away the tension and for many people the headache significantly reduces or disappears. The neuromuscular junction recovers over a few months and the muscle action returns to how it was before the treatment.

What results can I expect?

It often takes a few days after treatment to see results, with the maximal effect taking 1-2weeks. This is not a permanent treatment. Benefit lasts a few months and then needs to be redone.

This treatment does not work for everyone but when it does, patients have said it has changed their lives.

What areas can be treated?

The most commonly treated areas are:

  • Glabella (the area between your eyebrows), a common site for tension headaches
  • Crows feet (in this case more upper crows and temple area)
  • Forehead and even scalp
  • Brow lift (in this case more to prevent a brow drop when the forehead is treated)
  • Back of neck
  • Shoulder area is often a source of headache which then radiates up
  • Masseters which also can help jaw and TMJ pain.

What are the risks?

Most patients have either no side effect at all or a few red dots, which settle quickly. Bruising, swelling and an initial short term headache can occur. Lid lag and brow drop is mostly due to poor injecting technique, so is rare. If the result is uneven, a top up may be needed.

Patients should not have this treatment when pregnant or breastfeeding.