Botulinum Toxin A, Adjunctive Therapy for Refractory Headaches Associated With Pericranial Muscle Tension


Address all correspondence to Dr. Anthony H. Wheeler, Pain and Orthopedic Neurology, PA, Charlotte Spine Center, 2001 Randolph Road Charlotte, NC 28207.


Pericranial muscle tension may contribute to the development of facial discomfort, chronic daily headache, and migraine-type headache. Elimination of pericranial muscle tension may reduce associated myalgia and counteract influences that can trigger secondary headaches which fall within the migraine continuum. Four patients with chronic, predominantly tension-type headaches and associated pericranial muscles tension failed prolonged conventional treatment and, therefore, symptomatic areas were treated with botulinum toxin A. This alleviated myalgia and reduced the severity and frequency of migraine-type headaches with a concomitant reduction in subsequent medical and physical therapy interventions. Judicious use of botulinum toxin A into defined areas of pericranial muscle tension may be useful for reducing primary myalgia and secondary headache.