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Cervical disk prolapse, headaches and Botox

Posted Sep 11 2007 12:00am

Prolapse or herniation of the upper cervical disc is known to cause not only neck pain but also so called cervicogenic headaches. Dr. Diener and his German colleagues reported (in journal Cephalalgia) on 50 patients who had prolapse of lower cervical disks and used as controls 50 patients with lumbar disk herniations. They found that 12 out of 50 patients with lower cervical disk herniations developed a headache and in 8 out of 12 headache stopped within a week following surgery. Only two of the patients with lumbar disk herniations developed a headache. Three months after surgery seven of 12 had no headaches and three were improved. It is not very surprising that these patients had headaches - neck muscles overlap all along the neck and form a supporting collar for the cervical spine. Muscle spasm in the lower neck that accompanies a herniated disk will often cause this spasm spread up the neck and cause a headache. Even patients with migraines at times develop a migraine attack from spasm of muscles in the neck or even shoulders. When treating these patients, both with migraines and cervicogenic with Botox injections are usually given not only into the muscles around the head, but also in the neck and shoulders. This makes Botox treatment significantly more effective.

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