Tension-type headache (TTH) is the most common form of a headache that affects 75% of people who have any headache. Treating TTH can be difficult because of multiple symptoms and the misunderstanding doctors have with this condition. TTH is cared for with basic remedies such as therapy, but new research is showing onabotulinumtoxinA as a growing alternate way of treatment. Studies have shown it cutting down on the TTH’s severity in 90% of cases. Back in 2016, the American Academy of Neurology listed that any there was a lack of evidence to convince doctors that onabotulinumtoxinA would be effective in treating TTH. But in terms of chronic headaches, several doctors slowly started to recommend it to patients and kept track of its progress.
The problem with tension headache is that it is misdiagnosed a lot by primary care specialists, who think that it is TTH but it turns out to be migraines. When it comes to treating TTH, it should involve multiple steps including medication for pain management, muscle tension, anti-depressants, acupuncture, and behavioral therapy. It is the safer way to treat it instead of onabotulinumtoxinA because of some studies which have shown that it is ineffective. In the past, doctors believed, because of its muscle relaxing treatments, onabotulinumtoxinA would also be useful for TTH, a belief that further research showed it to be false.
Despite the concerns, onabotulinumtoxinA for migraines is an accepted practice and approved by the FDA. However, only two-thirds of practitioners find it working for migraines, short of universal acceptance. A 2013 study by the International Headache Society listed TTH as chronic, with a frequency of 15 days every month, matching the criteria for chronic migraines. Critics of onabotulinumtoxinA state that studies that support it is flawed because subjects are not tried for other medications before given it. Before using onabotulinumtoxinA, patients of TTH should try other medications that is not too heavy in dosage that could cut down on the headaches. If all else fails, then go to it because it is the strongest medicine to reduce migraines.
Instead of pills, patients will be given injections on the forehead and neck for two weeks and the medication’s effects will last around three months. This was determined in another study done in 2010, where studies showed the best locations for such injections is on the face, neck, and forehead when it comes to handling migraines in general. One study showed onabotulinumtoxinA as an effective cure for chronic TTH, while other studies showed onabotulinumtoxinA as effective for migraines but not for chronic forms. This split in these results show the conflict with formal definitions in listing what is TTH with multiple doctors, depending on who you speak to, giving their own opinion about treating TTH with the use of onabotulinumtoxinA. Those who may have TTH should talk further with their doctor about treatment options.
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