Botox, the infamous poison used by aging celebrities to freeze their smiles into place, is getting a second life -- this time as a migraine treatment.
And I have no idea why.
First, there are much better ways to get a grip on any migraine problem -- and I'll help get you started in a moment.
Second, Botox hasn't been proven to work very well in the first place, and a new study proves it again. In fact, it's so unimpressive that I'll bet many of the people who get Botox for migraines don't notice a difference at all.
In an analysis of 27 trials that compared Botox to placebo treatments and four trials that compared it to other migraine treatments, researchers found that patients who have an average of less than 15 headaches a month see absolutely no benefit from Botox at all.
And for those who experience more than 15 headaches, there's a "benefit" of just two fewer headaches on average each month, according to the study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
If you had 19 migraines one month and 17 the next, would you notice a difference? Of course not -- and getting that tiny "benefit" is no easy task. Botox for migraines involves up to 30 injections in your face every few months.
There's a much easier way to get control of your headaches.
Migraines are often triggered by something. It could be booze, food, or even a food additive. Aspartame, for example, is a common trigger -- and if you can find your own trigger, you can learn to avoid it 100 percent of the time.
In addition, studies have shown that the European herbal extract butterbur can cut migraine frequency in half. That's not perfect, but it's a much better success rate than Botox -- at a fraction of the cost, and with none of the risk.
Combine that with dietary changes, stress reduction techniques, and treating the internal problems such as neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances in the body that trigger migraines, and you have a safe, successful approach.