Botox for Migraines May Be the Chronic Headache Solution You Are Looking For
Apparently botox isn't just for looks anymore. Researchers have discovered a few medical uses for botox that are incredibly impactful; namely, botox for migraines.
- Migraines can be debilitating and impact your mental, social, and physical health.
- Using refined Botox treatments calms muscular spasms and blocks pain transmitters from the onsets of migraines.
- The treatment usually lasts about 20 minutes, but full benefits extend 2 to 6 months out.
Dealing with Migraines
Migraines are the absolute worst. The IHS describes a migraine as a: “Recurrent headache disorder manifesting in attacks lasting 4-72 hours. Typical characteristics of the headache are unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate or severe intensity, aggravation by routine physical activity and association with nausea and/or photophobia and phonophobia.”
When you have a migraine, the pain is often so severe that you need to do absolutely nothing. Botox for migraines is only suggested and FDA-approved when a person is experiencing chronic migraines (CM) in other words experiencing migraines more than 15 days in a month. There are also additional criteria for the diagnosis of chronic migraines such as they need to be occurring with the frequency mentioned for the duration of at least 3 months. One study found that two things really correlate with CM, and those things are:
- Having co morbid conditions - patients with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, heart disease, stroke, depression and anxiety are more likely to also have CM
- Medication overuse - More people who report CM report using many medications frequently.
- Socioeconomic status - More people who report CM report low socioeconomic status.
Botox for Migraines
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin generated by the bacteria that causes botulism. Botox is a kind of botulinum toxin. When the botulinum toxin Botox is refined and applied in small doses in targeted places, it suppresses muscular spasms for around 3 months.
When using botox for migraines, botox is injected into the pain fibers that cause headaches. Botox prevents the release of molecules involved in pain transmission in the nerve terminals around the injection site. This stops the brain's pain networks from being activated.
Botox may prevent the onset of migraine headaches, but it takes time to start working after treatment and needs to be maintained. Full benefits are said to be experienced around 6 months or 2 to 3 treatments In addition to using botox for migraines, and looking “young” forever, it can also be used to help with other medical conditions including:
- Cervical dystonia - A condition that affects the neck where your neck muscles contract involuntarily. This painful condition causes your head to twist or turn into an unpleasant position.
- Lazy eye - An imbalance in the muscles that control eye position is the most prevalent cause of lazy eye.
- Bladder dysfunction - An overactive bladder can also induce urine incontinence, which Botox injections can help with.
- Eye twitching - Botox injections may assist to reduce muscular twitching or contracture around the eyes.
- Muscles contractures - Botox may be used to relax contracted, tense muscles in some circumstances. Some diseases interact exclusively with the muscles, cerebral palsy, for example, can cause your limbs to pull in toward your center, botox can help them return to a resting state.
- Hyperhidrosis - Excessive perspiration occurs even when the temperature isn't high and you're not exerting yourself in this scenario.
Since botox for migraines is a fairly new treatment, the studies on it are limited in number, however botox for migraines has been proven to reduce migraines and have little to no side effects. This study showed that 5 treatments, one every three months resulted in reduced headache-day frequency, but also headache-day severity.
What to Expect
Botox is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, because it is FDA approved for chronic migraines. In general, each treatment at the FDA-recommended dosage of 155 units costs between $300 and $600. If you want to try botox for migraines, you should look for a headache specialist or neurologist. You can also ask an insurance company for doctor listings. If you do find a specialist, it is valid to ask their experience level with botox injections for migraines and to ensure that you have a trusted professional.
Expect your first Botox treatment to last approximately 20 minutes. A very small needle, about the size of a pin (similar to acupuncture pins), is used by the doctor. He or she injects 31 little quantities of Botox into the skin's superficial muscles in important locations of the head and neck during each session.
The most common side effect from botox is a sore neck, shortly after injections. Doctors recommend using an ice pack to reduce inflammation.
The major purpose of CM treatment is to lessen the impact of migraine on the lives of sufferers.
As a result, migraine attacks must be kept as few, brief, and least inconvenient as possible.
To prevent migraine episodes, nonpharmacological treatments such as avoiding triggers (caffeine, alcohol, and stress), addressing risk factors (weight loss, stress management, and getting sufficient sleep) can all be effective. However if these are not working botox for migraines might be the treatment you've been searching for.
Written by Kiana St. Onge