Botox has long been used to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face. As we age, the repetitive contraction of muscles around our eyes and mouth when we smile, frown, or squint can cause significant lines to develop. Millions of people turn to this quick, in-office treatment to have Botox injections done in order to slow the advancement of these signs of aging. It works by blocking the neurotransmitter that allows that muscle contraction. Quite interestingly, it has been proven that Botox can do more than restore youth. It has been shown to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic migraines, an affliction that plagues some 39 million Americans. If you’re one of them, you may have been searching for a way to ease the pain. Botox may be the solution you need.
What is Chronic Migraine?
Migraine is a neurological disease that is much more than a headache. Symptoms include a severe throbbing on one or both sides of the head. People may experience “visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.” These symptoms are most often debilitating and leave the afflicted person unable to do anything. Chronic migraines are extremely disruptive to a person’s quality of life as they can strike approximately 15 times per month.
Treating Chronic Migraine
Many people try very hard to treat chronic migraine without using medicine. It may be difficult to remember to take medication, sensitivities or allergies may occur, some carry undesirable side effects, and there is also a trend toward a holistic and medication-free lifestyle. It has also been reported that common medications used to treat migraines just simply don’t work well enough to be worth it.
In an effort to remain medication free in treating chronic migraines, many doctors recommend lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, clean eating, and maintaining a healthy weight. Hydration is important in keeping migraines at bay as well as eating and sleeping on regular, set schedules. There are also alternative treatments to try like acupuncture, Tai Chi, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and more. If all of these treatments have been unsuccessful or if they just don’t fit into your lifestyle, perhaps it’s time to look into FDA approved Botox injections to treat your chronic migraine.
Botox to Treat Chronic Migraine
In 2010, the FDA approved the use of Botox to treat chronic migraine. This is a wonderful, preventative treatment used by more than 500,000 people since it’s approval. Imagine not having a migraine at all. Ever. Treating it before it even starts - how miraculous! What began as a fluke when patients reported fewer and less severe headaches following a Botox treatment, has led to an incredibly effective and accessible treatment for a truly debilitating condition. In the same way that Botox blocks neurotransmitters involved in muscle contraction, it also enters the nerve endings and blocks the chemicals involved in pain transmission. For patients who completed just two rounds of treatment, the number of days with headaches was cut in half.
What is Treatment Like?
Botox injections are administered in your doctor’s office and it will take about 20-30 minutes. The injections feel like tiny pin pricks and you can ask for a topical numbing cream if you want to avoid that sensation. You will receive 31 injections in 7 key areas of the head and neck. This will be repeated every 12 weeks. The most commonly reported side effect is a sore neck and that should subside within a few hours. It can take up to six months to get the full effect of Botox treatments for chronic migraine, but results start to emerge just 2-3 weeks after the first treatment.
If you think you could be a good candidate for chronic migraine treatment using Botox, give us a call! We want you to be at your absolute best so we will gladly refer you to a specialist who treats migraines with Botox injections.