Botox is a household name, thanks to it’s popularity among men and women who want to look younger. The injection reduces wrinkles on the face by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles in the face. The muscles can’t contract and they’re forced to relax and soften.
The same signal blocking that has helped reduce wrinkles in thousands of people can also help people who suffer from chronic migraines. About 12% of Americans have debilitating headaches more than 14 days a month. These headaches can cause intense pulsing or throbbing pain and last between 4 and 72 hours. Chronic headaches can greatly affect personal and professional lives.
To treat chronic migraines, Botox is injected multiple times around the head and neck every 12 weeks. The FDA approved the use of the drug to prevent chronic migraines based on the results of two studies in North America and Europe. The study reported patients treated with Botox experienced a reduction in the amount of headache days each month. In clinical trials, the drug was proven to reduce headache days after two treatment sessions. The company claims when injected in recommended areas, results can last up to three months (depending on the individual patient.)
Botox is usually considered for migraine treatment if the patient has had poor results with other forms of prevention. This includes both medications and lifestyle changes. Many insurance companies cover Botox treatments only if two separate medications were tried, both for at least two months, and the patient saw no migraine improvement.
When given by a licensed doctor, Botox injections are usually safe, but as with any medication, mild side effects can occur. Pregnant or breast feeding women should not use Botox for migraine treatment.
If you suffer from chronic migraines, the professionals at the Washington Center for Pain Management can help create a customized, comprehensive treatment plan tailored specifically for you. Don’t let migraines put your life on hold, schedule a consultation today.