Botox used in the treatment of migraines What is Botox? Botox is a variety of Botulinum toxin, and its scientific name is OnabotulinumtoxinA. The neurotoxic protein found in a bacteria. Botox is destructive to the nerve tissues when applied in large amounts. The substance works by temporarily blocking the muscle’s nerve activity more so, contraction. The weakened muscle can remain numb for 3-4 months.
Most people are familiar with the use of Botox in cosmetic functions. Botox helps relax your facial muscles thus avoid wrinkles. However, Botox has other medical applications not known to many. Use of Botox in medical treatment dates back to the 1970s.
Botox used in the treatment of up to 20 medical conditions for instance:
A chronic migraine Overactive bladder Eye alignment Teeth are grinding Prevention of excessive sweating Cervical dystonic blepharospasm– involuntary muscle twitching among others.
Botox for a Migraine
The discovery of Botox in migraine treatment was accidental like is the case for many other remedies. Patients treated for other conditions using Botox were reported to have experienced relief in migraines. There is, however, no clear understanding on how Botox helps in the reduction of headaches. The release of acetylcholine neurotransmitter controls muscle contraction.
The neurotransmitter transmits signals between neurons. Acetylcholine attaches itself to muscle cells resulting in a decrease. Botox injection hampers the production of acetylcholine thus preventing muscle contraction. Botox reduces abnormal muscle contraction which makes muscles stiff. Botox is believed to relax pain-sensitive muscles and bar pain signals from reaching the brain.
Botox Treatment Procedure
Botox treatment involves a lot of injections. Your head and neck have 31 ideal points for doses to treat migraines. Doctors treating headaches using Botox are strictly guided by a developed protocol when inserting the needles. You should understand the areas on which Botox injections should be administered to have a rough idea about the procedure and also ensure compliance from your doctor during treatment.
Failure to observe the standard operating systems can result in poor results from your surgery. The injection feels like a bee sting and can last for 15 minutes; Injections around the eyebrows and the forehead are more painful compared to those on other parts of your face and neck.
You can experience an immediate headache, flu-like symptoms, nausea, fatigue, and muscle ache during your first Botox treatment. Neck pain and problems are the most common side immediate side effects of the procedure. You require to undergo 2-3 rounds of Botox treatment which lasts up to 9 months before any significant change can manifest.
Results can be Varying
Some patients might obtain relief from migraines within the first treatment while others might experience a change after 2-3 treatment sessions. Patients who fail to experience any improvement after the third treatment may not benefit from further treatment. Botox jointly used with other medicines used to mitigate against headaches with your doctor’s approval since the two do not interact.
Patients who successfully respond to Botox treatment experience a considerable decrease in the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines. Dr. Mark W. Green who is the Director of Headache and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine cautions that you should not expect to be migraine-free after a Botox procedure.
Botox Evidence and Results
The studies on the effectiveness of Botox in curing headaches began in the mid-1990s. Several varieties of troubles were tried to be cured using Botox without much success. The trials indicated that some patients with chronic migraines experienced some relief which prompted further studies. During PREEMPT trials, the efficiency of Botox in eradicating migraines reported significant improvements against the placebo.
Challenges to Botox in Curing Migraines
Some patients in the control sample may have overused the medication which would link their results to use of other drugs. Botox has side effects such as rash, pain, muscle spasm and headaches. According to the UK drug regulatory agency, Botox easies pills’ side effects and is safer in family planning.
Botox is expensive, and its cost is not uniform across countries. Also, health insurance covers part of the price unless being treated for a chronic migraine. Suitability of Botox Treatment used on a variety of cosmetic and medical applications including chronic migraines.
Botox is ideal for people who: Are bound to forget taking their medication nursing severe side effects from current medication; Are experiencing medication overuse headaches among others. Botox treatment works better in relieving migraines in some people compared to others but remains a core player among migraine remedies.
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