Botox: More than a Wrinkle Treatment
You’ve probably heard about Botox as an anti-aging treatment. In fact, you may have even undergone a few injections of the formula to erase your own frown lines and crow’s feet. What you may not know is that long before Botox became the go-to wrinkle reducer, the solution was used for a variety of medical purposes. Today, discovery of medical uses with Botox continues, as chronic migraine sufferers are finding new hope of reducing their migraines with Botox injections.
Migraines are a type of headache that can be extremely debilitating for some individuals. In addition to throbbing pain, migraines can be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and even vomiting. A migraine can last anywhere from 4-72 hours and may keep the sufferer from nearly all daily activities during that time.
Chronic migraines are those that occur 15 or more times each month, with each headache lasting at least four hours. The condition can greatly interfere with an individual’s daily life and have a very negative effect on quality of life overall. Many of these sufferers turn to prescription pain medication in an effort to better manage their headaches.
When medications do not work effectively, some patients can now turn to Botox injections as a means of managing the condition. Botox will not “cure” chronic migraines, but it can significantly reduce the number of migraines suffered each month. Two studies, PREEMPT I and PREEMPT II, both published in the March 2010 issue of Cephalalgia, showed Botox treatments reduced the incidence of migraines by up to eight headaches per month.
Some migraines may be caused by tight muscles compressing sensitive nerves leading to the brain, resulting in the severe pain and other symptoms of migraines. By identifying those trigger points, Botox injections can be used to relax those tight muscles and consequently eliminate the pressure on the nerve.
It is important to note that Botox is not a fast fix for migraines. Patients should be initially evaluated and medically managed by a Neurologist before considering the addition of Botox to their treatment regimen. Botox treatments are appropriate when an individual fails to respond to medical management. Botox may also be utilized to identity points of nerve compression that can be appropriately surgically managed.
The first round of treatment may result in some relief from symptoms within about two weeks. However, some patients may require several treatment sessions, spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart, so see results. After the initial treatment sessions, regular treatments every 12 weeks may help to reduce the number of migraines suffered over the long term.
Botox is much more than a wrinkle-reducer today, particularly in light of its apparent benefits for migraine sufferers. If chronic migraines are getting in the way of your daily life, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at (713) 790-4500 to find out if Botox treatments might be the right choice for you.