Wondering how Botox for headaches works? Read on.
Migraines are the actual worst. Besides the, you know, pain, there’s also sensitivity to light, sound, and smell (try to get work done with that going on) and even nausea. It’s not exactly surprising that chronic migraine sufferers seek stronger treatment than an Advil and a nap. Using Botox for headaches has been an approved treatment since 2010 which has been a real blessing to people with migraines, but shouldn’t come as a surprise because Botox is used for everything from incontinence to scalp sweat.
What is chronic migraine?
Migraines, if you’ve never had one, are a huge, literal pain, that can seriously disrupt your day. Having chronic migraine or headaches means that you have 15 or more headache days per month. And, those headaches need to last more than for hours.
Personally, I get a couple of migraines per year. I literally can not imagine having fifteen in one month! They can wipe you out, make it hard to look at computer screens (which makes most desk jobs difficult) and generally suck the life out of your day.
It’s easy to see why finding the right treatment for chronic migraines can be life changing.
How does Botox treat headaches?
Botox works by preventing your muscles from contracting. This is how it helps in an anti-aging skincare routine. You can’t get wrinkles if your muscles can’t move! Nitin Sekhri, MD, Section Chief of Pain Management at Westchester Medical Center and Co-Founder of Westchester Medical Center’s Headache Specialists, says that pain relief can be done in several different ways. One of the ways for preventing migraines is using Botox for it’s muscle freezing ability. He says “the cause of migraine are muscles entrapping (or squeezing) nerves. The Botox helps relax this squeezing, thus preventing the headache.” Botox can also help to reduce a pain causing neurotransmitter, glutamate.
This amazing discovery for headache sufferers was by chance. “It was actually found incidentally. When it was used for cosmetic purposes, the patients reported improvement in headaches as well,” shares neurologist Dr. Isha Gupta of IGEA Brain & Spine
Who can get Botox for headaches?
Anyone who suffers chronic migraines can be eligible to get Botox as a treatment. Obviously it’s not an option if you are allergic Botox, or if you’re pregnant, or have open sores in the injection area. No matter what, Gupta advises, “Talk to a doctor to confirm that you are a good candidate for Botox and do not have any contraindications.”
Plus, Dr. Gupta says that so long as you meet the chronic migraine requirements, “insurance usually covers the full cost or most of the cost.” All the migraine stopping benefits with the awesome side effect of a never-aging forehead, covered by insurance.
How long does Botox for headaches last?
Getting Botox for migraines or for cosmetic reasons will last you around three months. Gupta says that you will need to keep having the injections for it to work.
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