Botox for Headaches & Migraines

Once known for it’s cosmetic enhancement properties, Botox recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used in preventing chronic migraine headaches in adults. Migraine headaches produce a throbbing, debilitating pain in one part of the head, which is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. To have chronic status, migraine headaches must occur for fifteen of 30 consecutive days and last for four hours or longer.

Chronic migraines can be so severe that the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked it as the 19th most disabling disease in the world. Migraines have also been linked to anxiety and depression. Women are three times as likely to suffer from them as men are, with approximately 3 million Americans being affected by them each year. An estimated 80% of those have never been diagnosed.

To treat migraines, Botox is injected onto the affected site, just as it is when used in cosmetic procedures. In the case of migraines, 31 injections are given in specific areas of the head and neck. Depending on the patient and the severity of the condition, the benefits of the injections last between three and six months. The most common side effects reported from using Botox to treat migraines were neck pain and headache. While the Botox treatment does provide relief for chronic sufferers of migraines, it has shown no benefits in treating other types of headaches that are less severe and less frequent.

People who suffer from migraine headaches are urged to see a doctor. Simply trying to self-medicate with over-the-counter products and sleeping them off has no effect in the long term and can still make life in the short term quite miserable. Migraine suffers’ quality of life is greatly reduced because they spend so much time in pain. This can lead to becoming withdrawn from their family, friends and surroundings – which can amplify the effects of the depression that has already been linked to migraines.

If you suffer from frequent, debilitating headaches, Botox therapy may be the solution you have been looking for. Like any other treatment, it may not be suitable for all patients and only a thorough consultation and diagnosis from a qualified professional can decide if you might be a candidate for the procedure. Due to its FDA-approved status, some insurance companies may begin offering coverage for Botox treatment. To discuss Botox therapy for migraines, find out of you qualify for the procedure or if your insurance company is currently offering coverage for the treatment, contact our office today.

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