With more than 30 million American suffering from migraines, doctors have studied this neurological disorder for years. But it was a dermatologist’s accidental discovery that led to years of study and use of Botox to alleviate migraine pain.
While it’s not clear if migraines are a vascular issue or a muscular one, there is plenty of evidence to show that injecting Botox in the areas of migraine pain can provide relief.
Botox contains a toxin that the Federal Drug Administration approved over a decade ago to treat eyelid spasms. Botox works by reducing the contractions of the muscles in and around the injection site. In effect, it immobilizes the muscle it has been injected into. In 2002 the FDA approved Botox for use in patients with wrinkles, abnormal neck movements and excessive sweating. National trials are currently studying Botox use in migraine pain treatment.
The American Migraine Foundation estimates that migraines cost the United States more than $20 billion a year from direct medical expenses and work/productivity lost, so relief is key.
With no real negative side effects, these injections are a great option for those who regularly suffer with migraines.
Pain relief can be significant – up to 3 and-a-half months long – in many patients. The number of injections a person will receive for treatment depends on the severity and location of their migraine pain. Typically, a patient receives 20 or more injections at each treatment. Some patients feel immediate relief, but most feel changes in a day or two.