You might think that Botox is merely good for erasing crow’s feet and frown lines. You might not know that Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for chronic migraines. Dr. Nichelle Renk and the rest of our team at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness can help you reduce or eliminate headache pain with Botox, which is an effective treatment for alleviating migraines.
Migraines are severe headaches accompanied by throbbing pain, nausea, light or sound sensitivity, and vomiting. Migraines can last hours or days. And people who suffer from chronic migraines fight the pain more than 8 days each month.
More than 39 million people in the United States experience migraines, and most sufferers report that they can’t function normally when a migraine hits.
What causes migraines is still a mystery, but the following conditions seem to provoke an attack:
- Hormonal changes during menstruation
- Contraceptive pills
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Excitement and shock
- Stress, depression, and anxiety
- Jet lag
- Lack of sleep
- Shoulder and neck tension
- Low blood sugar
- Alcohol and caffeine
Even something as simple and commonplace as weather changes can provoke migraines in some people.
What is Botox?
Botox is a neurotoxin made from the same bacteria that causes botulism. When the toxin is purified and injected in tiny doses, it temporarily paralyzes muscles, reducing muscle contractions for about 3 months.
Botox is best known as a cosmetic procedure that fights wrinkles. But in 2010, the FDA approved Botox as a treatment for chronic migraines. Doctors also use the neurotoxin to treat uncontrolled blinking, neck spasms, excessive underarm sweating, and crossed eyes.
How Botox alleviates migraines
Botox stops migraines before they start when the neurotoxin enters nerve endings and blocks pain signals. Botox injections also can prevent muscle spasms and tension that contribute to migraines and make them worse.
Dr. Renk uses a fine needle to inject tiny amounts of Botox around the shallow muscles in your skin. Each treatment typically entails around 30 injections into your head and neck and takes about 5 minutes.
Even though Botox is a champ at alleviating chronic migraines, it’s not a permanent solution. You should repeat Botox treatments every 12 weeks.
Botox’s effectiveness in alleviating migraines
Botox takes time to work. The American Migraine Foundation says that patients see increasing benefits as the number of treatments increase. Patients report that two treatments cut their number of headache days by about 50% or more.
If you think Botox may help your chronic migraines, call our office at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness in Anchorage, Alaska, and schedule an appointment: 907-313-2976.