A Botox treatment is widely viewed as a cosmetic procedure that people undergo to improve their physical appearance. But not many are aware of its benefits outside vanity, especially to those suffering from migraines.
Anyone who’s ever experienced a migraine attack knows how terrible and debilitating they are. They are so bad that people often turn to extreme and unconventional measures just to experience any form of relief. One unconventional treatment is Botox – yes, the drug commonly used to reduce skin wrinkles. Apart from being a popular cosmetic procedure, Botox Alpharetta can effectively treat and prevent migraine attacks.
About Migraines and How Botox Alpharetta Can Help
Migraines are a type of headache that causes throbbing/pulsating moderate to severe pain. Usually, it only affects one side of the head and is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and light and sound sensitivity.
Migraine Attack Triggers
A migraine attack can be triggered by a number of factors. Even simple environmental factors such as loud noises, strong smells, and bright lights can trigger a migraine attack in no time. Because of this, people who suffer from migraines often have to take extra precautions while going about their daily lives in order to prevent a migraine attack from happening.
Other triggers include the following:
- Hormonal changes (only for women)
- Too much physical activity
- Skipping meals
While migraine triggers can vary from person to person, the result is more or less the same: a pulsating headache. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a number of other symptoms may accompany this pain. The most common of these symptoms are:
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Blurred vision
It is estimated that as many as 50 million Americans suffer from migraines. Most of these people experience up to two migraine attacks per month. Those suffering from chronic migraine attacks, however, can suffer at least 15 migraine attacks a month! 9 out of 10 of those suffering from migraine say that they aren’t able to function normally during attacks. Those working even end up missing work because of these attacks.
In terms of treatment and healthcare, people suffering from migraines spend 70% more than those who don’t.
With so many people affected by migraines both physically and financially, it isn’t surprising that the search for a pain reliever for this headache has led to the discovery of unconventional treatments like Botox Alpharetta.
People reported that they experience some relief from their migraines following their Botox procedures. This led doctors to study Botox as a possible treatment for migraine.
Botox as a Solution
It is estimated that at least a million Americans get Botox injections every year. Many know Botox to be a cosmetic procedure people undergo to reduce the appearance of, if not eliminate wrinkles.
Botox comes from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum and is capable of temporarily paralyzing muscles. To make muscles contract, nerves release acetylcholine, a chemical messenger, where nerve endings meet muscle cells. When Botox is introduced, it prevents the release of this chemical messenger and stops muscle cells from contracting.
So, basically, Botox is a neurotoxin that does, indeed, help smooth wrinkles if injected into facial muscles. But the reason why so many Americans get Botox injections a year is that it is more than just a cosmetic treatment used to make people look younger. Botox can also treat crossed eyes, excessive sweating, and even bladder disorders. It was also found to help those suffering from cerebral palsy. Next to cosmetic purposes, the most common use for Botox is actually to treat migraine headache pains.
A study of adults with chronic migraine was conducted to determine if Botox really did help with migraine pain relief. It was found that getting Botox shots had cut down the total number of days they suffered from migraine or any headache in general. This meant that they enjoyed more pain-free days – known to the migraine community as “crystal clear” days – and fewer days off work each month. This provides great relief as it allows them to function normally and be more productive.
How Botox Works Against Migraine Headaches
In the same way that Botox helps prevent the contracting of muscles, Botox is believed to help relieve migraine headache pain by blocking neurotransmitters from carrying pain signals from one’s brain. It basically acts as a roadblock that stops these chemicals from delivering pain signals to the nerve endings around one’s head and neck.
The Botox Treatment: Administration and Maintenance
Although Botox as a cosmetic treatment is fairly common these days, this doesn’t mean that one can seek treatment from just any cosmetic doctor. It’s not only important to seek the services of a reputable doctor, it’s recommended that one should look for a doctor who’s trained to give these shots and has already actually done these treatments, too. The wrong administration of this drug could lead to even more pain and complications.
The Botox shots are administered on one’s head and neck. The number of shots administered would depend from person to person, but it usually depends on the severity of one’s migraine headache pains. On average, people get 30 – 40 shots all in all. Patients get an equal amount of shots on each side of the head. If the pain they experience during attacks is more dominant on one side, more shots will be given there.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a one-time treatment. One would have to get these shots once every 12 weeks. Results can come as early as the 2nd week following one’s first treatment.
Known Side Effects
As with most medical treatments, Botox isn’t without its side effects. Those who have gotten Botox shots for chronic migraine pain relief have reported neck pain as the most common side effect.
Though not as common as neck pain, allergic reactions have also been reported as a side effect to getting Botox. A person allergic to Botox may experience hives, shortness of breath, and/or swelling of lower legs when given Botox shots.