Excruciating chronic pain, especially from migraines, can have a huge impact on your life. Chronic pain and migraines can keep you from doing the things you enjoy in life including enjoying time with friends and family, working out, or going to the beach. Migraine headaches can vary in intensity and are sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light. Chronic migraine is considered 15 or more headache days each month, with a migraine on at least 8 of those days, each lasting 4 or more hours. Botox has been used to treat a variety of chronic pain issues including chronic migraines. As a matter of fact, in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox for the prevention of chronic migraines in adults. If you have headaches for 14 days of fewer than Botox is not for you.
How Does Botox Work?
To treat your chronic migraine, Botox (Botulinum toxin) will be injected around the head and neck area. A bacteria called Clostridium botulinums makes Botox. The substance is actually considered to be a poison. Botulism is a deadly reaction that the poison can cause, if you eat spoiled food. When you suffer from botulism, the poison blocks signals from your nerves and paralyzes your muscles. However, experts say Botox is safe to treat chronic migraines because you do not ingest the substance, and much smaller amounts are used compared to what you would find in spoiled food. When injected, Botox will block some signals from neurotransmitters which are molecules used by the nervous system to transmit messages to muscles. Experts believe the neurotransmitters are responsible for carrying pain through your brain. In other words, Botox prevents the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission. You will need to get several injections to treat chronic migraines. Make sure to discuss Botox treatments with your trained pain management specialist.