Botulinum toxin for the purpose of smoothing out facial lines and wrinkles is well known, thanks to magazine and newspaper articles, social media, and TV talk shows. What people probably don’t know is that Botox was approved for many medical uses long before being approved for cosmetic use. Botulinum toxin is a protein derived from bacteria and has been used therapeutically for several decades.
There are many different strains of Botulinum toxin, but type A is the bacteria that has the ability to block over-active nerve impulses that cause excessive muscle activity or glandular activity. When the proper amount of Botulinum toxin is injected, it can reduce the frequency of urination due to an overactive bladder, reduce severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis), treat abnormal spasms of the eyelid (blepharospasms), and other eye muscle disorders as well as upper limb spasticity.
Chronic is defined as causing headaches in the sufferer more than 14 days a month and 4 hours or longer each day. Migraine headaches are not considered normal headaches because of the extreme throbbing, pulsing pain. Sometimes migraines are called “sick headaches” because they not only affect the head, but cause the person to be nauseous, with extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Because of this, migraine headaches are debilitating for the sufferer and affect family life, careers, and the person’s general psyche.
So how do the injections reduce migraines? Botox injections into the muscles reduce the muscles’ activity and the overactive contractions, which greatly contribute to the onset of the headaches. The relaxed muscles dull future headache symptoms. 31 injections into 7 specific areas of the head and neck are administered approximately 12 weeks apart. Regulated doses in the side and back of the head, the forehead, brows, and eye areas are effective. Although Botox only offers temporary relief for the participant, it has significantly reduced headaches for a period of 3 to 6 months. Following this, the patient would need to return for another set of injections.