Botox® Offers Migraine and Headache Sufferers Lasting Relief
Those who suffer with migraines and severe headaches will tell you that the pain is disabling. When a migraine strikes, there is often no option but to lie down in a dark room with your eyes shut and wait for it to pass. Sometimes, hospitalization will be required to break migraines. While medications are available to lessen migraine pain and disability, patients often report that either the medications side effects are worse than the migraine itself or that the medications are ineffective.
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network offers migraine sufferers relief by using an unlikely remedy - Botox®. Originally used to help women stave off wrinkles, researchers noticed that migraine sufferers who received Botox® injections for cosmetic purposes also had a reduction in migraine symptoms.
The leading theory as to how Botox® works is that the injections relieve compression on small cranial nerves. Even though the therapy was initially designed for migraine patients, those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussive type headaches also have benefitted from the treatment.
Good Shepherd evaluates candidates for Botox® migraine treatment very carefully. The screening includes a thorough physical examination, health history review, review of failed medications and treatments, and additional non-invasive testing to determine if Botox® treatment is appropriate.
Once admitted to the program, Good Shepherd patients receive Botox® migraine treatment once every three months. A specially trained Good Shepherd physiatrist carefully administers Botox® injections in the patient’s scalp, neck and shoulders. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes in a quiet, relaxed setting. Patients report that it is slightly uncomfortable but much less painful than a migraine. Most agree that three months without a headache is well worth any temporary discomfort.
There is some variability as to how quickly patients begin to see benefits. Some patients experience immediate relief – usually within the first three days – where others need additional treatments before they see any benefit. Most patients report maximum reduction in symptoms by about three weeks after treatment.