Botox Treatments for Chronic Headaches
- Posted on: Jun 10 2020
Headaches are common and can come from having allergies or as a result of another underlying health problem. If you find that you are suffering from headaches regularly and find it hard to complete daily tasks because of it, then we recommend that you see a doctor first and then consider your options. One form of treatment that you might want to consider that might not be on your radar for relieving chronic headaches is Botox. In recent years, Botox has become a new form of treatment for chronic headaches that can provide you with the relief you need by means of regular injections. It’s important to know that if you are suffering from headaches regularly, then you should seek medical attention because it is not something you have to go through. Continue reading for more information on Botox treatments for chronic headaches.
What is Botox Treatment?
Botox commonly refers to a type of plastic surgery in the form of injecting botulinum toxin, which is a protein substance that comes from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is responsible for botulism, which is a rare poisoning that can occur from consuming contaminated food and can cause paralysis.
Botox has typically been used to reduce wrinkles, but the injectable drug is now also widely used as a type of medical treatment for eye twitching, repetitive neck spasms, and an overactive bladder. In recent years, Botox has also become an effective treatment for chronic headaches.
What is a Chronic Headache?
Headaches can be incredibly irritating when they happen from time to time, but a chronic headache is when someone suffers a headache regularly for more than 15 days in a month over the course of three months or longer. There are also several different forms of chronic headaches one could suffer from that can last up to four hours, such as chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, new daily persistent headache, and a hemicrania continua. Chronic headaches can be caused by inflammation, infections, low or high intracranial pressure, a brain tumor, or a traumatic brain injury.
Signs You Need Treatment
While headaches are common, there are some instances such as chronic headaches that require you to seek medical attention. Some telltale signs that you should see a doctor is when you are:
- Having more than two headaches a week
- Needing to take pain relievers for your headaches
- Needing more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medicine for headache relief
- Having headache patterns which change or worsen
- Having headaches which are disabling
How Does Botox Help with Headaches?
If a chronic headache gets incredibly severe, then medical treatment with injections might be necessary. Like we mentioned previously, Botox has become more than just a type of plastic surgery to reduce wrinkles and is also useful as a treatment for several medical conditions. When Botox is used as an injection, it can reduce muscle constraints, which is why it has been found to be an effective treatment for chronic headaches.
Who Can Get Botox?
In order to get Botox treatment for a chronic headache, the FDA requires that you are an adult that is 18 years or older. If Botox treatment is used in children or anyone under the age of 18, it is considered an “off-label” treatment, which means it’s not approved and that insurance companies might not cover it.
How Does the Treatment Work?
If you do decide to get Botox treatments for your chronic headache, then you will have to get them injected once every three months by your doctor. Botox treatment sessions will typically last 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, your doctor will inject a few doses of Botox in several different areas in your temples, the bridge of your nose, forehead, back of your head, neck, and upper back. Once you have this completed, you will eventually return in three months to get the injections once again to avoid chronic headaches.
Potential Side Effects
There is some potential risk you need to be aware of when considering Botox surgery. The good news is that any complications are rare and relatively painless, but the first side effect you need to be aware of is that Botox surgery can sting a little when you receive the injection. You may also experience pain, stiffness, and temporary muscle weakness in the area you were injected. There’s also a possibility that you walk away from the Botox treatment with a headache. Nonetheless, all these side effects will normally go away in a day or two.
The Botox toxin can move to areas beyond the injection site and could cause temporary vision changes, issues with swallowing, drooping eyelids, and muscle weaknesses. Again, the risks that can potentially come from Botox treatment are rare and can be prevented if you ensure that the injection is performed by an experienced medical professional.
The Benefits of Botox Treatment
While there are rare side effects to consider, there are still plenty of benefits that come with Botox treatment. The main reason why you should consider Botox treatment is because it can help reduce the symptoms that come with chronic headaches like vomiting and nausea, along with sensitivity to different sounds, smells, and lights. There’s a chance that you might not experience the relief right away, or that you might need some other additional treatments. Nonetheless, Botox injections can be an effective way to avoid dealing with the painful symptoms caused by chronic headaches.
Speak with a Doctor and Your Insurance Company
If you are interested in getting Botox to help treat your chronic headache, you should look into your health insurance, because there’s a good chance they will cover the injections. However, if you either don’t have insurance or your company does not cover the treatment, then the Botox treatment could end up costing thousands of dollars. So, speak with your insurance company and consult with a doctor to not only get a proper diagnosis but to also find out if Botox is the right form of treatment for you.
Botox treatments for chronic headaches can give you the relief you are looking for, but you should also realize that there are other different options for chronic headache treatment too. The best thing you can do is take that next step forward so you no longer suffer from chronic headaches and visit an ENT doctor in Kingwood, TX.
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