Anyone who has suffered from tension or migraine headaches well understands how debilitating these conditions can be. It is therefore understandable that those who suffer from tension and migraine headaches will look for whatever solution will provide them with some relief, which can cause them to turn to medications. Unfortunately, these medications rarely do more than block the pain of tension headaches, failing to address the source. This is where botox injections can come in handy.
While botox is commonly considered a cosmetic treatment that is associated with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, it has actually also been used for the treatment of tension and migraine headaches since the 1990s. Botox injections work in the treatment of tension and migraine headaches for the exact same reason they work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and this makes them incredibly useful for those individuals who suffer from these uncomfortable and sometimes incredibly painful conditions.
Botox and Headaches
Many tension and migraine headaches are the result of muscle spasms, which is exactly what botox addresses. Botox creates a couple of distinctive reactions when it is injected into the body. Not only does it cause a reduction in pain sensations, it also causes slight muscle paralysis. It is this muscle paralysis that smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, and also reduces or eliminates the incidence of tension and migraine headaches. That said, botox does not always work for everyone who suffers from headaches. Those headaches that create pain in the regions between the eyes, behind the ears, on top of the head or around the cheeks may not respond favorably to botox treatments. Even tension headaches may not always respond to botox treatments, but those who do experience relief tend to be those whose headaches specifically stem from chronic muscle tension or contraction, cause vise-like, crushing or squeezing types of pain, and originate in the back of the neck.
When botox injections are administered in order to fight tension headaches, individuals should not expect to experience immediate relief. In many cases, individuals who suffer from severe tension or migraine headaches and take medications in order to cope with these conditions may need to continue taking medications even as they begin to receive botox injections. However, within three to four days of receiving injections the individual should begin to experience some tension headache relief through either a reduction in severity or a reduction in frequency of headaches. Then, about a week to ten days after receiving botox injections, the individual should experience the full benefits.
If you experience headache relief due to botox injections you will want to repeat this treatment every three to four months, or as often as is recommended by your dentist. It is important to understand that expecting a full elimination of tension headaches is unrealistic and very likely impossible, but you should experience enough relief to make continuing treatments very worthwhile.
Receiving Botox Injections
Botox injections are considered milder than receiving even normal shots, with most patients describing the sensation as an uncomfortable stinging, often likened to receiving a bug bite. This is largely due to the fact that the botox injection needles and doses are very small. The treatment procedure is relatively brief, lasting anywhere between ten and thirty minutes–depending on the number of injections administered. The injections for tension and migraine headaches are normally administered to the forehead, the temples, above the eyebrows and in the upper neck at the back of the head. Most individuals are able to continue their normal activities following a botox treatment, though your dentist will recommend that you limit your physical activities for some period of time afterwards, and refrain from rubbing or massaging the injection sites in order to prevent a spread of botox throughout your system.
For more information about whether botox injections can assist you in fighting tension and migraine headaches, contact Dr. Nurminsky today.