Treating Migraine with Botox®
The term migraine is derived from the Greek word hemikrania-half skull.
This was changed to hemigrania in Latin and the French translation of this was migraine.
Although most people consider a migraine as a one sided head pain often associated with nausea and vomiting and a sensitivity to light and sound, many experts define it more by the intensity of the pain, frequency of occurrence and time it lasts often 5-72 hours.
Migraine is 3 times more common in women than men and affects 10% of the world’s population. It is now well recognized that ‘Migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability with the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger.’ Professor Peter Goadsby-Professor of neurology Kings College London.
If one or both parents suffer with migraine we have a 75% chance we will suffer as well. Consequently there is no cure for migraine just ways to manage it by looking at diet and work life balance. All the usual well known dietary triggers need to be considered such as chocolate, nuts, red wine and processed food but clearly the biggest trigger is Stress.
How do we deal with stress ? Well that’s easier said than done. We all have different personalities and manage situations in different ways. Many of us have difficult pressurized careers or jobs and just getting through the day can be a challenge.
Many experts believe that pacing ourselves throughout the week is important to prevent excitation in the nerves of the brain which then leads to the migraine. Many sufferers will recognize the typical onset of migraine after a period of hyper-intensity at work on the following day off or on the first day of a holiday.
When we feel stressed we carry tension usually in our head and neck. Botox injected in the frown and forehead area and also at the base of the skull or occiput definitely seems to help reduce the intensity of headaches and in some cases migraines as well. Possibly by relaxing the tension in the muscles in these areas.
Although not recognised for the treatment of anything other than chronic migraine there is definite anecdotal evidence that botox used in the areas stated above will reduce the frequency and intensity of the migraine/headaches and thus is worth trying when all other treatments have either failed to make a difference or produced side effects that are unacceptable.