Botox is a household name at this point. Most people know it for its cosmetic purposes. What’s better than eliminating wrinkles and making you look younger at the same time?
In fact, every year more than 5 million people receive Botox injections. Not everyone knows about the large number of practical uses that Botox can offer.
One thing Botox can do especially well is treat chronic migraines. To understand how the treatment can help and why it is FDA approved, let’s talk about how Botox works!
How Botox Works
Botox is a very interesting treatment. The name is an abbreviated version of the primary ingredient of the injection. The name is botulinum toxin.
That’s right, Botox comes from a neurotoxin. This is the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Under different circumstances, this neurotoxin can be very dangerous. In fact, it is one of the deadliest known substances on earth!
So how can it be a medical treatment? The answer is that the amounts of Botox used are very low and diluted. The entire process is completely controlled by trained medical professionals.
The botulinum toxin works by paralyzing nerve cells. In an uncontrolled environment, this can lead to serious illness.
The toxin can cause respiratory failure if you have too much of it. In tiny doses, the toxin remains localized and only paralyzes small muscle groups.
Wrinkles occur because the surrounding muscles are contracting. By paralyzing key muscle groups, it forces the skin to relax.
The neurotoxin paralyzes these muscles by blocking a chemical called acetylcholine’s release. This prevents acetylcholine from going from the nerves into the muscles.
Acetylcholine is part of what causes muscles to contract. If you can stop its release between the nerves and muscles, you can make the muscles stay relaxed.
Botox is not a permanent cure to wrinkles. The treatments last around 3 months, varying from patient to patient.
You will need a repeat treatment to upkeep the wrinkle-free look.
Botox and Migraines
If you suffer from headaches for 15 days or more every month, you may qualify for Botox as a migraine treatment. Chronic migraines are a serious condition that can reduce your quality of life.
Botox blocks the release of chemicals in pain fibers associated with migraines. As with wrinkles, Botox for migraines needs repeat treatment. For migraine sufferers, it can reduce headaches by about 50%.
Botox has many more uses outside of cosmetic. It has a long list of FDA approved treatments. These include crossed eyes, excessive sweating, overactive bladder, and muscle spasms.
It’s effective for cerebral palsy, hay fever, overproduction of saliva, and laryngeal dystonia. It’s important to note that these treatments are not yet FDA approved.
For migraine sufferers and other conditions, Botox can feel like a miracle treatment!
Interested in knowing more about Botox and if it can help your migraines? Schedule an appointment at Eye Care Specialists in Scranton, PA today! If you live with the pain and frustration of frequent migraines, what do you have to lose?
We’ll help you come up with a treatment plan that makes it possible to live with migraines.