Botox For Chronic Pain
Botox is widely known to be used for cosmetic purposes. Less well known is its use for pain. Botox injections are very effective for headaches and can often relieve pain for 3-6 months. At our clinic we have experience treating other areas of pain with Botox including back pain, neck and shoulder pain and pain in various muscles and joints.
Health Canada has approved Botox as preventive treatment for Chronic Migraine. It's also the only treatment for people with Chronic Migraine that can help prevent headaches and migraines before they even start.
The International Headache Society defines episodic migraine as being unilateral, pulsing discomfort of moderate-to-severe intensity, which is aggravated by physical activity and associated with nausea and/or vomiting as well as photophobia and/or phonophobia (sensitivity to light and sound).
Many patients describe their headache as a one-sided, pounding type of pain, with symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, or smells (known as photophobia, phonophobia, and osmophobia). In some cases, the discomfort may be bilateral. The pain of a migraine is often graded as moderate to severe in intensity. Physical activity or exertion (walking up stairs, rushing to catch a bus or train) will worsen the symptoms.
Up to one-third of patients with migraines experience an aura, or a specific neurologic symptom, before their headache begins. Frequently, the aura is a visual disturbance described as a temporary blind spot which obscures part of the visual field. Flashing lights in one or both eyes, sometimes surrounding a blind spot, have also been described. Other symptoms, including numbness or weakness along one side, or speech disturbances, occur rarely.