Botox. Botox. Botox. The word has hurled itself into our collective consciousness with all guns blazing over the last ten years or so. It also provokes strong opinions. Some see it as nothing short of a miracle while others remain wary and avoid it at all costs.
However, until relatively recently Botox has had all its eggs firmly in the ‘anti-aging’ basket. It looks like that is all about to change.
During the past year a number of studies have been undertaken which have been concerned with documenting the use of Botox for chronic pain relief. The results are remarkable and broad reaching.
Now, some of you may remember this is not a totally new theory. Anybody recall how a number of ‘A-listers’ started having the balls of their feet injected with Botox and filler in order that they could wear stratospheric heels all day/night with NO pain? In fact it became known as a ‘Loub Job’ …….. Now, when you bare in mind that the average price for a pair of Laboutin’s would cost more than the treatment itself it doesn’t seem so silly, does it?
Anyhow, I digress, as these new findings have absolutely nothing to do with vanity or looking pretty. Ok, it has a little to do with looking pretty, and a whole lot to do with feeling ready to take on the challenges of a new day. Those of you that suffer from migraine headaches will understand what I mean. A migraine is a type of headache that may begin as a dull ache and then turn into a constant, throbbing pain, often felt on one side of the head. When you have a migraine, you may be sensitive to light and sound and experience nausea and/or vomiting. Even the tiniest chink of light escaping through the curtains is enough to force you to crawl to bed and curl up like a foetus under the duvet for hours on end.
A study in Scotland has shown that injecting Botox into various points in the head, shoulders and neck paralysis certain muscles, which in turn stops the pain signals from reaching the brain.
The results showed that what amounted to 19.1 days of migraines in a month was reduced by 8.2 days when using Botox. Further research is now being undertaken to determine how Botox may be able to replace steroids in certain conditions.
Furthermore, it may provide valuable pain relief for those with arthritis. Cancer sufferers could also benefit from having an alternative option, when morphine is becoming unbearable or addictive. With each treatment lasting around 4 months it is cost effective and could, ultimately, save the NHS millions.
Importantly, the FDA has just approved Botox for treatment of chronic migraines. This treatment is meant for those patients who experience 15 or more headache days per month with each headache lasting for 4 or more hours.
The injections would be given at 12-week intervals with a total of 31 injections in 7 specific sites over the head and neck. You no longer have to suffer hours of excruciating pain.