Do you suffer with headaches that interrupt your work and lifestyle? Do they last for more than four hours at a time? Are they as frequent as 15 days each month? If so, you could be a candidate for relief with an FDA approved therapy called Botox®. That’s right, the same Botox® used for cosmetic enhancements also relieves headaches.
Natalia Glisky, M.D., an interventional physiatrist at Michigan Head & Spine Institute, says, “Any person who experiences painful, long lasting headaches that change their lifestyle can be relieved of pain in about 10 minutes.” She uses a very fine needle to inject 155-200 units of Botox® into 31 sites in the muscles of the forehead, temples, neck and shoulders and promises her technique is painless. “Most patients are a little anxious the first time, but few ever mention discomfort from the needle. When they realize how quickly the headache pain is gone, they are very pleased,” says Dr. Glisky.
“This procedure is safe. Some patients experience a little bruising which is easily covered with makeup,” says Dr. Glisky. She suggests no exercise that increases the heart rate, plus avoiding massage and saunas for about 24 hours. Most insurances cover the treatment and the results last about 12 weeks.
Dr. Glisky is also using Botox® to relieve pain and discomfort in the muscles caused by chronic muscle spasms in disorders like cervical Dystonia, spasticity after strokes and spinal cord injury. Most insurances cover the treatment.
Relief for TMJ
And for those suffering from TMJ, or if you grind or clench the teeth, adding Botox® injections to the use of a night guard, can greatly relieve muscle tightness in the jaw and neck. “About 50% of patients with headaches also have TMD (temporomandibular disorders) including TMJ,” explains Dr. Glisky. Botox® treatment for TMJ is not covered by most insurances, but is a fee-for-service which is dependent on the amount of Botox® used. The TMD/TMJ injections range between $300 and $600. (note: the cost includes doctors fee and the facility cost).
For any of the conditions treated, Dr. Glisky says patients have no down time. Botox® is safe and FDA approved for these treatments. For the conditions not covered by insurances there’s a fee per Botox® unit formula.