Botox injections are most commonly known for their use in cosmetics, such as hiding fine lines and wrinkles on the face. But did you know that Botox can also be used to ease symptoms of some common health conditions as well? If you suffer from migraines or jaw pain, such as a condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, you may benefit significantly from regular Botox injections. In this post, we’re going to answer some of your questions about Botox and how it can be used to treat migraines and jaw pain.
What is Botox?
Botox is the brand name for a type of botulinum toxin injection. A bacterium called Clostridium botulinum makes the neurotoxins used in Botox. These injections, applied under the skin by an experienced professional, block the nerve signals to the muscles in the desired area. As a result, the injected muscles are temporarily paralyzed and can not contract and tense up. Healthcare providers use a specific type of bacteria for medical purposes.
What are migraines?
If you’ve suffered from a migraine, you’ll know that it is more severe than a regular headache. A migraine is a type of headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation and is often on one side of the head, behind the eye area. Migraines can be accompanied by nausea and extreme sensitivity to light or sound. A migraine can last hours or even days and for regular migraine sufferers, the condition can be debilitating – interfering with regular activities and daily routines.
What are TMJ disorders? What are some other types of jaw pain?
The temporomandibular joints are two joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull and are some of the most complex joints in the body. When these joints, along with the muscles and ligaments, etc., in the jaw are not aligned or synchronized, it can cause several problems, such as chronic facial and jaw pain. TMJ disorders are one of the most common causes of jaw pain. Other sources of pain can be caused by factors such as grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw (often due to stress or anxiety), or trauma to the jaw (such as getting hit in an accident or during sports). Symptoms include pain or tenderness in the jaw area or around the ear, difficulty chewing, or even lockjaw, where it can be difficult to open and close your mouth.
How does Botox help with migraines and jaw pain?
Many healthcare providers are recommending Botox for pain management. Botox is injected around the pain fibers that are involved in migraines or jaw pain. Since the injections block the nerve signals that control muscle activity, the result is the relaxation of the muscles and the blocking of chemicals involved in pain transmission. Studies are showing that Botox can be extremely effective for pain management, with patients reporting a significant decrease in migraines and relief from jaw pain. Botox is not permanent but can last several months.
Migraines and jaw disorders are generally difficult to treat and can be debilitating for those suffering from either condition. If you suffer from migraines or jaw pain, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to see if Botox may be an option for you.