Healthbeat 4: The use of Botox injections for chronic migraines, other medical issues

Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 9:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Botox injections are regularly associated with cosmetic treatment to minimize the look of wrinkles and fine lines.

However, Botox is widely used to treat conditions like chronic migraines, a lazy eye, or excessive sweating.

Allison Owings at CNOS said Botox can even be used for people who suffer a stroke.

“The arm that’s kind of clamped up to the chest, it goes in, we inject those muscles, and it just relaxes them so that they’re not just constantly firing, and that their arm gets a little bit more mobility with that, you know, we don’t expect perfect function, but things like being able to put a shirt on with ease,” said Allison Owings, a nurse practitioner at CNOS.

The injected toxin relaxes muscles by blocking certain chemical signals from nerves.

Since the needle is so small, Owings said it is done with minimal pain. She said she understands people can have a needle phobia, but the outcome is worth it.

“What I try to put in perspective is getting 31 little tiny pinpricks, you know, every three months, typically, that pain is much less and much more bearable than the chronic migraine that they’re dealing with, that’s debilitating where they’re missing out on work, they’re missing out on social events and doing things that they enjoy doing,” said Owings.

It can take about a week for the botox to take full effect.

For migraines, expect injections in the face, neck, and shoulders. Armpits, hands, or bottoms of the feet will be injected for sweating.

Owings said to talk with your primary health care provider about whether Botox is an option for your medical issue. She said most insurances will cover the cost.

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