Migraine, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms”. The word migraine has been derived from a Greek word “hemikrania” which means “pain on one side of head”. About 90 percent of migraine patients suffer from throbbing pain in one half of the head. Autonomic nervous system symptoms that accompany a migraine attack may include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity or sensitivity to sound and smell.
Impact of chronic migraine can be very disabling. It not only affects the sufferer’s personal life but also his professional life. The worse thing about a migraine attack is that physical activity aggravates headache and associated symptoms. Probably this is the reason that the World Health Organization (WHO) has rated migraine among the top 20 most debilitating health conditions. A recent survey has claimed that people living with migraine have a lower quality of life than those suffering from asthma.
A migraine headache is pulsating in nature and normally lasts from 2 to 72 hours. If you are experiencing migraine attacks quite often, 15 or more days per month, and the span of attack is 4 hours or longer in each episode, then you are most likely suffering from chronic migraine. Chronic migraine, as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration is “distinct and severe neurological disorder characterized by patients who have a history of migraine and suffer from headaches on 15 or more days per month with headaches lasting four hours a day or longer.”
There are a number of natural remedies that offer significant relief from pain and associated symptoms. These include:
- Drinking plenty of water:
- Caffeine intake
- Use of fish oil and peppermint oil
- Use of cold or hot compress
But these natural remedies as well as traditional treatments for migraine fail to offer relief to chronic migraine patients. One drug that offers lasting relief to chronic migraine patients is Botox, the same toxin that is used to eliminate wrinkles from face. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved this neurotoxin specifically for treating chronic migraines in 2010.
Since then doctors have been successfully using these anti-aging injections to treat migraine related headaches. Botox treatment for Migraine involves injecting botulinum toxin at known pressure points in the head and neck, where it works by preventing release of peripheral nociceptive neurotransmitters. As a result central pain processing system of the patient stops sending pain signals to the brain and affected areas. In most of the cases migraine attacks have reduced by as much as 50 percent, which is definitely significant.