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Is botox really an effective remedy for chronic pain?

I’m sitting in my neurologist’s office discussing treatment options for my hemiplegic migraines. I’ve tried shoulder straps, heat packs, massage, yoga, dietary changes, alcohol abstinence and a host of medications – but nothing seems to really work.

Today my neurologist suggests Botox injections and my crow’s-feet immediately stand to attention. “The correct name is botulinum toxin type A,” he clarifies, in that vaguely irked way people can get when a vacuum cleaner is called a Hoover.

'When the Botox starts to work and that chronic pain goes away, it changes everything.'

‘When the Botox starts to work and that chronic pain goes away, it changes everything.’Credit:Stocksy

It gets me thinking: what other health ailments can be treated with Botox? I do what any curious person does at 2am and get busy on Facebook. “Has anyone had any health issues treated with Botox?” Out goes the question, and in comes an unexpected avalanche of responses. People I haven’t spoken to in decades share how it helps with their prolapsed bladder, excessive sweat issues, Tourette syndrome symptoms and wine-induced rosacea. And, of course, their migraines.

One such friend, Lynnette Turner, 49, experienced years of bruxism in her jaw accompanied by ongoing migraines, until Botox stepped in. “It definitely works for me,” she says. “I physically can’t clench my jaw any more, so my headaches have disappeared entirely. I didn’t realise how much pain I was in until I had Botox.”

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