Chennai, India (4E) – Headache remains one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. About 47 percent of people around the world experienced headache in the last 12 months with more than 10 percent of adults reported suffering from migraine, according to the World Health Organization.
There is no sure-fire way to permanently get rid of headaches and people resort to medication or other treatments. In India, migraine sufferers get Botox shots for relief.
Botox or Onabotulinum toxin type A is commonly used to eliminate facial wrinkles. But in hospitals in Chennai city, women with migraine line up to get Botox injection. A 150-unit Botox injected on nerve points on the scalp relieves migraine for six months.
Dr. Sathish Kumar, a neurologist at Fortis Malar Hospitals, said 12 out of the 25 people he meets complaining of migraine are from the IT industry and they are considering Botox as a relief option.
“Though chronic migraine cannot be cured permanently, Onabotulinum toxin type A can significantly decrease the severity and frequency of migraine attacks,” Kumar said, according to The Times of India.
Dr. Vikash Agarwal, a consultant neurologist at India’s Apollo Hospitals, said Botox should never be the first leg of treatment for migraine.
“It is not a cure, but an option for interim relief. It should be prescribed only when conventional methods of treatment fail. Excess amounts of Botox could cause weakness of facial muscles,” Agarwal said, according to The Times of India.
U.S. clinics have been using Botox for migraine relief since 2002, when the Food and Drug Administration approved it for such application. The drug costs about $10 per unit and as current guidelines for treatment suggest at least 155 units per treatment, a migraine patient has to shell out $1,550. In the U.K., Botox was made available to treat chronic migraine sufferers in 2010 and costs about $596 (£350) for a 12-week treatment.
A less invasive and less expensive alternative is the Thermal-Aid Headache Relief System.
An innovation of Pacific Shore Holdings, Inc., Thermal-Aid is safe, effective and environmentally-friendly.
Unlike other cooling and heating packs sold in the U.S., Thermal-Aid is made from natural materials that will not burn the skin. The kit includes a headache relief cream and a special pad made from terrycloth cotton and processed corn kernel that is able to hold temperatures for long periods of time.
The “specialized corn” is created through a unique process that removes the germ from the kernel, resulting in the removal of moist that allows mold and fungi to form. The process hardens and extends the life of the corn, in addition to allowing it to retain both hot and cold temperature. The small pieces are then sewn into the terrycloth.
The Thermal-Aid pad, designed by a board-certified neurologist, is placed over the eyes while the cream is spread over the temples and forehead to cause immediate relief. The cream serves as a topical analgesic and pain reliever.