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10/13/2009 11:26 AM

Neck pain and headaches(page 2)

aldalton
 
Posts: 27
Member

Neck pain, especially at the base of my skull, is a big issue concerning causation and aggravation/intensification of my migraines. Seeing my chiropractor worked for a while, but since it's muscular, the only thing that really seems to work is Botox injections right into the knotted muscles. BCBS is fighting paying for Botox, so I've had to pay out-of-pocket so far. My neurologist administers the shots.
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10/13/2009 11:30 AM
Kat5150
Kat5150  
Posts: 699
Senior Member

I've heard so many people say that Botox helps immensely. I guess the insurance companies still see it as cosmetic? How frustrating to find something that works and then not be able to get it!

I know there are studies being conducted currently on the whole Botox/migraine thing so hopefully that will encourage the ins. companies to see that it is a legit treatment, not just vanity. In fact, just the fact that a neurologist is administering the treatment should tell them that. Sad

So, if the ins. company finally cooperates, can you be reimbursed for the past treatments? I don't really know how that works so it may be a dumb question. Laughing


10/13/2009 11:42 AM
aldalton
 
Posts: 27
Member

Insurance companies (at least BCBS) do still see it as cosmetic even though we've sent in letters from my neurologist justifying its use and saying it's a medically necessary treatment for my migraine regimen. We also have several years' worth of migraine headache logs showing the immediate and dramatic improvement on Botox. They're just being stubborn. Think I've got wrinkles on the back of my neck or something at 27 that I would pay $1,600 every four months to get rid of? How silly.

We are seeking coverage retroactively to reimburse me for my out-of-pocket costs and to cover treatments in the future.

According to my neurologist, there is a very big study being peer reviewed and will soon be released on the successful use of Botox for migraines. Insurance companies may as well get on board; they're going to have to soon.


10/13/2009 11:46 AM
Kat5150
Kat5150  
Posts: 699
Senior Member

I agree, it's very silly. I hope they get it together soon. That's a lot of money to have to come up with out of pocket--especially when you're paying for insurance!

Your neurologist is right too. I actually had the opportunity to participate in that study, but I sort of chickened out. Now I'm wishing I had done it. Sad


10/13/2009 03:53 PM
gratefulmj
Posts: 569
Member

Hi Adalton,

Have you tried Occipital Nerve blocks (steroid shot with lidocaine to numb the area)?

There are four at the base of the skull.

This maybe an alternative to botox and maybe covered by your insurance.

Sending you healing thoughts your way.

MJ


10/13/2009 04:17 PM
aldalton
 
Posts: 27
Member

I've tried just about everything available we know of with the exception of long-term hospitalization (not a feasible option) and surgery (not recommended for me).

I did two rounds of nerve blocks with steroids and lidocaine and, sorry to say, they didn't work. It lasted about 24 hours and after that the pain was much worse from the irritation of the needles going into my knotted muscles.

Tried chiropractor, acupuncture, physical therapy, nerve blocks, DHE (twice), dozens of preventatives meds, several abortive meds, herbal supplements (on the recommendation of my neurologist), massage, ice packs, changing my diet, steroid pill packs in the effort to abort migraine cycles, and finally Botox injections all over a 7 year period (and I'm probably forgetting to list some things).

Not like BCBS can't say we haven't tried every other traditional therapy available, and some non-traditional therapies, before resorting to Botox…and we told them so.

Thanks for the suggestion, though. If you see anything I haven't listed, I'll give it a try. I'm game for anything. Wink


10/13/2009 07:07 PM
gratefulmj
Posts: 569
Member

I feel your pain and hear loud and clear.

I've gone through most of the stuff you've done including hypnotherapy, NAET, Collateral Meridian Therapy (very painful), psychotherapy (still doing). I have not done botox. When I requested from two separate headache specialists they refused. When I repeated my request, my headache specialist says "we ready to try botox this appointment but your insurance as of last month, doesn't cover it for migraines."

I hate when these doctors have egos at our painful and financial expense. Every headache attack we experience negatively impacts every aspect of our lives.

I'm happy that botox works for you.

It aweful that insurance companies don't look at results on a case by case basis. They would rather pay more money for meds and procedures that don't help us because the research they conducted shows what does work for us, won't.

It's all about $$$$ They take our money gladly and then we've got to fight to get the healthcare we deserve. Angry


10/14/2009 11:17 AM
aldalton
 
Posts: 27
Member

You are too right! They don't look at the results on a case by case basis and they should. What is SO infuriating is that we've documented that the Botox is cheaper than all the doctor appointments, other treatments, and meds. We're wondering if they don't want to set a precedent. Who knows? Maybe we can get coverage soon. There are docs out there who do Botox and offer payment plans. If yours won't do what you ask, please go find another. Shouldn't have to beg for treatment...

10/14/2009 11:39 AM
Kat5150
Kat5150  
Posts: 699
Senior Member

"Shouldn't have to beg for treatment..."

That's it exactly! The whole system is such a mess. It just isn't right what people have to go through just to get the care they need.

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