Botox Injections for Migraine
Migraines can be immensely painful and can reduce a person’s quality of life. Throbbing headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting can force you to turn down plans, take days off work, and remain in bed. Although there is medication available, these do not work for everyone and can come with side effects. Whilst most of us know Botox as a cosmetic anti-wrinkle treatment, we are often not aware of its medical uses. From treating neck spasms to lazy eyes, Botox is used to relieve various health conditions and one of these is chronic migraine.
How Can Botox Injections for Migraine Help to Relieve Headaches?
You have probably heard of Botox treatments for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This cosmetic procedure works by injecting Botulinum Toxin into the face, which prevents chemicals called neurotransmitters from reaching the muscles. This stops your muscles from contracting, which prevents your skin from folding in such a way that creates wrinkles.
When Botox is used to treat migraine headaches, Botulinum Toxin is injected into your head, forehead, neck, and shoulders. Akin to the cosmetic treatment, this prevents neurotransmitters from carrying pain signals across your brain, which stops you from feeling the headache whilst also lessening other migraine symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.
How Do Botox Injections for Migraine Work?
In your consultation, a specialist will decide how many Botox treatments are necessary. Whilst some patients need several separate procedures to treat their migraines, other patients will recover after a single appointment. When you attend your first Botox migraine treatment, your doctor will make a series of between 31 and 39 small injections into marked areas along and around your head, neck, and shoulders. This will take between 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
The Botulinum Toxin will then begin halting the movement of neurotransmitters in the brain, preventing pain signals from being transmitted. This makes migraines occur less frequently and reduces the intensity of the pain that you feel when they do occur. If your symptoms persist after your first Botox migraine treatment, a second one can be arranged after three months have passed.
Botox for migraine injection sites:
Botox injections for migraine are injected into sites around your head, neck and shoulders also the forehead, the temples, the back of the head, the upper back, and the upper bridge above the nose.
Who Is a Suitable Candidate for a Botox Migraine Treatment?
Botox Migraine treatments are suitable for patients who suffer from chronic migraines. In order to be diagnosed with chronic migraine, patients must experience a minimum of 15 days a month suffering from headache and other migraine symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and a sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells.
Additionally, patients must be over the age of 18, and they must have tried at least three preventative treatments before they can have Botox injections for migraines. You should avoid the treatment entirely if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an infection at one of the injection sites.
The majority of patients who have had a Botox migraine treatment claim to experience fewer headaches after the procedure, and report that the pain that they experience is less intense. Consequently, these patients claim to have missed fewer events and days of work than they did before their Botox injections. Whilst some patients claim to have been completely cured of their chronic migraine, this is unusual. For most people, Botox injections simply make chronic migraines less frequent, less painful, and more manageable.
When Botox injections are used to treat migraines, 31 to 39 short-needle injections are made into sites around the neck, head and shoulders, such as the forehead, the temples, the bridge of the nose, the base of your skull and above the shoulder blades. Patients who experience a lot of pain in a specific spot during their migraines may need to have more Botox injections at that particular site.
As with all forms of injection, Botox injections for migraines can be somewhat uncomfortable, but they are not usually painful. Patients may experience a very small stinging or burning sensation with each injection.
Both Botox for Migraine and Cosmetic Botox involve injecting Botulinum Toxin into the body. In both cases, Botox prevents chemical messages from being sent. However, the areas of the body into which the Botox is injected are different. Cosmetic Botox is injected into the face in such a way that it is intended to prevent the facial muscles from contracting, which stops lines and wrinkles from forming on the skin. By contrast, Botox injections for migraine are injected into the head, neck, and shoulders to prevent pain signals from being transmitted in the brain, which stops you from feeling the ache of your headache.
Provided that you ensure that your Botox injections are administered by a certified medical professional, side effects are extremely rare. In rare cases, patients can experience stiffness or temporary muscle weakness in the neck following the treatment. These symptoms will typically resolve on their own within three to four days. Drooping of the eyelid can also occur, though this is also extremely rare and can be prevented by avoiding rubbing the face for a few days following your Botox Migraine treatment, as this prevents the Botox from spreading.
When your Botox injections for migraine are administered by a licensed medical professional, the treatment is exceptionally safe. Some side effects can occur, though these are extremely rare.