Most people recognize Botox for its famous ability to smooth out unwanted facial wrinkles, but did you know that Botox can also help those who suffer from chronic migraines?
A migraine headache usually begins as a dull ache and then turns into a constant, throbbing pain, often felt on one side of the head. Migraines can cause sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting. A migraine headache can last between 4 to 72 hours. Symptoms may worsen due to routine physical activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Migraines greatly affect family, work, and social life, leaving those who suffer from them feeling isolated and alone.
Chronic Migraine is a neurological condition that causes people with migraine to have 15 or more headache days a month with each headache lasting 4 hours or more and at least half of the headache days associated with migraine.
Botox as Chronic Migraine Treatment
In 2010, after successful clinical trials, Botox received FDA approval for the treatment of chronic migraines. Botox treatment for migraines includes multiple Botox injections in specific areas around the head and neck, typically given once every three months. The goal of these injections is to reduce the symptoms caused by a migraine headache, including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells.
Generally, botox headache relief doesn’t happen overnight; it can take 10 to 14 days to feel improvement. Some may not experience any chronic migraine relief with their first set of injections, although the American Headache Society states that additional treatments are sometimes more successful. Results from Botox migraine treatment can last up to three months.
Talk with Your Doctor about Botox
Oftentimes, doctors will not recommend Botox injections, and insurance companies may not cover it, until other treatment options have been exhausted. However, those who do not tolerate other medications have found Botox for migraines to be a better option.
Fortunately, complications and side effects of Botox treatments are not very common. The most common side effects of Botox injections are neck pain and stiffness at the injection site and headache. Some patients may experience temporary muscle weakness in the neck and upper shoulders. Fortunately, these side effects usually resolve in a few days.
The injections themselves during Botox migraine treatment are almost painless. While the treatment process is quick, lasting from 10-15 minutes, patients may experience a small sting at each injection. If previous treatment options have been unsuccessful, talk to your doctor about Botox injections for chronic migraines. It just might be right for you.