Migraine headaches can be debilitating; a major impediment to daily functioning. While medications are often the route taken in an effort to control migraines, Botox injections have shown to be an effective alternative as a treatment for chronic migraines.
Botox (a purified and diluted form of botulinum toxin A) was serendipitously discovered as a migraine treatment in the 90s. A Los Angeles-based cosmetic surgeon received reports from patients to whom he administered Botox for cosmetic purposes claiming they had also experienced less headache pain.
Most medications for a chronic migraine are either acute or preventive. A treatment plan may include both treatment types (however, Botox is only a preventive treatment). It is currently the only FDA-approved preventive treatment for adults (over 18) who have headaches 15+ days each month, with the headache lasting four or more hours.
About 50 percent of those who don’t get significant benefits from oral medication will get some benefit from Botox. In fact, Botox is approximately twice as effective as other headache medications. What’s more, the negative side effects of Botox (if any) are extremely small. They are much lower than other headache medications.
Botox is a quick, in-office procedure. The doctor administers a series of injections at specific sites on the head and neck every 12 weeks. The result has been shown to prevent up to nine headache days a month.
Botox works by blocking communication between nerves and muscles, which keeps the muscles from contracting. Botox blocks pain receptors in the same way it keeps muscles and nerves from communicating.
Botox has been shown to provide the best response for:
- Headaches that implode; a vice-like, squeezing, crushing sensation
- Most types of tension headaches
- Muscle spasms (back and neck)
Relief from headaches treated with Botox injections can take as long as 10 to 14 days. Some people may not experience any relief with their first set of injections. Additional treatments are sometimes more successful, according to the American Headache Society.
At The Center for Pain Management, as part of our extensive menu of non-invasive and successful treatment techniques, we are experienced in providing Botox injections for chronic migraine pain. If you suffer from debilitating and chronic migraine headaches, please contact us to schedule an appointment or an evaluation for this treatment.