Botox: How it Can Help If You Suffer From Migraines


If you suffer from migraines, you’re far from alone. Over 38 million Americans share the affliction, and as many as three million have migraines on a chronic basis. Chronic headaches are classified as over 15 headaches each month, with eight or more of these being migraines, for three months or longer.

Migraines have an economic impact in terms of lost productivity, but there’s no way to account for how much a migraine sufferer’s life is disrupted. The impact of migraines is difficult to understate, and the quest for relief can reach desperation. For chronic migraine patients, a new approach came from a surprising source: wrinkle treatments.

People who used Botox® Cosmetic to address active wrinkles on their face noticed that migraine symptoms were less severe. Researching the phenomenon uncovered a connection, and now there’s a Botox regimen to treat chronic migraines.

Preventive treatment for migraine

Typically, you start to treat a headache after it starts. You may take over-the-counter pain medication when a tension headache starts to get severe, for instance. That’s an example of acute symptom treatment. Botox for chronic migraine isn’t like this.

Once you’ve had a chronic migraine diagnosis, Botox treatment for these isn’t an “after the start,” acute symptom procedure. You’ll have an appointment at OPES Health Channelside, during which your caregiver administers Botox injections in a short 15-minute appointment.

These are delivered through a very fine needle, so there’s just a small pinprick sensation. These injections are made directly into seven muscle groups associated with migraine episodes.

Twelve weeks later, you’ll have another series of injections. You may already have noticed a change in your migraine symptoms or occurrences. After the second treatment, there should be very noticeable improvements, if Botox is going to work for you. If treatments are successful, you’ll repeat the series every 12 weeks to continue the effects.

How Botox works on migraines

The active ingredient in any Botox formulation is a neurotoxin that causes slight paralysis in the target muscles, reducing their ability to contract. It’s this relaxation that creates the smoothing effects on your face.

The relationship between muscle contraction and migraine isn’t fully understood. It’s not known if relaxed muscles contract due to migraine, or if contracting muscles contribute to migraine. There is, however, a synergistic connection. For many migraine sufferers, the Botox effect on muscles breaks the migraine cycle, preventing episodes, reducing their intensity, or shortening their duration.

As a neurotoxin, Botox may also inhibit the action of neurotransmitters that send pain information to your brain. When these chemicals can’t get to your brain, they can’t trigger the nerves in your brain that recognize migraine pain. No matter how these mechanisms work, up to 70% of chronic migraine sufferers using Botox for their symptoms report fewer days lost to migraine attacks.

Call or click to request an appointment to meet with a migraine specialist at OPES Health Channelside. They will investigate your symptoms and help you determine if Botox for chronic migraine is the right approach for you.

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