How can botox injections treat migraines?
Once injected, the botox enters nearby nerve roots and blocks neurotransmitters from emitting a pain signal. This then prevents the activation of pain networks in the brain, effectively stopping the migraine in its tracks. Botox injections have been found to not only lessen the intensity of migraines but also to help prevent migraines.
Who is a good candidate for botox injections?
Those who suffer from chronic migraines with aura are the best candidates for botox injections. Patients who suffer from headaches for 15 or more days per month for at least a 3 month period, with migraines on at least 8 of those days, are considered chronic migraine patients.
Botox is not a recommended treatment for episodic migraine.
Initially, BOTOX® injections were used for strabismus (lazy eye), blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), and cervical dystonia (neck spasms). Its use was later approved for the reduction of wrinkles in the face, and this is now the most common use of BOTOX® injections.
BOTOX® injections have also proven to be useful for additional conditions such as:
How is the botox administered?
The doctor will administer botox by injecting the product into shallow muscles in the head and neck with a small needle. The doctor will administer several injections around the head and neck, up to 30-40 injections in total. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the results to take effect.
What are the benefits and risks of this procedure?
The benefits of the procedure include:
- Non-pharmaceutical: Botox injections are a great alternative to common oral migraine medications, avoid the numerous side effects of such pharmaceuticals.
- Migraine-relief: Botox therapy helps to prevent and reduce migraine symptoms, allowing you to get back on your feet and continue your normal activities.
- Quick: Botox therapy is an in-office procedure that takes around 5-10 minutes on average.
Risks of the procedure are minor but include:
- Muscle weakness near the injection site
- Headache, tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Neck pain