Botox is not just a cosmetic treatment used to minimize the signs of aging. These days, Botox can help with a wide range of medical conditions, including overactive bladder, excessive sweating, muscle spasms, and migraines. Chronic migraines can be incredibly debilitating and are defined as migraines that occur for more than three months, for more than fifteen days a month. This condition is fairly common and can be difficult to treat. When medication no longer helps prevent or minimize the symptoms of migraines, Botox treatments can be a powerful option.
How Does Botox Help With Headaches and Migraines?
Migraine headaches can be very painful and debilitating.
People with migraines may experience:
- Pain in the forehead and temples
- Pain in the neck
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle stiffness
- Changes in vision
A migraine may last for several hours, or in severe cases, several days.
Botulinum toxin can be safely used by trained medical providers for conditions other than cosmetic procedures such as, excessive sweating and, migraine pain treatment. When applied in concentrated areas, Botox works by paralyzing muscles and reducing contractions.
When Botox is used as a preventive treatment for chronic migraines, it’s injected near pain fibers in the neck or head that are involved in headaches. Botox enters nerve endings, preventing the release of the chemicals needed for pain signals to be sent to the brain.
Who Qualifies for Treatment
You must meet with a medical provider for an assessment to determine whether Botox can be an effective treatment for your migraines. To be eligible for Botox treatment for migraines, patients must have migraine symptoms, tried medication for migraine treatment with no success, and have had migraines more than fifteen days a month for more than three months.
Botox is not considered the first line for migraine treatment. Insurance usually does not cover this as an option unless documentation of other medication use is proven. A prior authorization for Botox is required before injections will be done.
What to Expect
Botox treatment for migraine headaches involves a series multiple injections. Injections are given into trigger points. These trigger points include the muscles in and around the neck, head, forehead, temples, and above the ears.
Using a fine needle, a medical provider will inject Botox into the small muscles under the skin.
It may take multiple treatments and several weeks before a patient begins to experience relief from migraines. Some patients may not require ongoing treatment, while others will require regular treatment to prevent migraines from occurring in the future.
Typically, Botox treatment for migraine headaches is well-tolerated. However, side effects can occur. The most common side effects include bruising, swelling, and redness.
Uncommon side effects can include excessive eye tearing, dry eyes, rash, drooping eyelids, and difficulty breathing. While rare, the effects of Botox can spread to other areas of the body, causing vision problems, trouble swallowing and speaking, sweating and muscle weakness.
Botox vs. Medications
For most people, Botox treatment alone is enough to control and prevent chronic migraines. However, some people may also require the use of other migraine medications in addition to Botox injection treatment. In many cases, people will try medication to treat migraines, before Botox migraine management. When the effectiveness of these migraine medications wears off or is not effective, patients often turn to Botox treatment.
Medications often prescribed for migraine management can include:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Calcium channel blockers
And other types of neurovascular and cardiovascular drugs.
How Often to Get Botox for Migraine Prevention
On average, injections are given every three months. Botox is generally given until the migraines have changed to episodic for a period of three consecutive months.
Contact Altaire Clinic Today to Schedule a Consultation
Dealing with chronic headaches can cause pain and discomfort, but chronic migraines can disrupt your life. When chronic migraines start impacting your family life, job, and social life, it’s time to take action. Contact Altaire Clinic today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced medical providers to receive information about Botox treatments for migraines. If migraines are holding you back, take control of your health and your life by visiting Altaire Clinic for Botox migraine treatment.