Migraine headaches can be alleviated with Botox treatments and reduce the frequency of your migraines by at least 50 percent. Botox acts to obstruct the sensation of headache pain and can be the key to a happy and pain-free life.
Why We Get Migraines
Why do we get migraines? Change is the only constant in life, which often comes at a cost. A change in your work environment, place of stay, or diet can lead to collateral impacts to your mental and physical well-being.
Moreover, these changes can sometimes trigger an array of symptoms starting with periodic loss of vision, and nausea, which can lead to headaches, and mood fluctuations, commonly known as migraines.
Migraines can be triggered by change
Migraines can be triggered and aggravated by a change in sleep patterns, weather fluctuations, prolonged stress, medications, diet, and consumption of substances like alcohol and caffeine.
Over the years numerous people have tried multiple treatments and home remedies for migraines with minimal success. However, gone are the days when you cannot focus on your project because your head starts throbbing, or you miss out on the joys of life due to the agonizing pain from chronic migraines.
Before Botox was approved as a preventive treatment for chronic migraines in Canada, patients had to rely on temporary, short-term means of coping with chronic migraine pains. Botox was approved for treatment of chronic migraines in 2010, and it has since been a vital advancement for those longing for a long-term migraine solution.
How Botox Alleviates Chronic Migraines
Nerve fibres communicate to each other by releasing neurotransmitters called Acetylcholine (ACh). Acetylcholine targets receptors located on the muscles, sweat glands, and the sensory organs of the skin.
Acetylcholine binds to the target receptors and induces muscle contraction, sweat production, and sensory stimulation, which can signal pain.
Acetylcholine is an organic chemical that functions in the brain and body of many types of animals (including humans) as a neurotransmitter—a chemical message released by nerve cells to send signals to other cells, such as neurons, muscle cells and gland cells. Source
Botox acts to block the target receptors and prevent the transmission of signals to their target receptors. When applied to the target receptors used for sensory stimulation, Botox will obstruct the sensation of pain.
Different Migraines Treated by Botox
Akin to many illnesses and chronic conditions, migraines come in a variety of forms. The most common form experienced by 70-90% of migraine sufferers is migraines without auras.
Is Botox approved for all forms of migraines?
The answer is no. Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines.
A patient is said to suffer from chronic migraines when he or she experiences headaches for over 15 days in any given month. The more frequent the headaches, the better the patient responds to Botox treatments.
Before you choose to treat your headaches with Botox, it’s advisable to see a headache specialist (Neurologist) to discuss if Botox is the right treatment for you.
Advantages of Botox for Migraines
With most patients, we look for an improvement of more than 50% in the frequency and intensity of chronic migraines. For instance, if you experience 21 days of migraines per month, your 50% reduction in frequency would bring your total migraine days down to 10-11 days a month.
In most trials and studies, nearly 50% of patients achieved this goal after six months of treatment (two sets of treatments).
Some clients respond extremely well to the treatment. These types of patients are classified as “super responders.” They result in an approximately 75% reduction in migraine frequency.
A decrease in migraine frequency is not the only benefit observed after a Botox treatment. The other complimentary benefits of the therapy include:
- The migraine attacks are less severe than before.
- The episodes are much easier to control and respond better to rescue remedies.
- The baseline neck pain and headaches are less intense.
- The tolerance to migraine triggers are much higher than usual.
- The person functionality is improved and helps to retain normalcy in day-to-day life.
How Many Botox Treatments Will Stop the Migraines?
As with all Botox treatments, sustained results are produced with receiving treatment every 3 months.
During each treatment, you need to receive 155 units of Botox administered to your forehead, temples, scalp, neck muscles, and muscles at the sides of both shoulders.
If your migraine pain is worse in a particular spot, you may need more injections targeted at the site of pain. Positive results are usually observed after 2-3 weeks of treatment.
Possible Side Effects of Botox
The Botox procedure must be done very safely by an experienced practitioner. Despite everything being done perfectly, sometimes this treatment can come with side effects that should be considered.
Mild side effects
Some of the common side effects of Botox are as follows:
- Soreness, redness, or slight inflammation at the injection sites
- Mild bruising
- Dryness of the mouth
- Neck stiffness
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Botox for chronic migraines are extremely rare and are rarely severe enough for people to discontinue the treatment.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms after your treatment:
- Blurred vision
- Inflammation of the tongue or throat
- Difficulties in speaking and swallowing
Like any medical treatment, Botox may cause some side effects, but the benefits of the treatment far outweigh them.
Contact Your Cosmetic Dermatologist
Find out if Botox will work for you by contacting your cosmetic dermatologist to discuss your needs and put together a treatment plan. If you live in Oakville, or Halton Region, you can book an appointment with us to discuss your treatment options. We’d love to take away your pain!