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Botox for Treating Migraines–Is it Effective?

Woman suffering from migraine

Many people have experienced a migraine at one point in their life or another, an eye-searing and almost intolerable form of a headache that can leave you incapable of functioning due to photo and audio sensitivity.  For some sufferers, however, these life-changing headaches come on frequently, leaving them with a condition known as chronic migraines. While treatment methods vary, medical science still isn’t entirely certain what causes them.  Botox injections are one form of treatment that has been shown to be effective when performed regularly and over time.

Are Botox Injections Right For My Migraines?
Botox injections are only for those patients who experience headaches on a very frequent basis, at least 15 or more days out of the month.  Of those 15 or more headaches, at least 8 of them must be able to be classified as a migraine. Research has shown that patients who meet these criteria are able to benefit from Botox, and many of them report that it has been more effective than other forms of treatment.  Further evidence of this can be found in their reports that not only does the frequency of migraines decreases, but they actually experience a significantly increased number of “Crystal-Clear” days, days where they experience no headache or migraine-related pain at all. Whether or not Botox will work for your specific case is a conversation that must be had between you and your physician.

What Is Botox, Isn’t It Botulism?
Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria behind botulism, is where Botox itself was discovered.  As a neurotoxin Botox has the ability to paralyze nerves and muscles, and in an uncontrolled environment this could clearly be dangerous.  When administered medicinally by your physician Botox paralyzed the nerves and muscles that trigger migraines and headaches, leaving you free from pain and with a greatly reduced occurrence of migraines every month.  This same trait is what makes Botox a popular tool in cosmetic surgery as well, but it has also been used to treat conditions like cerebral palsy due to its ability to help ease or stop spasms and tics.

How Often Will I Get Botox Injections? Are There Any Risks?
Botox injections are typically administered every 12 weeks for patients who are using it for migraine control.  During your treatment, you may receive as many as 30-40 shots split evenly between both sides of your head. A concentration of shots may be administered in areas where migraine pain tends to focus, and results are typically seen within 2-3 weeks of the initial injection.  Updated shots are required every 3 months for continued relief. The risks associated with Botox injection are minimal when applied by a skilled physician, but can include swelling in the legs, hives, and shortness of breath. You will find information on the label pertaining to a risk that Botox can spread to other parts of the body, but no recorded cases of this happening exist.

If you’re suffering from chronic migraines and think that Botox injections may be right for you, contact Dr. Amber Allen at Allen Aesthetic Surgery today.  You’ll be scheduled for an appointment and consultation during which you’ll be evaluated for a variety of migraine treatments, including Botox injections. Don’t let migraines ruin another day of your life, contact the office today!


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