When you think of botox, your mind may go to plastic surgery and celebrities. However, botox is actually quite successful in reducing the pain of chronic migraines. This treatment is not for everyone, so it is important to discuss your options with a doctor before proceeding.
Who is eligible?
Botox injections are only available to those with chronic migraines, meaning people who have a headache 15 days or more per month. The more headaches per month, the more effective the botox injections will be. Patients must be 18 years or older to receive botox treatment. For anyone younger than 18, insurance companies may not pay for it.
How does Botox help migraines?
First, it is important to understand botox as a treatment. Botox is a form of botulinum toxin which is a neurotoxin. When this toxin is purified and used in tiny doses, it will effectively reduce muscle contractions for 3 months! This is a great thing to hear for those with chronic migraines.
When injected around the pain fibers that cause headaches, the botox will block the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission. Botox injections may take a couple times to become effective in preventing migraines, but once they do, patients are extremely relieved. According to the American Migraine Foundation, patients who received two treatments of botox noticed their migraines decrease by 50%.
What to expect
If your first botox injection appointment is approaching, you may be curious to know what to expect. The appointments are relatively quick, most of them only last about 20 minutes. The injection itself will feel like a pinprick, and will be inserted into a shallow area of skin. Most of these treatments involve 31 injections into seven areas of the head and neck–trigger areas for migraines.
For any soreness or discomfort following the procedure, doctors will recommend an ice pack. To see the full benefits from botox injections, it may take up to six months. The nice thing about botox injections is that you can still use prescribed medication without any interference!
Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions to learn more about how we can help with migraines!