If you experience frequent migraine headaches, you understand how debilitating the symptoms can be. You may find yourself willing to try just about anything to get relief from the excruciating pain.
Something you may not have already considered is controlling migraines with Botox injections. Although Botox is best thought of as a wrinkle-reducer, the FDA approved the use of Botox for chronic migraines in 2010. Take a moment to learn why from Dr. Joshua Kennedy of Turnagain Dental.
How Botox Helps
Botox is a medication made from a purified form of botulinum toxin. When injected into specific facial muscles, it temporarily relaxes the muscle and stops it from contracting. When Botox is used for cosmetic purposes, the process of relaxing facial muscles causes overlying lines and wrinkles to soften.
Doctors have discovered that Botox injections have medical benefits for individuals who experience chronic migraines (which the FDA defines as having 15 or more headache days per month with headaches lasting four or more hours). When injected into specific points of the forehead, scalp, neck and shoulders, Botox blocks the release of pain signals from the nerves. This deactivates pain networks in the brain. Botox injections will not completely cure your migraines, but the injections can reduce the frequency and severity of chronic migraines.
Botox treatment is normally short, as it takes approximately 20 minutes to plan and administer the injections. Botox is injected in small amounts through a fine needle. The injections are not painful, and numbing cream can be used to make treatment more comfortable. You can immediately return to your regular activities right after treatment, as long as you avoid strenuous exercise and rubbing the injection site for 24 hours.
Side effects from Botox injections include bruising and swelling at the injection site. Rarely, the medication can migrate from the injection site to nearby areas of the face or body, causing complications. To reduce the risk of complications, choose your injector wisely to ensure they have the proper training and experience. Follow all of your provider’s pre- and post-operative instructions very carefully.
Are the Results Permanent?
The effects of Botox injections for migraines typically last two and a half to three months. The injections should be repeated approximately every three months, depending on the circumstances of the individual case.
Some people find that the Botox injections alone adequately control their migraines; others need to take additional medications to avoid migraines.
For more information about reducing the frequency and severity of chronic migraines with Botox injections, please contact Dr. Kennedy and the team at Turnagain Dental today.