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Botox for Migraines – An Unlikely Fix

Botox is proving to be more than what first meets the eye.  When Botox first hit the market place, it was used as an avenue to diminish wrinkles and smooth skin.  Who knew that in time, this injection would decrease the frequency and the duration of migraines?

Over 3 million people in the United State suffer from chronic migraines.  This neurological condition causes people to have 15 or more headaches days a month with at least 8 days or more associated with a migraine – each lasting over 4 hours a day.  If you have had one migraine, you know they can be debilitating.  Now, imagine that occurring nearly every other day and lasting for over 4 hours a day.  Debilitating is an understatement.  It virtually halts your mental capacity and stops nearly everything else. 

Botox, which is approved by the FDA for migraine treatment, can prevent a migraine or headache from even starting. Once Botox is injected, acetylcholine is released which prevents the muscles from contracting.  The muscles relax and become less stiff.  Contracting muscles is one of the things that cause the migraines in the first place. Decreasing the stiff muscles decreases the pain. 

Is it painful?

While injections can hurt, needles used during the Botox® injections are very small.  Applying an ice pack to the treatment area 10-20 minutes prior to treatment usually prevents you from feeling much of anything. 

How often do I have to get the treatments?

After receiving two sets of injections 12 weeks apart, your specialist will discuss your treatment plan.  Often repeating treatments every 12 weeks will be enough for you to experience fewer and fewer headache days.

Who should I see if I think I need to use Botox to help with my migraines?

Finding a headache specialist will help you navigate your treatment options be able to assess if Botox is the right treatment for you. 

It’s been said that life isn’t a bed of roses and we all know that to be true; however, that does not mean you have to suffer with chronic migraines.  Botox can be the answer you have been looking for.  This unusual fix may be the just the thing for you!

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.