Recently approved by the FDA thanks to its effectiveness and safety, the use of botox for migraines is an innovative solution to an old health problem that seems to be more and more frequent nowadays.
Different from the regular headaches, migraines and cluster headaches are a lot worse, some of the symptoms caused by these conditions including searing pain on one or both side, nausea and visual disturbances, sweating, vomiting, shortness of breath and increased sensitivity to light, smells or sound.
In severe cases, one may even experience short term visual loss or may see wavy lines and spots, and may experience tingling in their arms or legs. These frightening symptoms may cause one to believe they are victims of stroke or seizure, so it’s easy to understand why migraines and cluster headaches are among the most disconcerting conditions.
Given that the triggers and symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another, it’s hard to find a treatment that works all the times. However, recent findings suggest that the use of botox for migraines and tension headaches may be well tolerated by a great percentage of sufferers.
Migraines affect around 25% of women in the UK and 1 in 12 men at some point in their lives, while cluster headaches are less common, affecting maybe 1 in 1,000 people. It’s important to know that there are different types of headaches and migraines, and not all of them can be treated with botox.
As previously said, migraine headaches are usually one-sided, the pain settling behind one eye and occurring sporadically or frequently. The attacks may last between 4 and 24 hours, symptoms being the ones mentioned above. This type of migraines can be caused by fatigue, stress and bright sunlight, changes in sleep patterns or diet, hormones, oral contraceptives, strong odors, nitrates in certain foods or alcohol.
Other types of migraines, which are less common, include menstrual migraines, which are associated with periods and manifest through similar symptoms as migraines with aura, abdominal migraines which are more frequent in children, ocular migraines which cause temporary vision loss and hemiplegic migraines which are rare and cause the previously mentioned symptoms, plus weakness on one side of the body.
Cluster headaches cause intense pain which is throbbing or constant and associated with a sensation of burning. The pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region and doesn’t change its side. The manifestations can occur several times per day and can disappear for months, returning when one is exposed to the triggers. Cluster headaches are triggered by the same factors as migraines with aura.
Ever since it was approved by the FDA as treatment for these conditions, the popularity of botox for cluster headaches and migraines has increased significantly, and it’s expected for this solution to gain more and more adepts with time. Still, most people don’t associate botox with “therapy”, and see it mostly as a beauty solution. So what is it that makes botox for migraines an efficient solution and how does this treatment work more precisely?
Botox (Botulinum Toxin type A) is used mostly for aesthetic purposes, for filling up wrinkles and correcting fine lines on the face, but it is also used in ophthalmologic conditions. It is a substance that paralyses the muscles by blocking the release of a certain neurotransmitter. The effects of botox last for about 3-4 months, until the muscle recovers, so this is why the injections have to be repeated several times a year when used for wrinkles and facial lines.
Although it’s not entirely clear how botox reduces the frequency of migraines or the intensity of attacks, it is believed that the relaxing effect this substance has on the overactive muscles it’s the reason botox for migraines prove effective. Botox is also believed to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters which are involved in the pain processing systems, and this is why the substance is used in lower back pain, in treating bladder pain, neuropathic pain and myofascial pain as well.
Several studies were taken on the effects of botox on headaches and migraines, but results showed this substance is only effective in treating and preventing migraine and cluster headaches, but not a good remedy against other types of headaches. For patients to see improvements in their condition, botox injections are administered every 12 weeks for 56 weeks into specific areas of the head and neck.
Previous research has shown that after 12 months of botox for migraine treatment, patients can see a 50% reduction in the number of headaches they experience, the treatment being well tolerated and causing no serious side effects.
CosmeDocs is among the first clinics to offer treatment with botox for migraines in the UK, our team of professionals having vast experience in injecting botox for this type of headaches. It’s important to mention that only people with chronic migraines are eligible for botox for migraine injections and that we do not diagnose the condition ourselves, as we’re not a neurology or migraine/headache clinic.
At CosmeDocs we treat patients who have been diagnosed by a neurologist and who have been recommended botox for migraine treatment or who have tried the other available solutions with no result. All our cosmeticians are experts at injecting botox symmetrically & aesthetically, with good cosmetic results, as the muscles we inject the substance into are also responsible for controlling facial expressions.
Given that there are other treatments available to people affected by chronic migraines, we recommend our patients to talk to their physicians before making the decision to use botox for headaches or migraines.
The botox for migraine treatment cause minimal pain and discomfort. The patient may have slight bruising, swelling and muscle weakness. It also results in the treatment of forehead wrinkles as a side effect. These conditions are temporary and usually fade away in few days.
Most of the patients who undertook Botox injections for migraines reported a significant reduction in the frequency of headaches and migraines. Patients may not experience instant improvement in the headaches and migraines after receiving the Botox injections in the first treatment session. Additional, follow-up treatments are required for further improvements in pain associated with migraine and headaches.
Generally, small quantities of botox are injected into seven specific areas including forehead, temples, neck, nasal bridge, head’s back, upper shoulders and back, according to the migraine symptoms.
The Botox for migraine treatment takes about 15- 20 minutes. It is quick, fast and effective migraine treatment with minimal discomfort.
Generally, the Botox treatment is repeated after every 3-6 weeks for effective results.