We've all heard of Botox being used for cosmetic reasons and to treat aging skin, but Botox has also provided relief to many people suffering from chronic medical ailments, such as chronic headaches or migraines.
If you've been diagnosed with migraines and experience chronic head and neck pains, you might be wondering if Botox is something that can help you avoid them. Since being licensed for the treatment of migraines in 2010, many people have experienced improvement and less pain in these areas thanks to Botox.
Below, we will dive into the overall effectiveness of using Botox for chronic migraines, as well as the procedure, how it’s used for chronic migraine headaches, and what you can expect if you decide to receive treatment. Continue reading below to learn more and find out how scheduling a Botox appointment with Skin Deep Med Spa Boston can help you.
Botox Cosmetic is a neuromodulator that is injected into the muscles of the face using Botulinum toxin type A, specifically OnabotulinumtoxinA, that has been extensively purified. Botox is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to paralyze muscle movement temporarily and is considered to be a safe and effective therapy for wrinkles and fine lines.
Botulinum toxin often lasts three to six months and has the potential to bring out the best in your features when given the appropriate dose of the product. Because the forehead muscles are utilized often, and the skin is constantly tense, it's natural for wrinkles to appear overtime, making the forehead an already popular place for botox injection sites.
Botulinum toxin is still a highly popular treatment for delivering amazing cosmetic outcomes, including smoother, younger-looking skin, but is also modernly used in other medical treatments. All the while, only taking roughly 15 to 20 minutes to administer.
Botox ultimately works by inhibiting the nerve signal to the muscle and causes muscle relaxation, which can do more than just help to smooth out wrinkles that are often found in a person’s face. Botox has been used to treat a range of medical conditions since the 1970s and can now be used for several body ailments, such as chronic migraines.
Aside from curing wrinkles, Botox is commonly used for the following purposes:
In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Onabotulinum toxin A, often known as Botox, for the treatment of persistent migraine in individuals aged 18 and up. Botox shots work by blocking neurotransmitters that cause muscles to contract and are injected into migraine-affected areas of the head and neck, with the effects lasting approximately three months.
So, where do they put Botox to help prevent migraine attacks? Botox decreases facial wrinkles by blocking these signals between the body and the brain, but blocking neurotransmitters can also help migraine sufferers avoid attacks.
Botox for migraines works by preventing these molecules from reaching your nerve endings and causing pain, as well as preventing your brain from getting the initial migraine signals, reducing the chance of a "rebound headache” that many oral treatments carry.
Botox is injected into pain-causing fibers that cause headaches while preventing the release of molecules involved in pain transmission into the nerve terminals around the injection site. This stops the brain's pain networks from being activated, thus delaying the onset of chronic migraine headaches.
For the prevention of migraine headaches, Botox is effective and generally well-tolerated, preventing nearly 8 to 9 migraine headaches and migraine days per month on average, and has been proven to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headache days. The treatment is especially beneficial for those who haven't responded to earlier therapies or have had negative side effects from regularly being given prophylactic oral drugs.
Botox injections are almost painless in and of themselves. However, you may feel a little sting or a slight burning sensation during the procedure. Most patients are able to go about their daily lives as usual after the treatment.
The majority of side effects are minor and fade away within a day or two. They may include the following:
Your doctor will discuss these side effects with you during your appointment, including what over-the-counter medications you can take to ease any discomfort. More significant side effects are uncommon; however, they can occur in clients with muscular or nerve disorders or respiratory issues. As a result, you should consult with a board-certified neurologist to establish if Botox is a safe migraine treatment for you.
Botox has been shown to function best over time and with numerous sessions. Patients who got three cycles of Botox for chronic migraine symptoms demonstrated that their headache symptoms, acute medication use, headache impact, and health-related quality of life improved as the treatments progressed.
Chronic migraine sufferers should start with two treatments spaced 12 weeks apart, and treatments should then be repeated every 12 weeks. Patients may observe some effects as soon as four weeks after starting medication, with the number of headache days gradually decreasing over the next 24 weeks.
Following the second treatment cycle, nearly 25% of patients who did not acquire a clinically relevant reduction in headache symptoms after their first treatment responded, while about a third of patients who did not acquire a clinically relevant reduction in headache impact following the first treatment cycle responded after the second treatment cycle.
Furthermore, nearly 25% of other patients who did not respond to these parameters after the first and second cycles did so after the third cycle. As a result, most experts suggest at least two to three cycles of Botox for chronic migraine should be tried before discontinuing botox injections.
The challenge that comes with using Botox to treat migraines is that some patients ultimately do not respond to the drug for numerous reasons.
This critique is directed towards the patient group in clinical trials, which includes both treatment responders and non-responders. While there is a significant advantage for those who react to use this treatment, it can also be equivalent to the most effective chronic migraine preventative medications instead.
Side effects of Botox treatment also include droopy eyelids, neck stiffness, and muscle spasms, which can be unpleasant for some people. However, migraine specialists have said that Botox's effects have been noted to vary between patients, and some people report no difference at all, while others report a large decrease in headache days.
Botox prices vary depending on a number of factors, such as your prescribed treatment regimen, your healthcare practitioner, your insurance plan, the pharmacy you use, and your location. In general, botox injections at the Food and Drug Administration-recommended dosage of 155 units costs between upwards of $500.00. As it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine treatment, Botox is covered by the majority of insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid at certain pain clinics and medical offices.
However, it is important to keep in mind that in order for your insurance company to accept Botox as a solution for your chronic headaches and migraine, you must normally have tried and failed two other preventative therapies. Some of these migraine-prevention medications include anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications.
If your insurance provider or healthcare provider does not cover Botox for migraines or if you do not have insurance, some companies also offer funding programs and discounts that allow patients to save money on their Botox treatments.
Botox is one of the numerous therapy options accessible to people who suffer from severe migraines. While Botox injections may not be recommended by your doctor until other procedures have failed, if you don't tolerate migraine drugs well or if previous preventive treatments haven't worked to relieve your persistent headache symptoms, it may be time to ask for a consultation from a healthcare professional.
As the preferred Botox supplier in Boston, Massachusetts, our goal at Skin Deep Med Spa is to assist our patients in achieving clear, healthy skin, as well as live a happier life. If you’re considering Botox treatment to treat chronic migraines or similar symptoms, we recommend that you schedule a consultation so that you may learn more about what the treatment is like and what to expect.
Whether you're considering it for the first time or have received treatment before, our staff is ready to answer all of your Botox questions.
Schedule a skin consultation with one of our skin care practitioners at Skin Deep Med Spa to learn more about the benefits of Botox and start living a healthier life today.
Please note that a full Botox treatment for chronic migraines can only be administered at certain pain clinics and doctors offices. Skin Deep Med Spa professionals cannot administer a full migraine treatment using Botox but may be able to assist chronic head and neck pain through the treatment of related areas using Botox.
Bachelors of Science in Nursing
Michelle Cory, R.N. worked in emergency medicine for eighteen years before developing a passion for aesthetic nursing and has now practiced for over seventeen years. Cory is an expert injector with extensive training in neuromodulators and dermal fillers, specializing in non-surgical facial aesthetics while understanding the importance of combination therapy. Her expertise is in listening to her patients and customizing an individualized treatment plan based on the clients needs.
All content are reviewed by Nichole Starr, R.N., owner and founder of Skin Deep Med Spa.