Botox. Seems like we’re hearing and reading about the use of Botox more and more. Botox is primarily marketed as a popular option for reducing wrinkles in the face, particularly crow’s feet around the eyes and frown lines between the eyebrows. Botox was first approved by the FDA in 2002 and one of the main reasons why it is recognized as an effective means for treating wrinkles on the face is because it treats the underlying cause of wrinkles. It’s not a topical solution, rather one that addresses the contracting muscles around the eyes and forehead that cause the skin to move from its natural position, forming a crease in the skin.
Botox contains a toxin known as botulinum which prevents nerves from sending signals to the muscles to contract. In other words, it’s like temporary paralysis of the muscles. It allows the muscles to relax, causing the skin to take on a smoother appearance.
It makes sense that the numbing properties of Botox could help alleviate chronic pain from migraine headaches.
How and Why does Botox Work?
Studies show that Botox works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from the brain. Botox is like a roadblock to that pathway. It stops the chemicals before they get to the nerve endings around your head and neck.
Botox treatment may include several shots around your head and neck every 3 months or so to dull the pain or prevent migraines altogether. Some patients need 30-40 shots in all, an equal number on both sides of the head. Injections can be targeted to specific areas of the head if you experience pain in a one spot. Some patient experience results within 2-3 weeks of their first treatment. Botox is also used to treat conditions like cervical dystonia and spasmodic torticollis.
Botox treatment for migraines should be administered by a doctor who is trained to give these shots for chronic migraine pain, not by someone specializing in reducing wrinkles or other cosmetic or aesthetic uses.
Are you a candidate?
If you suffer from chronic migraine pain contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Julian. She can help you manage the pain with Botox injections.