How Can Botox Injections Help with Migraines?
Migraine attacks can be painful and debilitating, affecting your quality of life. Naturally, those who experience these migraines look for ways to relieve the pain. If you are experiencing migraine symptoms for fifteen days or more each month, you may have chronic migraines. Chronic migraines begin as less frequent headache episodes that gradually change into more frequent migraines.
Medications for migraine exist to either address acute symptoms or prevent attacks from occurring. However, if medications aren’t helping relieve the pain, there are other preventative measures. One such preventative measure is Botox, an injectable drug made from a purified protein called clostridium botulinum. When injected into the body, it blocks certain chemical signals from your nerves, causing temporary paralysis of the muscles. Though Botox gained popularity as a wrinkle reducer, researchers recognize the potential of Botox for treating medical conditions too. Today Botox can treat problems such as repetitive neck spasms, eye twitching, overactive bladder, and chronic migraine.
How Does Botox Treat Migraines?
Botox works by reducing muscle contractions and stopping neurotransmitters from sending pain signals to the brain, helping reduce pain. Botox treatments can help reduce symptoms of migraine attacks, including:
- Sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells
The effects of Botox are only temporary. Patients will need to receive ongoing treatment. The most common treatment timeline involves an injection every twelve weeks, or four times per year. Furthermore, it may take several weeks to experience migraine relief after an injection. Injection sites may include:
- The upper bridge above the nose
- Back of the head
- Upper back
Botox injections themselves tend to be nearly painless, though you may experience a small sting or slight burning sensation with each injection. During the session, your doctor will likely inject multiple doses of Botox into specific points on your head. After the treatment, most patients are able to continue their day as usual.
Potential Side Effects of Botox for Treating Migraine Pain
Most medical procedures come with side effects; those side effects are rare. Complications and side effects of Botox treatments are rare. The most common side effects of the injections are neck pain and stiffness at the injection site. You may also develop a headache afterward or experience temporary muscle weakness in the neck and upper shoulders. These symptoms may make it hard to keep your head upright. While these don’t sound pleasant, the symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few days.
Botox toxin can spread to areas beyond the injection site in rare cases. Should this occur, you may experience:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision changes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Drooping eyelids
- Sharply raised eyebrows
To reduce the risk of serious side effects and complications, always make sure Botox is prescribed and administered by a trained and trusted healthcare professional. Your doctor may not recommend Botox injections until other treatment options have proven unsuccessful. If other preventive treatments haven’t helped with your chronic migraine symptoms, it may be time to talk to your doctor about Botox. Additionally, a doctor may recommend Botox treatment if you don’t tolerate migraine medications well.
Find Back Pain Relief at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
NJ Spine & Orthopedic is dedicated to helping our patients find back pain relief. Our award-winning team of neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians are leaders in their field and dedicated to helping people find much-needed pain relief. We aim to provide unmatched medical service and to help patients regain their quality of life. Our patient-centered approach allows our medical team to tailor treatment plans specific to the patient’s needs and condition.
If you are suffering from chronic back pain, NJ Spine & Orthopedic is here to help you find pain relief. Contact us at (866) 272-9271 or fill out our contact form to speak with one of our spine specialists today.