How Can Botox Treat Chronic Migraines?
May 20th, 2016 | Posted in: Botox Treatments |
Botox: An Effective Treatment for Migraines
It seems crazy: after all, Botox has essentially become synonymous with cosmetic procedures in the public eye. But in more recent years, the use of Botox has expHoe anded to become a migraine solution, with approval from the FDA. In fact, one E! Online writer wrote about how Botox treatment helped with her chronic problem just last year. If you or someone you know has had problems with migraines, Botox may just be the solution.
What Migraines Do
Chronic migraines are a neurological condition affecting 3.2 million Americans. A migraine headache is defined by an intense, painful headache that can cause nausea; vomiting; sensitivity to sounds, smells, and light; and vision changes. The condition becomes chronic when these symptoms last for 15 days or more every month.
Unfortunately, researchers have not discovered definitively what the root cause of a migraine is. They do know a handful of possible causes:
- A central nervous system disorder may cause a migraine episode when the disorder is triggered.
- An irregularity in the brain’s blood vessel system.
- If your family has a history of migraines, your risk for migraines increases.
- There are a number of brain chemicals and nerves that become active when a migraine occurs. If there is an abnormality with any of these, a migraine may occur.
There are a number of common triggers as well, including salty foods, skipping meals, alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, sensory stimulation, stress, weather changes, and more.
How Botox Helps Reduce Migraine Symptoms
Of course, Botox would make little sense as a treatment option if it was meant to treat migraines as they occurred. Instead, Botox works as a preventative measure. According to the Botox website, it is administered every 12 weeks in order to get the full benefits of the treatment. They estimate that Botox will prevent an average of 8 – 9 headache days a month.
During the procedure, Botox is injected a total of 31 times in key areas: the forehead, head, neck, back, and shoulders. Each injection is comparable to a tiny pin prick, and the whole procedure will total only about 15 minutes.
But why does it work? Botox is also known as Botulinum Toxin Type A, which disrupts the signal transmission from nerve cells to muscles. This is accomplished through muscle fiber paralysis, which effectively blocks the release of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) sent from nerve cells.
Ultimately, researchers are not entirely sure why it works. It is possible that the muscle paralysis is the main cause, but it could also be a result of other biological effects, such as a decrease in inflammatory mediator release.
Researchers may not be certain of the how or why, but the results have spoken for themselves. Botox was approved based on the findings of two studies: PREEMPT 1 and PREEMPT 2. These studies showed that Botox was significantly superior to a placebo, reducing the frequency and severity of headaches significantly. Participants in the study also demonstrated a significant decrease in disability and improved functioning compared with the placebo group. There were very few adverse effects and it was safe to use.
Is Botox Treatment Right for You?
Whether Botox will be effective for treating your migraine problems varies greatly depending on the individual. For one, Botox is not for everyone; people with asthma, bleeding issues, allergies, skin infections, and other conditions will not be able to receive Botox.
Others may be among the few who experience side effects like neck pain, weakness, double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, loss of bladder control, hoarseness, and headaches. In worse cases, the effects of the botulinum toxin may spread to other areas of the body, causing symptoms similar to botulism. Symptoms of this condition include swallowing and breathing problems, though there are no confirmed cases of these side effects when the recommended dosage is used.
A Cosmetic Surgeon
Unfortunately, not every Botox provider can be trusted to administer the proper amount of Botox. As you can see from our website, Dr. Gabriel Chiu and his team are experts in Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures. Give Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc. a call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chiu and discuss whether Botox might be the solution for your migraine problems.