Migraines are more than just a headache. Migraines are a chronic pain condition that some find difficult to manage. Preventing the headache before it stars is a major part of the treatment plan for migraines. When other methods fail, health care providers may use Botox® injections as a preventive treatment, helping patients find long-term relief.
At Interventional Pain Associates in Austin, Texas, our pain management specialist, Dr. Sarosh Saleemi, customizes migraine treatment plans so our patients get the best relief.
Here, we want to explain how Botox injections work and how they might help you better manage your migraine pain.
A little about Botox
Botox is a neurotoxin made from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It works by temporarily blocking the transmission of nerve signals from the site of the injection to the brain.
Most people associate Botox with wrinkles. But Botox has many uses beyond restoring a more youthful look. Health experts use Botox to treat a number of medical conditions, including strabismus (misalignment of the eyes), dystonia (severe muscle contractions), and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
In 2010, the FDA approved Botox injections for the treatment of chronic migraines. People with chronic migraines have at least 15 headache days in a 30-day period for more than three months.
How Botox helps migraines
Botox is a prophylactic migraine treatment, meaning it helps prevent the onset of migraine headaches. The injections work by blocking the release of the chemicals that transmit pain signals to the brain.
When treating migraines with Botox, we inject small amounts of the medication into tiny muscles around your head, face, and neck. We may also make additional injections in the area of the head where you feel most of your migraine pain.
We personalize your Botox treatment plan, but you may need up to 40 injections, and we repeat these injections every three months.
Can Botox help me?
If you have chronic migraines and migraine medications aren’t helping, then Botox might help you. Many people find that Botox injections reduce the number of headache days they have a month as well as the severity of their head pain.
However, Botox may not provide instant relief. While some people may have improvements in their pain within 2-3 weeks after their first set of injections, you may need several treatment sessions before you get relief.
Additionally, some people may stop Botox injections after a period of time and continue to have relief, while others need regular injections to keep their headaches under control.
Migraines affect everyone differently and no single treatment works for all. But Botox injections are improving the quality of life for many chronic migraine sufferers.
When it comes to pain management, we take a holistic approach, considering all the factors that influence your pain, helping us create the most effective treatment plan. If your migraine headaches are taking over your life, we can help. Call our office or click the “book online” button to make an appointment with our pain specialist to discuss Botox treatment.