What are migraine headaches?
Migraine headaches are frequently recurring, debilitating headaches that are characterized by a severe pulsating pain that can last from a few hours to several days. Accompanying symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, along with sensitivity to light, sound, and/or smell. Most people who suffer from migraine headaches need to take time out from work and leisure time, with bed rest in a dark, quiet room being the only way to recover.
How does Botox® work to alleviate severe migraines?
The use of Botox® to treat migraines is a recent development, but it has been approved as a safe therapeutic muscle-relaxing treatment. The treatment works by interrupting the nerve impulses from the brain to relax muscle activity and reduce the pain and duration of migraines.
The treatment involves Botox® being injected into specific areas around the forehead and eyes. Three very specific nerve areas play a role in the pain experienced during a migraine attack, these are:
- The supratrochlear and supraorbital nerves in the inner upper eye area;
- The zygomaticotemporal nerve, located just in front of the hairline outside the brow;
- The greater occipital nerve, located in the back of the neck.
Botox® treatment is very effective in relieving “imploding” migraines that are characterized by severe pain moving inwards with a “squeezing” or “crushing” sensation. Botox® works by relaxing the nerves that typically become inflamed during a migraine attack and cause acute pain.
Does Botox® treatment for migraines work for everyone?
People who suffer from chronic migraine headaches or Bruxism (grinding of the teeth) are ideal candidates for Botox®. Those who have had a long history of migraines and suffer from severe headaches frequently (a few times a month) also are good candidates for the therapeutic use of Botox®.
How many treatments are needed before migraine pain is reduced?
Typically, migraine sufferers are given Botox® treatment at intervals of about 10-12 weeks apart. These treatments are given as multiple injections around the head and neck to reduce the pain of severe migraine attacks.
For treating chronic migraine, a qualified medical specialist administers a series of 31 Botox® injections into seven specific head and neck sites.
How long does the Botox® migraine treatment last? How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments and duration of effect varies depending on the individual. A series of Botox® injections may last 4 to 6 months. Ideally, we recommend several rounds of treatments to create an accumulative effect with the aim of reducing migraine symptoms for up to 8 to 10 months -- depending on the severity of your migraines.