Do Botox Injections Really Work To Treat Migraine Headaches?

Posted on: 26 October 2020

Migraine headaches are painful headaches that plague many people. Some choose to treat them with prescription or over-the-counter medications, while others choose to live with them because nothing seems to help.

Depending on the prescription medications used, they can become addictive and harmful to your health. Because of this, many are turning to Botox injections to help treat their battle with migraines.

In 2010, the FDA approved the use of Botox to treat adults who suffer migraine headaches. The FDA only allows those over 18 who have a history of migraines and have 15 or more episodes a month to take advantage of this treatment. Those who are under 18 can ask their doctor for "off-label" treatment, but insurance will likely not pay for it.

Why Botox?

Most people are familiar with the use of Botox in cosmetic surgery, where it is used to get rid of wrinkles. The wrinkles reduce because Botox weakens the muscles in the face.

It was discovered that when patients who received Botox injections for cosmetic surgery, those who suffered from migraines noticed a decrease in their frequency of headaches. This caused doctors to study the relation between Botox treatments and migraine headaches.

What doctors found was that regular Botox injections reduced the number of headaches by up to 50% per month, which allowed for more days without headaches enjoyed by the patient.

How Do the Botox Injections for Migraines Work?

When you visit the doctor for treatment, you will get Botox injections all around your head and neck, and you may need more injections where you identify the pain centers. Each treatment consists of between 30-40 injections that depend on how many pain centers you identify.

These injections target common pain centers in the head, and the Botox influences the nerves not to register pain. Patients will not notice a marked difference until after the 2nd or 3rd visit. However, if a patient receives Botox injections continually for 6 months, they will feel much better with up to 50% improvement.

Are There Side-Effects?

Botox injections are done with a tiny needle, so you will feel a slight prick of the needle. After the process is done, the doctor will recommend that you not lay down for at least 4 hours after receiving the injections so that everything remains in place.

After receiving 30+ injections, you should expect to feel some soreness. The only side-effects are neck pain and stiff neck, and the degree of pain is different for each patient. Regular over-the-counter pain medicine and a simple ice pack can help relieve the pain.

Is Botox Right for You?

You may be wondering if Botox is a good option for you. After considering this information, the best thing to do next is to consult with a doctor and see if it may be an appropriate course of action for you. Only a trained physician can help make that decision for you and refer you to a specialist.