Migraines are extremely painful and can be debilitating to those who suffer from them. There are many different treatments available, the most popular being prescription medications. Many swear by acupuncture or hypnotherapy as a relief from pain and some even undergo surgery to make the headaches stop. There is another option available that is a new use of a well-established medicine - Botox.
Migraines are thought to be caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the head. When dilated, these blood vessels tug at the nearby nerve receptors causing incredible pain. Migraines tend to involve not only a headache but result in sensitivity to light and colors, nausea, dizziness and more.
According to Dr. Drew Ordon, Botox is an increasingly popular treatment because it can be targeted to treat the specific muscles that are overused. Botox is injected into the muscles, not the nerves, and it works by impairing the muscle's ability to flex. The patient is able to work with the doctor, specifically identifying the areas that they believe are the origin of the migraines. The Botox may be slightly dilated and is then injected into the muscle. The physician will often massage the injection site to ensure proper dispersion of the medication.
Dr. Ordon also says that it only takes about 20 minutes for a treatment and it usually takes effect in a few days. Patients report relief for about 4 months and are generally pleased with the results.
As with any procedure, speak to your doctor about its safety and whether or not it is right for you. Also, use of Botox for headaches is currently an off-label use of the drug and has not been approved by the FDA. When seeking a physician regarding Botox treatment for your migraines, make sure to ask not only if they're familiar with Botox injections, but if they're familiar with Botox for migraines specifically.