When a person suffers from a migraine, it’s an intense headache often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. There are many different types of drugs and treatments that might help relieve the pain, but they often have undesirable side effects. One new treatment option is Botox injections—a chemical that blocks nerve signals—that may alleviate some of the symptoms associated with migraine.
Botox and Migraines
In 2002, botulinum toxin type A (Botox) was approved by the FDA to help treat chronic migraine headaches in adults. It became one of the few treatments that did not require a prescription. Botox works by inhibiting how your nerve cells communicate with each other. Specifically, it blocks a neurotransmitter called glutamate from exciting nerves in your brainstem and thalamus, which are regions of your nervous system involved in processing pain. This allows for better pain control.
Botox is typically given as a single, small shot in the forehead. Injecting it into your forehead may seem odd, but it’s less painful than other areas like your lower back or shoulders. The Botox treatment is effective for about 6-10 months which is enough time to get a long-lasting solution to your migraines.
Like many other treatments for migraines, Botox works best when combined with medication. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom, the benefits of Botox were found to be greater when patients received Botox along with their preventive migraine medication. Researchers observed that patients who receive both treatments had a significant decrease in the number and severity of migraine headaches.
Follow-up research showed even more promising results for migraine sufferers: reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines by up to 50%.
Since Botox was introduced, it has been widely accepted as a successful pain treatment for migraine headaches. In fact, according to the American Headache Society’s survey of headache specialists, Botox is the most widely used injectable treatment for chronic migraine. Overall, it’s also one of the most effective migraine treatments available.
Benefits of Using Botox for Migraine Headaches
There have been several clinical trials that have found Botox to be effective at reducing migraine headaches. It can also help prevent migraines when injected before the onset of a migraine. Botox is also convenient because you can go to a professional and have it injected without having to worry about taking medication or wearing a device.
One study from November 2012 involved a review of people using Botox for migraine headaches between 2005 and 2011. Over 3,000 patients were evaluated, and researchers found that, after the first treatment, there was at least a 50 % reduction in migraine headache frequency.
Research has also shown that Botox is safe for men and women who have chronic migraine headaches. However, some patients may experience temporary headaches less than 24 hours after receiving Botox. It’s important to let your doctor know if you are pregnant so he or she can be aware of any potential risks.
Although Botox has not been approved by the FDA to treat migraines in children under 18 years old, researchers have found it helpful in people under 18 who suffer from chronic migraines.
Botox at Iron City Dentistry
Did you know that some headaches can be caused by muscle aches from clenching your teeth? Clenching and grinding your teeth over time can cause damage to your teeth in addition to headaches. Botox helps relieve this because it lessens the muscle’s ability to clench. This may make your face look slimmer, can relieve tension headaches, and will help protect your teeth. Jolene had tension headaches, and we were able to give her Botox in her temporal region and the muscle that we use to clench our teeth, and her headaches were relieved.