Frequently Asked Questions
DOES BOTOX REALLY HELP MIGRAINES?
Recent studies suggest that botulinum toxin inhibits pain in chronic migraine by reducing pain pathways involving nerve cells in the trigeminovascular system, which plays a key role in the headache phase of a migraine attack.
In a similar way, Botulinum toxin has been shown to reduce pain in a number of disease states, including cervical dystonia, neuropathic pain, lower back pain, spasticity, myofascial pain, and bladder pain.
HOW DOES BOTOX WORK FOR MIGRAINES?
In 2003, the World Health Organization estimated that as many as 303 million people worldwide suffer from migraines. With the prevalence and frequency of these debilitating headaches, and the noted relief Botox® injections often provide, many migraine clinics and cosmetic surgeons now offer Botox® as a headache treatment. In 2010, Botox, famous for smoothing out wrinkles on the face was approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults.
Dr. Khan injects Botox® into the forehead, neck, and shoulders where patients are experiencing pain and tension. It is thought to eliminate migraines by reducing muscle tension and thus creating less strain on the nervous system. Not only can decreasing stress on the nervous system prevent migraines from developing, headaches that do occur are often less severe because Botox® blocks pain receptors in nerve cells.*
*results can vary based on individual conditions
WHICH AREAS RESPOND WELL TO BOTOX?
During a migraine, you might experience pain that throbs or pulses either on one side of your head or both sides. Some patients even feel a sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smell and touch. Overall, areas that generally respond well to injections include the forehead and the back of the neck regions. The temple areas have mixed results, with some patients responding better than others. And for migraines caused by TMJ pain, Botox injections can be applied to the jaw muscles.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BOTOX FOR MIGRAINES?
Botox is only FDA-approved for ‘chronic migraines’, those in which you suffer from it 15 or more days a month. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not suitable for the treatment. And it is important to note that if you have a neurological disease - such as neuropathies - the risks of Botox are increased.
HOW LONG DOES BOTOX FOR MIGRAINES LAST?
The results of the Botox treatment should last around 3-4 months and the procedure can be repeated after this time. Following the procedure there is little or no recovery time, and most patients can return to their normal life immediately after the injections appointment.