Botox is a popular treatment that is best known for helping people look younger by reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Since 1992, Botox (Botulinum toxin A) a refined and purified form of the deadly bacteria that causes food poisoning, has been used to to temporarily paralyze the muscles that cause wrinkles to form. Well now if you have very frequent migraines, and medications aren’t helping, you now have the option of getting Botox for migraine treatment. Several studies have shown that botox can relieve migraine pain, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the NHS (British National Health Service) have both approved the use of Botox to treat suffers who have the severest cases of migraines. Migraines are painful recurring headaches which can cause dizziness, nausea and temporary sight loss. Migraines seem to be commonly triggered by an allergic reaction to things like coffee, cheese, chocolate and oranges. Other symptoms include eye spasms caused by erratic or strobe lighting and by spasms of forehead and neck muscles.
Under normal circumstances, to make a muscle contract, a nerve sends an electrical signal to the muscle. The point where the nerve and the muscle meet is called the neuromuscular junction. When the signal gets to the neuromuscular junction a chemical called acetylcholine is released from the nerve side of the junction and binds to the muscle side of the junction causing more chemical reactions that make the muscle contract. Botox works by blocking the acetylcholine receptors of the muscle preventing it from contracting. This blockage is NOT reversible, but the muscle slowly begins to rebuild the receptor sites allowing the muscles to contract again.
Do not be confused though, Botox injections are not for everyone and should not be used for treating occasional migraine headaches. In fact, research has shown that it is only effective for treating migraine sufferers who have headaches more than fourteen days out of the month. This treatment is designed to offer hope to migraine headache sufferers who experience migraines almost every day, making it extremely difficult for them to work or even carry out their basic daily activities. According to more recent studies, 90% of migraine sufferers experience fewer headaches after targeted Botox injections in the brow-line and the neck. These are the muscles that begin to spasm when a migraine headache occurs. In a recent study of 1,300 people, about 70% of migraine sufferers experienced 50% fewer migraines after regular treatments of Botox injections.
Unlike some of the other treatments for Migraines on the market, like the prescription drug Imitrex and nasal sprays, Botox injections are not covered by insurance and at a cost of about $350 for each targeted area can make it fairly expensive. Most likely you will need multiple treatments to get the full effect. Many patients who have used botox to reduce the frequency of attacks can now use other drugs like Imitrex to help them get control over the migraines that they do fall prey to. So discuss this with your Portland Botox Therapy Specialist and have them develop an overall Migraine treatment plan designed just for you, that may include trying Botox as a preventive treatment, as well as a good treatment plan designed to aid in trigger management, and pain management.