What You Need to Know About Migraines and Botox. We’ve heard of Botox, responsible for generations of smooth foreheads in Hollywood. But Botox has also brought relief too many people who suffer from chronic medical conditions. In 2010, Botox was approved for use with chronic migraine, and many patients are reporting success. What do you need to know before considering it?
What Type of Headache Responds Best to Botox? Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines, which means headache on 15 or more days a month. “The more frequent the headaches, the better the patient does with Botox,” says Dr. Andrew Blumenfeld, Director, The Headache Center of Southern California. Botox is not recommended for patients who experience fewer than 15 headache days a month. (Source)
What is Botox? Botox is a protein made from Botulinum toxin, which the bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces. This is the same toxin that causes botulism. Botox is a neuro-toxin, but when doctors use it correctly and in small doses, it can have benefits. It has both cosmetic and medical uses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved it as a treatment for various health issues, including eyelid spasms, excessive sweating, some bladder disorders, and migraines. (Source)
HOW BOTOX WORKS FOR MIGRAINES
Botox works by reducing muscle contractions and stopping neurotransmitters from sending pain signals to your brain. This can help reduce the pain caused by migraines and lets many patients enjoy daily life without interruption.
The effect is only temporary, so patients will need to receive ongoing treatment. The most common treatment timeline involves an injection every 12 weeks, or four times per year. It may take several weeks to experience migraine relief after an injection. Your doctor may adjust this timeline according to your individual needs. (Source)
The most common side effects of Botox for migraines are:
Muscle weakness near the injection site, because Botox temporarily blocks the signals between your nerves and your muscles, you might experience some slight weakness or drooping in the muscles near the injection site.
Bruising, bleeding, pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site, just like any other shot, Botox injections can result in soreness or bruising. It should be very mild, however. If you find yourself experiencing more intense pain or swelling, you might be having an allergic reaction and should contact your dental professional.
Headache, muscle stiffness, or neck pain, particularly for first time patients, Botox can sometimes cause some soreness in the head and neck area.
Eye-related issues such as drooping eyelids, dry eyes, double vision, increased sensitivity to light, etc. If you experience any eye-related side effects, they should be mild and go away on their own within 24-48 hours. (Source)
Most side effects are usually temporary and should fade within a few days. However, drooping eyelids, drooling, and asymmetry are all caused by the unintentional effects of the toxin on muscles surrounding the target areas of the drug, and these side effects may take several weeks to improve as the toxin wears off.
In rare cases, you may develop botulism-like symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you begin experiencing:
difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing
vision problems, loss of bladder control, general weakness (Source)
Chiropractic care can be a great way to manage and relieve pain caused by migraines and tension headaches. Chiropractic care provides patients suffering from migraines and tension headaches with a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications (OTCs), which are commonly prescribed to patients to help them manage their pain.
Chiropractors deliver a gentle, non-invasive, non-addictive therapy, known as a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments improve your nervous system function and spinal health, so your body has the ability to better manage the pain caused by migraines and tension headaches and bring you relief. (Source)
Dr. Mooberry is a Denver chiropractor at Lifetime Wellness & Chiropractic. He is well versed in the care of migraines with chiropractic care. Dr. Isaac Mooberry is considered one of the leading experts in migraines across the nation.