Relieve Migraine Pain with Botox

June 21, 2024

Often striking without warning, a migraine can be one of the most agonizing experiences imaginable. This sudden attack of intense pain, dizziness, and nausea can be debilitating, incapacitating those it affects and preventing them from performing even the most basic tasks. But for those suffering from chronic migraine attacks, a well-known yet surprising treatment may offer some much-needed relief.

About Migraines

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a migraine is a type of headache characterized by recurrent throbbing or pulsing attacks on the side of the head. Patients may suffer from one of two types of migraine:

Both types of migraine are caused by the activation of nerve fibers within the brain’s blood vessels. Lasting up to 72 hours, migraines cause intense pain along with several other symptoms such as heightened sensitivity to light, noise, and odors, nausea, and vomiting. Risk factors vary from person to person, but some common factors include the following:

How to Treat a Migraine

Typical treatments for migraine attacks can include napping or resting in a dark, quiet room, applying a cool cloth or ice pack to the forehead, or drinking plenty of fluids. However, patients suffering from chronic migraines may find some relief from a surprising source.

Well known for its use in cosmetic procedures like reducing wrinkles, Botox has emerged as an FDA-approved treatment for chronic migraines, or migraines occurring more than 15 times per month. Just like it relaxes the facial muscles to reduce wrinkles, Botox also relaxes the spastic muscle tightening that causes migraine pain.

Botox is more effective and direct than over-the-counter oral medications. While drugs like acetaminophen are carried throughout the body by the bloodstream, Botox injections affect only the muscles around the injection site and are held in place by those muscles. Once injected, Botox enters nerve endings around the injection site and blocks chemical signals causing the contractions associated with pain, offering a more direct treatment for pain than oral medications. Treatments are quick — usually lasting about 20 minutes — and involve about 31 injections with a very small needle. Each treatment lasts about three months, so four treatments are needed per year, but patients will see the maximum effect after six months with few side effects reported.

Are you suffering from chronic migraine attacks? Get convenient, local help — Dr. Daniel Kimple sees patients on the second and third Tuesdays each month at the Culbertson Specialty Clinic. To schedule an appointment, call (217) 322-5271.