Chronic migraines are one of the most debilitating problems we treat, even rivaling significant back pain in the amount of agony it causes patients. When a migraine begins, work, family and friends must all be put to the side until the patient can get their pain to subside – which could take hours. Patients with chronic migraines experience this excruciating occurrence 15 days a week or more.
Our neurologists, Dr. Kelli Schlesinger and Dr. Elizabeth Sullivan, help chronic migraine patients escape this vicious cycle through a variety of treatments, one of them being Botox injections. Originally created for cosmetic treatments in the 1990s, Botox injections were approved as a preventive treatment for migraines in 2010, and have now provided relief for many chronic migraine patients. Read on for more information about this treatment.
What Botox Injections Do
Botox injections mostly consist of Clostridium botulinum, a toxic bacterium. When used as an injectable drug, the bacterium can cause temporary paralysis of muscles near the injection site by keeping chemical signals from connecting with your nerves.
How Botox Injections Help Migraines
By undergoing Botox injections, you can help ease the muscles that often tense up and perpetuate migraine pain through temporary paralysis, preventing headaches and migraines before they start.
What To Expect During Your Appointment
An appointment typically lasts around 15 minutes and is virtually painless. Botox is injected into shallow muscles with a small needle in several key areas, which may include your neck, upper forehead, temples and the back of your head.
What To Expect After Your Appointment
While some patients experience relief after one treatment, most need at least two to fill the full effects. Each treatment is typically about three months a part. You may experience some stiffness around the injection site, but this should go away within a day or two. Other side effects are rare, and should be reported if you experience them.