Friday, 14 June 2013

Botox For Migraines

By Cali Marinaw

The use of botulinum toxin injections has advanced tremendously over the last few years. Applications in cosmetic surgery and muscle spasticity disorder are now well recognized and are offered at a number of different centers all over the world. For a short time now, some patients have been receiving botox injections in order to treat their migraines.

Below, we will be going over how botox treatments have been used as of late to for this reason.

The origins of using this treatment for migraines

Botox injections work by paralyzing the nerves and blocking the flow of nerve signals, thus relaxing the muscles. Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium contained in these injections, and that is the cause of the effect. Eye muscles can be relaxed this way, as well as muscles in other areas, of a patient's body, which can help rebuild muscle tone and restore function to higher levels.

Botox in migraine

The release of the neuro-chemical serotonin is the main way for migraines to be mediated. This is not affected by botox, however, patients notice a decrease in pain from migraines after having the treatments.

This is still being researched and the reasons for the correlation are not clear at this time, but people are still pleased with the results they receive for their migraine issues. The recommendations from the studies is to inject the botox into the scalp at around 31 -39 different points in patients. There are a number of theories that have been postulated:

Number one would be that pain signals in nerves are blocked by these injections.

After that, the muscles in the scalp are relaxed, which in turn, causes the brain to have a lower blood pressure.

Patients are reporting less headaches, and less severe when they occur, although the research to document this is still ongoing at this time.

When a patient reports migraine headaches that happen for over 15 days a month, and do not receive relief from other types of treatment are sometimes recommended to have botox injections. Analgesic overuse headaches happen when a patient over5uses painkiller medications, so this must be examined for patients as well.

Each patient is different, so in cases where botox is administered 2 times and the patient has no benefit then other options should be considered, but if it makes headaches occur less than 15 days per month, this is another signal of success.

What risks are there?

There have been rare reports of allergic reactions or neck pain from botox scalp injections.


The uses of botox are still growing and its application in migraine is novel. Research is still being conducted and the results so far have been promising, making it a treatment that is currently approved in managing chronic migraine.

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