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How Botox Relieves Migraine Headaches



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A woman sitting in darkness at a table, holding her head in discomfort with a mug on the table in front of her.

Visit Botox and Fillers Specialists to Reap These Therapeutic Benefits of Botox for Migraines

Chronic migraines are a debilitating condition that leaves many Canadians suffering.

Migraines negatively affect the quality of life for migraine sufferers. They often miss work and social gatherings when experiencing migraine attacks. Even the most basic day-to-day activities can be impossible while in pain.

But migraine sufferers can relieve their pain and ease their suffering with Botox. Botox is an effective treatment to reduce the occurrence of migraine attacks.

Botox® is a licensed and clinically-proven preventative treatment for chronic migraines. Health Canada and the FDA approved Botox for chronic migraines, which are characterized by headaches that:

  • Occur on 15 or more days each month;
  • Last four hours a day or longer; and
  • Have migraine characteristics at least half of the time.

Botox has many medical uses these days. Aside from reducing fine lines and wrinkles with Botox and fillers, Botox can improve the quality of life for migraine sufferers.

How it Works

Botox is a highly diluted preparation of botulinum toxin A, a bacterium that prevents muscle movement. It has been used for medical treatments since the 1970s, but its effect on migraines was only discovered more recently.

In the 1990s, patients reported improvements in headaches following Botox treatments. This led to clinical trials to test the effects of Botox on migraine sufferers.

After six months and two cycles of Botox injections in the head and neck, trial participants had an average of eight less days of headaches each month. And after a year, the majority of participants had about a 50 percent reduction in headaches compared to when they started treatments.

There are no serious irreversible side effects of Botox for migraines. Although it’s not a cure for chronic migraines, it does help reduce the onset and occurrence of headaches.

While there is no single explanation for the reduction in migraines, Botox reduces pain from other diseases as well. The botulinum toxin may inhibit pain by reducing nerve activity in pain pathways of the trigeminovascular system. This system is a sensory pathway that plays a major role in the headache symptom of a migraine attack.

What to Expect

To improve your results of Botox treatments and reduce side effects, only seek treatment from experienced, trained physicians. If you are in the midst of a migraine headache, reschedule your appointment. Botox injections may cause more pain if administered during a migraine attack, so you should avoid taking the risk.

While you may experience relief soon after your first injection, allow for a trial period of two to three treatments over six to nine months.

For many, the benefits of Botox for migraines are worth the treatments. They suffer from fewer headaches, allowing them to enjoy more days without pain. In turn, they can live normal lives, and spend more time with friends, family, and coworkers, and doing the things they love.