Stopping Migraines with Botox

Girl with migraine on couch

Everyone has heard of Botox, the famed wrinkle relaxer loved by millions the world over. This adoration began in 2002 when the FDA approved Botox for the treatment of wrinklees and lines on the upper third of the face.

But Botox was used long before that for the treatment of problems with involuntary muscle contractions. It received its first FDA approval in the 1970s for the treatment of involuntary eyelid spasms. Uses have continued to expand and Botox was approved for the treatment of chronic migraine headaches in 2010.

We offer Botox for this use at Desert Vein & Vascular.

Botox and migraines

In the mid-1990s a number of people receiving Botox for other uses reported improvement in headaches. Testing followed on all types of headaches but results were disappointing…except in one group — chronic migraine sufferers.

Chronic migraine patients were classified as having, on average, 20 days of headaches each month, of which 18 were moderate or severe.

A new study was then conducted with only chronic migraine sufferers. These patients received Botox injections every 12 weeks for one year. After six months, those treated with Botox had, on average, eight less days of headaches each month. After 12 months, 70% of those treated had 50% or less headaches than they had when they started the study.

How does Botox stop migraines?

There is some mystery to how Botox works so well on migraines. Botox works to stop a muscle from contracting by blocking the nerve messages from the muscle to the brain. In migraines it is thought that Botox may block certain pain pathways involving nerve cells in the trigeminovascular system. The trigeminovascular system is a sensory pathway thought to play a key role in the headaches phase of a migraine attack.

A Botox session at Desert Vein & Vascular

For our Botox migraine patients, we inject Botox Cosmetic in several precise locations around the patient’s head and neck. Locations generally include the forehead, the left and right sides of the head above the ears, the back of the head, the base of the head just above the neck, and down the sides of the neck. A total of 31 injections are made in those seven areas during a treatment session.

If you suffer chronic migraine headaches, Botox treatment at Desert Vein & Vascular could really help. Call us at (623) 847-3884 to make an appointment.

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