Suffering from Migraines?
You dread the feeling. A pulsating or radiating pain behind your eyes. Nausea. Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. The sinking realization that the rest of the day will be spent fighting to return to basic functionality.
Recurring migraines are one of the most debilitating types of chronic pain, and one that an estimated 12 percent of Americans suffer from regularly.
Over-the-counter medicines are often ineffective at keeping the pain at bay, and regular use of opioid medications can cause a never-ending cycle of rebound headaches and other unsightly side effects.
Thankfully, there are other alternatives that actually prevent migraines from occurring, instead of simply masking the symptoms. According to the FDA, Botox® has been shown to be an effective preventative measure for patients who experience headaches more than 14 days per month.
ASAP Pain & Spine injects Botox® in some patients to relieve pain from migraines. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Though Botox® may help in removing wrinkles, the injections also help to relieve pain caused by chronic migraines. During a migraine, the body sends pain signals to the central nervous system. Botox® works to block to the signals before they reach the system so that the body does not experience pain during a migraine. Physicians know Botox® to most effectively heal chronic migraines, or those occurring 15 days or more per month. Botox® rarely helps patients who have migraines for fewer than 15 days in one month.
Seven sites divide the head and neck areas into parts where physicians can deliver Botox® injections. Physicians may begin the first treatments by using more than 30 injection sites and increasing slightly with each treatment to a certain point. A patient usually receives the migraine treatment every three months unless the physician notes otherwise.
Physicians use a tiny needle to inject Botox®, upon which patients may feel small pinpricks of discomfort. When Botox® enters the muscles of the shoulders, neck or head, it stops chemicals from travelling to certain nerve endings that can cause pain. The time period from the injection to the onset of pain relief remains different for every patient. While some may have pain relief after the first round of injections, others may not have relief until after two or three migraine treatments.
Side effects from Botox® are generally mild. Neck pain and headache are the most common reported, though the drug can also cause weakness and blurred vision. In rare cases, the drug may spread to other areas of the body, producing symptoms similar to botulism, though no confirmed cases of this occurred when using the product for migraine treatment.
Though the procedure can greatly benefit patients in need of a treatment for migraines, risks also accompany Botox® injections. Though negative reactions based on sensitivity rarely occur, patients can suffer from severe allergic reactions, rashes, breathlessness, illness and fluid retention. Patients may also experience negative reactions from Botox® toxicity like muscle weakness and pneumonia, and in the worst scenario, death. As a result of the injection itself, infection, bleeding, bruising or swelling may result.
Botox® became famous in the 90’s as a wrinkle reducer, but it wasn’t long before researchers discovered its potential for combating medical conditions such as excessive sweating and migraines. The FDA approved the use of Botox® for chronic migraines in 2010. What’s better, most insurance providers cover the treatment costs for the procedure.
The procedure for using Botox® to prevent migraines is simple and painless. After you’ve been screened and approved as a candidate, your doctor will inject multiple doses of the drug into specific areas on your neck, head and back. Treatments are administered about every three months, which is about how long the treatment remains effective.
Botox® for Migraines in Plano, Texas
Though risks accompany the Botox procedure, Dr. Espejo and her staff at ASAP Pain & Spine evaluate patients’ situations to find the best migraine treatment to relieve their pain. ASAP Pain & Spine serves the areas of Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, and Allen.
Please note, there are no guaranteed results with BOTOX® and results may vary from patients to patient. Though BOTOX® is not effective for all types of headaches, about 90% of MRC’s patients report that their migraines are less frequent and not as severe after BOTOX® treatment. In clinical trials, patients reported seven to nine fewer headaches per month. In a study by A. H. Elkind, P. O’Carroll, A. Blumenfeld, R. DeGryse, and R. Dimitrova, a standard course of treatment brought patients these results:
- 81 percent reported less frequent and/or less intense head pain
- 61 percent reported excellent pain relief
- 20 percent reported some pain relief.
After two treatments, patients reported that they had up to nine fewer headache days a month.