Physician Roger Kasendorf breaks down how Botox benefits people who experience chronic migraines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox and other injectable neuromodulation drugs for use in the treatment of migraines. Dr. Roger Kasendorf specifies the approval is limited to those who suffer from chronic migraines, or at least 15 or more days of headaches per month.
Botox has proven to be an effective management tool for many patients, but it is a treatment path that may take time to work and also needs to be repeated at regular intervals to maintain efficacy.
Roger Kasendorf explains Botox for migraines basics
When Botox treatments are carefully and strategically used for aesthetic purposes, they help reduce wrinkle size by relaxing muscles in the face around the eyes and forehead just enough to keep wrinkles from forming through daily facial movements. It is believed these same relaxing properties are responsible for the anti-migraine effect.
Neurotransmitters are a chemical substance at the end of nerve fibers in the body responsible for relaying messages from a point of pain until it reaches the brain. It is believed Botox calms the activity of these messengers at and around injection sights, effectively blocking pain messages from the nerves from being sent to the brain as long as the Botox is in the system.
What are the results?
Botox treatments for chronic migraine sufferers can start working right away, but for some individuals, Roger Kasendorf advises it may take a few injections before relief starts to appear.
Doctors may inject Botox at multiple pain points for headaches, including in the face at the temples and forehead, at the neck and in the shoulders. For individuals with a higher pain level and a greater frequency of headaches, multiple injection sessions can be required before relief is found. When people do experience relief, it is generally an overall reduction in pain and a reduction in the frequency of individual high-pain migraine experiences during the treatment time.
Some individuals may also still require other treatments at the same time or an alternate treatment path. Always consult with a personal physician to create a comprehensive treatment plan.
After several months, it becomes necessary to pursue Botox injection treatment again. Botox is not a permanent solution for chronic migraines, and it starts to wear off around 2.5 months. Treatment can only be completed every three months, so most chronic sufferers need to have gap treatment ready until it is time for a new injection appointment.