Migraines can be debilitating, there’s no question about it. The agonizing pain, sensitivity, and discomfort that people feel before, during, and after a migraine attack make it clear why so many desperately seek treatment. One of the more popular treatment options is Botox for migraines, but should it be as popular as it is? Here’s what to know.
What Is Botox?
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacteria species Clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin that causes the food poisoning botulism. Botox is the most toxic poison known. Just 100 nanograms will kill you if injected. That is ⅙ the weight of a grain of sand. But in very tiny amounts it has been approved for medical use.
Things to Know Before Using Botox for Migraines
Before putting your complete faith in Botox as the cure for your migraines it’s important to understand a few things.
- What it can help
- What the treatment process is like
- How long any potential benefit might last
- Potential side effects
Where Can It Help?
Migraines come in many different shapes and sizes, with experiences varying widely from person to person. Out of three common types of migraines: severe chronic migraines, episodic migraines, and chronic tension headaches, Botox is only FDA approved for severe chronic migraines.
What Is Treatment Like and How Long Will It Last?
Botox treatment sessions aren’t for the faint of heart. People who receive Botox injections as a remedy for their migraines endure numerous sessions every year each typically consisting of approximately 31 injections.
Injections are required every 12 weeks with patients usually seeing full results about one week after injections. Patients typically receive five treatments of the course of 15 months to manage their migraines with the effects lasting anywhere from weeks to months. When OnaBotulinum Toxin A (Botox) is used in functional muscles, such as jaw muscles, due to a process called “arborization” the body usually needs increasingly larger doses for the same effect until it no longer is effective.
Side Effects of Botox for Migraines
Botox injection sites are prone to side effects including mild bruising, rash, itching, and a stiff and aching neck. What else should people know about the potential side effects of Botox migraine treatments?
Side effects of Botox include:
- Allergic reactions
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Cough and sore throat
- Runny nose
A Real Migraine Relief Solution
Episodic migraines, tension headaches, and even severe chronic migraines can often all be traced back to one common place: the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint, which connects the jaw to the skull is one of the most used and vulnerable joints in the human body. Because of this hyper-constant use it can become worn down and dysfunctional causing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can effect symptoms all over the body as a result of its cross-functional location (posture, proximity to the head, chewing, airway, etc.)
The good news is that TMD can be treated, drug and injection-free. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Dr. Raman at (816) 436-4422.