There are many causes of headache pain which are treated at Illinois Pain Institute, one treatment is Botox. You may have heard of Botox – which has made its name famous by celebrities for smoothing troublesome wrinkles on the face. What may be news to you is–Botox has been approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults? With this rapid, effective, in-office procedure, patients receive a series of injections at specific sites on the neck and head – thus decreasing the intensity and frequency of future migraine headache attacks! The first response can be considerable for chronic migraine sufferers. Further interval between Botox treatments is usually 10-12 weeks.

How do these Botox treatments work?

Botox – a Type A Botulinum Toxin – is a neurotoxin used for more than 20 years for treatment of not only chronic migraine prevention, but multiple other medical conditions including cervical dystonia, upper limb spasticity, strabismus and blepharospasm. Botox works in an intricate and complex fashion. The mechanism of action is directly related to the interruption of signal transmission by the nerve cells to the muscles. Botox produces muscle fiber paralysis by disrupting the normal function of the neuromuscular junction. Botox blocks the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, from the nerve cells. This process inhibits muscle contraction leading to paralysis of the muscle. The effect occurs after an average of four to six days and continues for up to 12 weeks. This process is reversible–even after having repeated Botox injections into the same muscles for years! Although the most well recorded effect of Botox is the science behind muscle fiber paralysis, other biological effects could also be involved in the decrease of migraine pain, such as potential decrease in substances which cause inflammation.

Are there any downsides to Botox injections?

Often cost can be a downside because Botox is relatively expensive. Larger amounts (100-155 units) are sometimes required for optimal Migraine prevention. However, with FDA approval of Botox for Migraine sufferers, several additional patients are able to afford the treatment–especially since they can be covered by health insurance companies. While many patients routinely notice a temporary smoothing of moderate to deep facial lines, cosmetic benefits are not the main purpose of Botox treatments when utilized for Chronic Migraines. The targeted sites injected are designed to achieve the goal of migraine prevention. If you desire cosmetic benefits, additional and varying sites can be selected. Be certain to tell your doctor if you already receive Botox injections for cosmetic purposes.

What is the best news?

There has been no adverse incidents reported for injecting Botox for Chronic Migraines. In fact, many people who have tried oral medications, natural remedies, massage, dietary changes and chiropractic services to no avail are now experiencing relief from their once debilitating migraine headaches with Botox injections!

What next?

Consult your Illinois Pain Institute Physician regarding Botox treatments for your headaches. This is the first step on the road to optimal health and recovery!