BOTOX for Migraine Headaches
Much more than a headache, a migraine is a collection of neurological symptoms that can be debilitating, painful and chronic – so much so that they impact your quality of life. Fortunately, there is an effective treatment for you at Cocoon Medical Spa – we offer BOTOX for migraine management.
At Cocoon Medical Spa, our Doctors have been trained by one of Australia’s leading pain management Doctors for the treatment of Migraines – Dr Saul Geffen
BOTOX for Migraine Headaches
If you’re a chronic migraine sufferer and have tried other treatments that have failed to give you that much-needed relief, you may want to consider BOTOX injections for migraine headaches.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that BOTOX is an effective treatment in the prevention of migraines.
Migraine vs. Headache — 6 Major Differences You Need To Know
Determining the origin of the headache is very important to know how to treat it effectively. Most headaches share common symptoms of throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to noise.
When it comes to migraine vs. headache, there are six major aspects that can help you identify which one you’re suffering from. Migraines are typically more intense and debilitating, with moderate to severe pain. They also last much longer, and you’ll typically feel them in one side of the head. Further, migraines often occur with additional symptoms, like fatigue, nausea, and light/noise sensitivity.
What is a migraine headache?
Migraines are a form of headache, but they’re usually separated due to their severity. However, they’re not simply a severe headache. They come with their own symptoms.
In addition to severe head pain, migraine sufferers may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound and smells
- Extreme fatigue
Individuals suffering from migraine headaches often can’t sit upright and need to be in a dark, cool space until the pain subsides. The environment or the food you eat or stress can trigger a migraine.
What are headaches?
The most common types of headaches are:
- Cluster headaches
- Tension type headache
- Secondary headaches
- Sinus headaches
Cluster headaches are a type of head pain that occurs in the exact same spot around the same time of day during a specific time of year. Tearing from the eye when the pain is occurring is also possible. Food and emotions do not trigger cluster headaches. Instead they are caused by dilations in the blood vessels of the brain due to a release of serotonin and histamines. They can be caused by physical exertion, bright lights, or even altitude.
You’ll feel tension headaches just behind the eyes, in the face and neck, and at the base of the skull. It may be the most common form of headache pain. Eyestrain, stress, and hunger are the most common causes of tension headaches. They can be chronic or reoccurring in nature.
Secondary headaches are symptoms related to primary conditions. For example, headaches that appear in patients diagnosed with brain tumors are likely to have headache pain related to the cancer, though the headache itself is not the primary source of pain.
6 differences between migraine vs. headache
- Treatments that work
While both headache and migraine feature pain, the intensity level of a migraine headache is much higher than that of a regular headache. Pain feels as if it is coming from inside the skull and is often accompanied by throbbing in the temples or pain behind the eyes.
Tension and cluster headaches typically resolve within a few hours. Migraine pain can last for days at a time.
Headaches usually have one symptom: pain. Migraine headaches come with a variety of symptoms that can include some or all of the following:
- Photosensitivity: Light is unbearable and increases the pain.
- Environmental sensitivity: Just as with light, sounds and smells in the environment can intensify pain.
- Dizziness: A migraine can feel very disorienting, both mentally and physically.
- Nausea: Whether due to dizziness or prompted by photosensitivity, nausea and vomiting often accompany migraine pain.
- Extreme fatigue: Migraine pain can make it impossible to sleep, and lack of sleep can intensify migraine symptoms.
- Location: Migraine pain is usually felt on one side of the head or the other.
Those who suffer from migraine vs. headache will also notice that their migraine symptoms follow certain phases. These migraine phases typically include:
- Phase 1: The prodromal phase serves as a warning that pain is imminent. Migraine sufferers may experience mood swings, lethargy, and an increased need to use the bathroom.
- Phase 2: Aura is not present for everyone who suffers from migraine. An aura can include a glow around figures and shapes or wavy lines. This is a neurological event that can occur 20 to 60 minutes before pain.
- Phase 3: The attack phase is when pain hits.
- Phase 4: The final phase is the postdromal phase when the pain has subsided. Sufferers may be exhausted but may also feel mildly elated.
Tension and cluster headaches in general can have easily traceable causes. Tension headaches may be caused by additional stress or lack of sleep. Cluster headaches may be a result of dehydration. Migraine headaches have common triggers but are a neurological condition with no one cause. A person who has migraine headaches may find that certain factors, like foods or scents, trigger their pain.
What causes headaches and migraines?
While tension and cluster headaches may be caused at times by these factors, an important distinguishing factor is that those who suffer from migraine vs. headache will nearly always be triggered by their particular combination of factors. These migraine causes include the following:
- Gender and hormonal shifts
- Family history and genetics
- Nerve damage
- Environmental causes
Along with intensity and duration, this is where migraines vs. headaches truly part ways. A cluster or tension headache is typically easily resolved with over-the-counter remedies and a big glass of water. They are not pleasant, but they are not debilitating.
Migraine pain, on the other hand, can interfere with a person’s life for several days at a time. Over-the-counter headache medicines don’t begin to even dull the edges of the pain. Treatment for migraine is a multi-pronged approach. Aim first at prevention before bringing in additional treatments.
Prevention can include developing stress management techniques through meditation and meditative exercise such as yoga and tai chi. To prevent a migraine:
- Get plenty of rest
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid chemicals in foods and household cleaners that you know trigger your migraines
- Refrain from smoking or drinking
- Avoid loud or bright places
- Track symptoms and triggers so you can avoid them in the future
Treatment for Migraine
The type of treatment for migraines and headaches is dependent on the type of headache. Pain medications may be considered, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-seizure agents such as gabapentin, tricyclic anti-depressants, and/or migraine prescriptions. Alongside pain medications is direct treatment with BOTOX.
How does Botox help with Migraines and Headaches?
BOTOX for tension headache, cluster headache and chronic migraine helps prevent the recurrence of headache in some patients. It is especially effective in alleviating the recurrence of chronic migraine. If you suffer from chronic migraine, and you have 15 or more headache days each month with headache lasting four or more hours per day, then you may be a candidate BOTOX injections for migraines. Your Doctor will assess your complete medical history, including any other health conditions and all drugs you are taking, before administering BOTOX.
How Effective Is BOTOX® for Migraine?
BOTOX is successful in roughly half of patients who try it, meaning that it prevents up to nine headache days per month. If effective, the treatment needs to be repeated three months after a successful treatment. Predicting in advance if BOTOX will work for you is impossible, but it has been widely used when other medications were unable to provide relief.
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 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.
Reasons for Botox for Headaches
BOTOX can be effective at preventing, lessening the number of migraine headaches, and reducing the severity of your migraine symptoms.
BOTOX is the first and only chronic migraine preventive treatment that is FDA-approved. That means that Botox for headaches can prevent your migraines before they start, and this is what makes BOTOX different than other types of headache treatments. With BOTOX, you can avert your migraine from occurring before it starts, whereas with acute treatments, you’re only treating the migraine after its onset.
BOTOX can prevent an average of up to 9 headaches a month compared with the six to seven with a placebo. For many people living with 15 or more migraines per month, this is a welcome relief.
The potential effectiveness of Botox injections for migraine headaches is as follows:
- results can last three to four months
- relief can begin within 10-14 days of initial treatment, though it may take two treatments to realize an improvement in your migraine headaches.
- can dull future migraine headache symptoms.
- may produce 50 percent less headaches per month.
Once you receive your injections, you may begin experiencing relief after around 10 to 14 days. In some cases, you may need more than one set of injections, and typically at least two sets of injections, before you begin experiencing any relief from your symptoms.
As far as your migraine symptoms go, BOTOX® can dull your headache-related symptoms, including your:
- light sensitivity
- sound sensitivity
- smell sensitivity
When BOTOX is injected in recommended areas, you can potentially expect to see results that can last up to 3 to 4 months. This varies among patients, however.
How the migraine Management at Cocoon Medical Spa Works?
We will request you fill in our detailed medical questionnaire and our Doctors will assess if you are a good candidate for Botox for migraine Management.
If you and the Doctor decide that this procedure may help your migraines, our doctor injects low doses of BOTOX straight into the muscle area at various migraine trigger points using a tiny needle.
The site of your injections could be your:
- temporal area (side of your head by your eyes)
- frontal area (forehead area)
- occipital area (back of your head)
No anesthesia is needed. The procedure doesn’t take more than 30 minutes, but it does depend on how many areas you need to have treated.
As the injection blocks the release of the substance that causes muscle contractions, it enables them to relax. In turn, this relieves the pressure on your nerves, making you more resistant to the factors that trigger and raise your chances of getting a migraine. BOTOX works by paralyzing your muscles temporarily and blocks nerve endings that release a substance, which triggers pain signaling and muscle movement. It temporarily weakens the muscles that impinge or compress on the nerves in locations that could trigger migraines.
There isn’t much, downtime after the procedure, and you may experience very brief and minimal discomfort only.
If you have been suffering from chronic migraine symptoms and other preventive treatments haven’t worked for you, it could be time to discuss BOTOX with us to see if it is right for you. The procedure is low risk and quick — and it could be exactly what you need to begin experiencing more symptom-free days. BOTOX injections are now covered by most insurance policies too when they are used for treating migraines.
Who is a good candidate for Botox?
If you are at least 18 years old and experience severe migraine, with headache lasting four hours or longer, you may benefit from BOTOX. In clinical trials, patients reported significant headache reduction a few days after the initial treatment. The second treatment prevented eight to nine episodes per month. Results typically occur within about four weeks.
To enquire about Cocoon’s Botox for migraine Management, please start by filling in this medical questionnaire here
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