Botox injections for Migraine


Botox has been found  in trials to reduce the frequency of headache days / migraines. In simple terms Botox helps reduce the tension in muscles in the forehead, temple, back of neck and this leads to a reduction in migraine and tension headaches.  

 

Dr Sarah's bespoke treatment consists of 29 botox injections and has proved very effective in reducing the occurrence of migraines.. These injections are with a very fine needles and relatively painless. Also being a Doctor of Chiropractic medicine gives me real insight into the muscular issues that may be causing the problem and thereby allowing me to provide the best possible treatment.


How Does Botox relieve Migraines ?

Triggers

There is no single trigger, but there are well known factors such as diet, particularly food such as red wine, cheese and chocolate, posture, bright sun light, staring at a computer screen, hormonal changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle, and stress, that can lead to an attack.

 

Nerves

There are trigger zones covered by the Occipital and Trigeminal Nerves and even in diet/hormone related migranes, the trigger zones appear to play a part. Mechanical stimulation of these nerves has been recognised for years in many theories and has lead to nerve blocks and surgery to reduce this, though the results have not been conclusive. The Supra-Orbital branch of the Trigeminal Nerve is unusual because it passes through the Corrugator muscle rather than around it as usually the case so is easily irritated.

 

The Corrugator is the main muscles that makes us frown, so when we do frown it also constricts the nerve. The Corrugator is one of the muscles we want to weaken when we use Botox to get rid of wrinkles. Botox is a potent and effective in paralysing muscles in very localised areas and this partial weakening is enough to stop mild migraines in some people.

 

A theory to explain it’s action is that the paralysis in the Corrugator muscle in the place it surrounds the Supra-Orbital branch results in less irritation of the sympathetic system fibres within the nerve that go back to the brain stem. It is not necessarily that this stimulation is the only cause of the migraine to start, a migraine injection treatment is not always 100% effective. However by reducing one part of the stimulation process you can prevent some of the early waves of excessive nerve cell activity from developing into a full-blown migraine. For some this may be that they have no attacks at all and for others it may be a much appreciated reduction in the severity and frequency of attacks.


Please note that this page informs you of how Botox works and that prior to administration a consultation is required with Sarah to ensure suitability.  We will discuss treatment options that will encompass the problems and specific areas of concern that you may have.  Botox may not be the most appropriate treatment and this will be discussed at your consultation.


What is a Migraine?

There are many different types of headache. A migraine is a type of headache where the person often has an intense throbbing headache and additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or increased sensitivity to bright light, noise or smell.

 

There are two recognised forms of migraine. A migraine is often described as a classic migraine with ‘aura’ if the person gets some form of visual distortions prior to the headache. These visual distortions are often in the form of zigzag or flashing patterns across their vision. Non-classic or common migraine does not have this aura.

 

Migraines are thought to be caused by changes in the chemicals of the brain, in particular serotonin. Serotonin levels are believed to decrease during a migraine, which can cause the blood vessels in the brain to spasm and then dilate, causing the headache. Other triggers can be hormonal changes, certain food items, environmental situations, emotions, stress and physical triggers (for example muscular tension or poor sleep).

 

Acute migraines are usually treated using painkillers and anti-sickness medications. For people whose migraine does not respond to over-the-counter medications, stronger painkillers may be prescribed by a doctor. If a person suffers from regular debilitating migraines they may need to be prescribed preventative (prophylactic) medications, which they take to stop them getting migraines. There are various drugs currently prescribed for migraine prophylaxis, including beta-blockers and certain antidepressants or anticonvulsants.


How long does it take to work ?

Botox works within a few days but can take as long as 14-21 days for the full paralysing effects to show through. 

 

Botox injections are not permanent, so we recommend repeat treatments at 3-6 monthly intervals to maintain the effects. 

  

Are there side effects of Botox

The pain associated with injections is mild and no local anaesthetic is required. 

 

You will be able to drive and engage in all of your usual daily activities immediately after your injections. You may develop slight bruising at the injection sites, but otherwise there will be no visible signs of your skincare treatment.