Botox for Migraines: Hype or Hero?

Botox has been around for decades. When you think of Botox, you might think of the Hollywood starlet hype or the magic wrinkle eraser hero. However, Botox has many medical applications that may improve your life. If you ever experienced that blisteringly painful feeling of a migraine, then you know just how debilitating this condition can be for chronic migrainers. That feeling of pounding, painful hurt that seems to come in waves and just doesn’t get any better. You may have heard about a variety of different treatments out there for migraines and may have even tried many of them.

Yes indeed, top medical uses for botulinum toxin include migraines, severe neck spasms, excessive underarm sweating and facial paralysis or Bell’s Palsy. Botox is a brand name (trademark) for botulinum toxin. There are two other popular branded products, Dysport and Xeomin. We use all 3 in our practice depending on the patient’s needs. If you are considering using Botox for a medical use, you might be in luck.  Most insurance plans cover Botox for chronic migraine-so it’s important to ask.

How does Botox work for migraines?

Medical Botox is used to treat many disorders associated with “neurogenic” muscle spasms. When muscles spasm, they cause unrelenting pain at trigger points and decrease blood flow to the tissues and nerves around them. This deprives the tissues from oxygen and vital elements to function normally. By blocking the muscles from spasm, Botox helps reduce the activation of these pain networks, allowing the body to heal itself and prevent migraine progression.

Is Botox therapy effective?

Research shows the long-term success from Botox in the treatment of chronic migraine stems from both its effectiveness in decreasing the frequency and severity of migraines in addition to its ease of compliance.  Indeed, at our office Botox is the Hero. We have had tremendous success with the use of Botox for migraine headaches.  Patients typically find relief from a single injection session every 12 weeks and report minimal to no side effects from treatment.

Is Botox therapy safe?

The Botox brand product has been FDA approved for over 15 years for a variety of indications, and injections are best performed by a highly-trained and experienced physician. While all procedures carry some risk, the safety and efficacy of Botox have been measured as the product is used over 6 million times per year.

Isn’t it Better To Treat The Cause Rather Than The Symptom?

While Botox can be a great way to treat chronic migraines, it’s important to remember that migraine is a complicated condition and the treatment of muscle spasms and trigger points may only be part of the solution. If you or a loved one suffer from chronic migraine, it’s important to see a specialist to evaluate for other treatable causes. Other triggers include inflammation from nasal allergies, chronic sinusitis, deviated septum pressure points in the nose, stress and hormonal imbalances. Many of our patients have a constellation of symptoms including poor sleep, nasal congestion and chronic sinusitis that may trigger or worsen chronic migraine. Dr. Monica Tadros specializes in the ancillary treatment of chronic migraine, sleep disorders, nasal allergies and chronic sinusitis at the Center for Sinus, Sleep & Facial Plastic Surgery. A comprehensive evaluation will help us determine the treatment plan that’s right for you.  Call our office at NYC: (201) 408-5430 or NJ: (201) 408-5430 during business hours to schedule a consultation.