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Botox® Is Not Just for Wrinkles — Learn How It Helps with Migraines

Aug 02, 2023
Botox® Is Not Just for Wrinkles — Learn How It Helps with Migraines
Botox® has become a household name known for smoothing wrinkled skin, but there’s more to Botox than meets the eye. Discover Botox’s medical applications and how it’s become a game-changer for millions with migraine disease.

You know Botox® as the ever-popular wrinkle-smoother, but this powerful product got its start in the medical field. It was first used to treat eye spasms and crossed eyes. When researchers discovered that the patients' skin smoothed out during treatment, they knew they were onto something, and eventually, Botox made it big in the cosmetic industry.

Botox’s roots in medicine still prevail, however, and the potent treatment derived from a toxic bacterium has many applications, including treatment of migraine disease.

Our multispecialty team at Advanced Medical Care in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, offers several treatments and therapies that address migraine symptoms, including Botox injections. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding migraine disease

There’s no mistaking a migraine attack for an ordinary headache. When it hits, it can be moderate or severe in intensity, and classic symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The length of a migraine attack can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 

Migraine is a neurological disorder with distinct differences from other types of headaches, such as tension or sinus headaches. Tension headaches typically involve a constant feeling of pressure around the head and don’t cause nausea or vomiting. Sinus infections usually cause sinus headaches and come with facial pressure and congestion.

Though the jury is still out on the exact cause of migraine disease, we know much about what triggers attacks. Hormonal changes, weather, stress, caffeine, alcohol, and sensory overstimulation are a few of the main culprits. 

Several treatment options are available for migraines, including lifestyle changes, medications, and complementary therapies. However, not all patients respond adequately or tolerate these treatments well. If that describes you, Botox may be an effective alternative.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Dermatologists and estheticians have used it in the cosmetic industry for many years to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. However, the FDA approved it 2010 to treat chronic migraine headaches, as well.

The treatment involves injecting small amounts of Botox into specific areas around your head and neck where muscle contractions trigger migraines. You can expect about 31 injections during each treatment session, which takes about 10-15 minutes. The effects of Botox generally last for around three months before you need further injections.

Botox doesn’t have many side effects, but you might notice injection site pain, redness, and swelling that will fade away quickly. Some people experience mild flu-like symptoms, such as headache and fatigue. Fortunately, such side effects are usually temporary and resolve quickly without intervention.

The science behind Botox as a migraine treatment

The precise way Botox reduces migraines isn’t yet fully understood, but we theorize that it blocks certain chemical signals involved in pain perception and muscle contractions. We target those muscles when we inject Botox to reduce their activity, which may prevent migraine attacks. 

Botox also has a neuromodulatory effect on your brain, which may further reduce migraine frequency and severity.

Although Botox isn’t a cure for migraines and it may not work for everyone, many patients experience a significant reduction in the number and severity of their migraines. 

If you have more than 15 migraine attacks monthly, you may be a good candidate for Botox migraine treatment. Contact us at either Advanced Medical Care location in Queens or Brooklyn, or book an appointment online

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At Advanced Medical Care, care is not just a part of our name — it is in our hearts. Our providers strive to put our patients first and find solutions to meet their needs on every level. If you’re ready to start improving your health, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our office in Queens or Brooklyn.