Many patients find it difficult to differentiate between a typical headache and a migraine. While headaches tend to involve mild to moderate aching and pressure, migraines are typically more severe, with unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, pain, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light or sound, temporary loss of vision, and vomiting. Compared to typical headaches, migraines can be more severe, causing many patients to seek help in an emergency room. While most headaches are manageable, migraines are disruptive, making daily tasks difficult or impossible.
Several treatments are available for patients suffering from migraines. One treatment that has proven effective in many migraine sufferers involves the use of Botox injections. Although many people think of Botox as a cosmetic treatment used to regain a youthful look by smoothing wrinkles, the injections are also FDA approved for the treatment of chronic migraines. Botox prevents migraines before they happen by blocking the receptors that cause pain. By injecting Botox in the areas where the migraines occur, the pain networks cannot be activated, preventing aches and pressure.
Though highly effective, it can take time for the patient to feel results, and often requires multiple treatments before results are noticeable. When administering Botox injections for migraines, the physician uses a very small needle, minimizing the sting felt during the injection. One treatment involves as many as 31 injections in seven key areas of the head and neck and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Studies show that patients who undergo two Botox treatments find their number of migraines experienced reduced by 50%. Patients who undergo five Botox treatments tend to see a 70% reduction in migraine frequency.