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Botox for Migraine Headaches

As a facial plastic surgeon in Charlotte, I know migraines can be a debilitating condition. It can severely negatively affect ones quality of life. Migraines affect 1 in 4 households in the United States, and they are the 4th most common reason that patients go to the emergency room. The treatment of migraines can be difficult and frustrating. There are numerous medications that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of migraines but many have side effects. For those patients that have not had relief with medications or might have side effects from their medications, Botox is a great treatment option for chronic migraine headaches.Botox for Migraine Headaches

History of Botox for the Treatment of Migraines

In the 1990’s, a group of patients receiving Botox for aesthetic reasons, reported an improvement of their migraine headaches. These reports lead to in-depth scientific research and clinical trials. From this body of data, there is conclusive evidence that Botox is an effective treatment for chronic migraine headaches. In 2010 Botox was approved by the FDA, The Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of chronic migraines.

How Effective is Botox in the Treatment of Migraines?

Botox is extremely effective for the treatment of migraines. At least 70% of patients that suffer from migraines report an improvement of their symptoms after treatment with Botox. When using Botox to treat migraines most patients report a decrease in:

  • The severity of the headache
  • The longevity of the headache
  • The frequency of the headache

I have many patients that report a resolution of migraines after treatment with Botox while some others have a significant improvement in their symptoms. There remains a small subset of patients that will not benefit from Botox treatments.

What are Trigger Points for Migraines?

There are 4 areas of the face and neck that have been shown to trigger a migraine. These 4 areas contain nerves that can become irritated. The irritated nerve can stimulate a series of events that can trigger a migraine. 3 of these 4 areas/nerves are the targets of Botox injections for the treatment of chronic migraines. The 3 trigger points treated with Botox are:

1) Frontal

The frontal area is the region between the eyes and the forehead. A frontal migraine is described as pain above their eye radiating from the outside in. The nerve associated with frontal migraines is the supraorbital nerve that is located underneath the end of the eyebrow towards the nose.

2) Temporal

A temporal headache is located on the upper side of the head. Patients typically describe their migraines as starting in the temples and moving behind the ear. The zygomaticofacial branch of the trigeminal nerve is the target of Botox for a temporal migraine.

3) Occipital

Occipital headaches are migraines in the back of the head that can move down into the neck. The greater occipital nerve is the target of the Botox for the treatment of these headaches.

The fourth area that can trigger a migraine is inside of the nose. A migraine in this area is typically described as pain between the eyes or a sinus headache. The trigger in this area can be secondary to a deviated septum or abnormal anatomy inside of the nose. This area is not amenable to Botox treatment. For nasally triggered headaches a CT scan of the nose is used to investigate the anatomy. If the anatomy is abnormal then surgery would be an option to improve migraines.

What are the Injections Sites for Botox for Migraines?

The injection sites for Botox at my office in Charlotte to treat migraines are aimed at targeting the nerves responsible for triggering the headache. There are 3 main areas where Botox is injected:

  1. The general area between the eyes and above the eyebrow
  2. The area around the outer corner of the eyes (crow’s feet) and the end of the eyebrow
  3. The back of the head

The injections take about 10 minutes to complete. They are completed with tiny needles and cause little pain or discomfort.

What are the Side Effects of Botox Treatments for a Migraine?

Botox for migraine treatments in Charlotte are overwhelmingly safe. As with any procedure there are risks involved. Since Botox is a temporary treatment, any possible complication would be temporary. The possible complications include:

  1. Drooping eyelid
  2. Neck pain
  3. Bruise
  4. Weakness

How Often Would Botox for Chronic Migraines Need to be Repeated?

The average patient would need to repeat Botox every 3-5 months. I tell my patients to repeat the treatment when the headaches return or begin to increase in frequency or severity.

How Do I Contact Dr. Kulbersh to Try Botox to Treat my Migraines?

I am a Beverly Hills trained facial plastic surgeon that has an office in the Southpark area of Charlotte, North Carolina. I see patients from South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, and all over the east coast. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation, please call (704) 842-3644 or fill out the online contact form on this website.

Next, read about Botox for Teeth Grinding.

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