Is Botox Really a Cure for Chronic Migraines?

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘Botox’? The regular person on the street probably thinks of Botox as a 21st Century cure for wrinkles while scientists will regard Botox as a sub-type of botulinum toxin – the bacteria responsible for botulism. Both of these perceptions are true and we are only just scratching the surface when it comes to viable medicinal and cosmetic uses of Botox. In fact, only recently it was discovered that Botox could successfully be used to treat headaches and migraines.

What is the History of Botox and Headache Treatment?

Back in the mid-90s, a number of people reported a marked improvement to their headache symptoms following administration of Botox for other reasons. Following these claims, a series of carefully conducted clinical trials were carried out on patients experiencing different types of headache. At that time, the results were inconclusive and there was no discernible difference found between a placebo and the real thing. However, detailed analysis of the results showed that the group of patients who were suffering from chronic migraine did report an improvement, and further tests were carried out. The results were surprising and very positive. 70% of chronic migraine sufferers reported an improvement in their symptoms following Botox treatment.

How does Botox Work as a Migraine Treatment?

The quick answer is that we don’t know yet exactly how Botox relieves migraine symptoms. However, it is thought that the relief Botox brings may have nothing to do with its muscle relaxing properties, but rather its effect on central pain processing systems that are responsible for migraine attacks. Botox has also brought relief to sufferers of lower back pain, cervical dystonia or neck pain, bladder pain and neuropathic pain. If you suffer from migraine, here are some of the reasons Botox could work for you:

  • Botox might relax muscles around the head and neck and reduce blood pressure within the brain.
  • Botox may prevent signals being sent by nerves that in turn produce migraine pain.
  • Botox may reduce the ability for nerves to send pain signals during a migraine attack.

Is Botox Licensed as a Headache Treatment?

If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraine and wish to try Botox, you will be pleased to know that it has been licensed specifically for the treatment of these conditions. In July 2010, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted the license based on the results of scientific research and tests on human subjects.

Is Botox Right for Me?

Botox is only suitable for patients who experience chronic migraine. These are headaches that occur on 15 or more days every month. There are also other treatments that we have available for migraine sufferers and it is best to arrange a one to one consultation so that our headache experts can work out the right course of treatment to suit your needs. Book a consultation with the National Headache Institute today for fast and effective relief from migraine headaches. Ask for more information about Botox and the range of headache treatments and therapies we have available. Call us or use our contact form to book a consultation.