What is Botox?
Botox is a purified protein used to address wrinkles associated with facial expression. When injected into the skin, Botox will relax muscles and smoothen out the overlying wrinkles. The most common areas of treatment with Botox are in the upper face. These include the horizontal forehead wrinkles seen when raising the eyebrows, the vertical frown lines seen between the eyebrows when frowning, and the crow’s feet seen around the eyes when smiling.
How does Botox work to treat migraine headaches?
Botox works to treat migraine headaches in the same way it works to treat wrinkles: by relaxing muscles. In the case of migraine headaches (and sometimes other headaches such as tension headaches) the muscles in the upper face and head contract. This puts pressure on the bones which can be very painful. Botox will relax the muscles to relieve the pain. The areas treated with Botox for migraine headaches are those treated in the upper face as described above. Sometimes additional muscles are also treated with Botox such as those in the temples and back of the head. The dose of Botox used is in the range of 60 to 70 units. Full results are seen in two weeks and after a Botox treatment. However, many patients feel improvement as early as the next day after a Botox treatment. Botox treatment for migraines will significantly reduce the frequency of migraines and is a great alternative for those for whom oral medications are ineffective. Most people enjoy their results from a Botox treatment for three to four months. At that time a maintenance Botox treatment is recommended.