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Botox As A Migraine Treatment

By Cali Marinaw

In recent times, the uses for botulinum toxin treatments has increased significantly. Not only do clinics offer patients options to enhance their appearance using botox, there are other disorders that are treatable this way as well, including muscle spasticity. For a short time now, some patients have been receiving botox injections in order to treat their migraines.

In this article we shall take a brief look at this new application of botox injections.

Background behind this idea

Botox injections work by paralyzing the nerves and blocking the flow of nerve signals, thus relaxing the muscles. A bacterium called Clostridium botulinum causes this result. Its primary use is to relax the muscles around the eyes and other parts of the body, helping restore muscle tone and improving overall function.

Migraines and botox

The release of the neuro-chemical serotonin is the main way for migraines to be mediated. Botox does not have any effect on this, but studies have shown that it can still help reduce pain in patients suffering from migraine.

People are looking forward to the new research that is being done that seems to show that migraines can be reduced using these treatments. Botox has been suggested to be injected at 31 to 39 different points in the scalp. The most common theories that have been put forth:

First, that it blocks the nerves from transmitting pain signals.

Then, the blood pressure in the brain is reduced by the scalp muscles being relaxed.

Even though research is still in early stages, there appears to be good evidence supporting its use particularly because it can help reduce the frequency of headaches and also improve the quality of life of patients.

Botox injections are recommended for chronic migraine sufferers who have had headaches for more than 15 days in a month and in those who have not responded to different drug treatments. There is another condition that migraine sufferers sometimes are face with at times called analgesic overuse headaches, which are caused by the overuse of painkiller medication.

If they treatments make it so that less than 15 days a month are headache free, or if they have at least 2 cycles of botox without seeing any relief, then this may not be the right treatment for that particular patient.

Are risks a factor?

It's possible to have an allergic reaction or some neck pain from botox treatment, but that only happens to a tiny percentage of patients.


Botox injections are still relatively new when it comes to treatment for migraines, but it is gaining in popularity. It's looking good for the future of botox for treating chronic migraine symptoms, but more studies need to be done to have more conclusive evidence.

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