At some point in our lives, nearly everyone will experience a migraine. However, for some patients, migraines are not an occasional event. A condition called chronic migraines makes migraines a weekly and sometimes daily occurrence. This can interfere with work and everyday life. While sometimes chronic migraines have definitive causes that doctors can treat to provide relief, not all instances of chronic migraines have an easy to treat cause. Looking for relief, many patients will try many solutions for their migraines. One possible treatment comes in the form of BOTOX injections. At Northwest Face & Body, our plastic surgeons offer the best BOTOX for migraines Bellevue and Kirkland provide.
BOTOX injections are mostly associated with cosmetic procedures to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Neuromodulator injections relax the muscles to stop the muscle movements that form these fine lines and wrinkles.
BOTOX works because it is a form of botulinum toxin A. This toxin–when used in small amounts like BOTOX injections–can temporarily paralyze certain movements to prevent and improve the look of crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead lines. While BOTOX will restrict some movement, patients are still able to show a full range of emotion and move their muscles normally.
Cosmetic applications–while arguably the most popular use of BOTOX–is not the only way patients can benefit from neuromodulator injections. The history of BOTOX shows a long history of BOTOX preventing and treating medical conditions and disorders. BOTOX is one of the most effective preventative treatments for chronic migraines.
The discovery and isolation of toxin first occurred in the 1920s. Research into the possible medical uses of the toxin did not begin until the 1970s when doctors began testing it in patients with strabismus. BOTOX then was FDA approved for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm in 1989.
Further research into the uses of BOTOX led to patients noting that their wrinkles were smoother after treatment. While this is not what the doctors were studying, it revealed some of the cosmetic benefits of BOTOX injections.
A husband-and-wife team consisting of a dermatologist and ophthalmologist continued to study the medical and cosmetic uses of BOTOX. This eventually led to another FDA approval for the treatment of glabellar lines in 2002. Subsequently, this FDA approval led to BOTOX becoming the mainstay of non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Considered the gold standard for wrinkle treatment, BOTOX remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures today.
Plastic surgeons and injectors use BOTOX in many areas around the face. The most common and frequently performed procedures take place in the upper third of the face. The frontalis and procerus muscles receive the most injections to address forehead and glabellar lines.
When it comes to migraine headache treatment, your plastic surgeon will strategically inject the BOTOX into the muscles causing pain. This may include the frontalis and procerus muscles in the forehead. However, your injector may also inject in the temporalis muscles on the side of the head and various muscles in the back of the head and neck.
Your plastic surgeon will likely not inject at every possible site. Injection sites will range from patient to patient depending on where they get their migraines. Your plastic surgeon can discuss this during a consultation at Northwest Face & Body.
For chronic migraine sufferers, the relief from migraines is often the most fulfilling benefit of BOTOX. They may still experience migraines, but typically they are less frequent and possibly less intense. This reduction in migraine headaches and symptoms can vastly improve a patient’s quality of life.
Treating chronic migraines can involve trying various treatment options. This can become especially frustrating when nothing seems to work. BOTOX for migraines often becomes a way to prevent migraines and reduce their frequency. BOTOX can also aid other treatments.
At Northwest Face & Body, you do not need a referral from your doctor to try BOTOX for migraines injections. Our plastic surgeons can administer the injections after meeting with you for a consultation to determine you are a candidate for the procedure.
Before undergoing BOTOX for migraines treatment, you will meet with one of our plastic surgeons during a consultation. At this appointment, your plastic surgeon will review your medical history, treatments you have tried and are currently on, and the frequency of your migraines. They may also physically examine the area and ask about other aspects of your health and lifestyle to ensure you are a good candidate for BOTOX.
If you are a good candidate, your plastic surgeon will discuss the specifics of the procedure with you, such as the injection sites and what to expect. Occasionally, they may perform the injections the same day.
At Northwest Face & Body, only our physicians perform BOTOX injections for migraine treatment. However, our nurse and physicians assistant injectors frequently perform cosmetic BOTOX injections. On the day of your treatment, you will meet with one of our plastic surgeons.
There are several possible injection sites for your injections. Like with cosmetic BOTOX, your plastic surgeon may inject into the frontalis, procerus, and corrugator muscles. Moving to the side of the head, there are more injection sites along the temporalis muscle. Finally, reaching the back of the head, your plastic surgeon may inject at various sites in the occipitalis, cervical paraspinal group, and trapezius muscles.
In all, this comes out to 31 possible injection sites when treating migraines with BOTOX. That said, your plastic surgeon may not inject every site and will cater your treatment to your needs.
BOTOX for migraines injections will take longer to perform than traditional BOTOX. You can expect the entire round of injections to take anywhere from fifteen minutes to forty five minutes. They may also apply a topical anesthetic before the injections to keep you comfortable.
After your injections, you are free to return to normal activities. Your plastic surgeon may request that you take it easy from intense exercise for a day or so, but otherwise, you can continue about your day.
The BOTOX will take roughly two weeks to kick in. While it cannot prevent all migraines, with regular treatment, you may see a reduction in the number of headaches you experience every month. It may take a few rounds of injections to see full results.
The classification of “chronic migraines” denotes when you experience migraines 15 or more days per month for three months. At this point, your migraines likely majorly interfere with your life, work, and activities. Regarding the frequency of migraines, there are four classifications:
Usually, BOTOX is only used to prevent chronic migraines. Other types of migraines may find better treatment elsewhere or may transition to chronic migraines. Additionally, BOTOX only prevents chronic migraines, not other migraine frequencies.
A popular result of BOTOX for migraines is that patients may also experience some of the cosmetic benefits of the injections. Especially when injecting in the forehead, patients may see wrinkles in the area smooth. If you are also interested in cosmetic BOTOX, your surgeon can likely inject this along with your migraine prevention.
Yes! This is often recommended. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you will likely find the best results when combining preventative BOTOX injections with other prevention measures and treatments. For example, it is common for patients to take certain prescription medications to prevent or treat health conditions that may contribute to migraine headaches. Some patients may also use treatment methods for when a headache occurs.
BOTOX, whether for migraines or wrinkles, lasts on average about three to four months. This means you will need to refresh your injections a few times a year. Certain patients may see the effects of BOTOX for migraines treatment last longer than a few months. This is highly individual and dependent on many biological and environmental factors such as your metabolism, exercise habits, and medications you take.
Certain insurance plans may cover BOTOX injections for the prevention of migraine headaches. At Northwest Face & Body, we do not accept insurance for BOTOX for migraine treatments.
At Northwest Face & Body, we also work with various cosmetic injection rewards programs you may use to save money on regular BOTOX for migraines sessions. Additionally, we also accept Care Credit and other outside financing options.
Chronic migraines can be debilitating and difficult to treat. Often, the best solution is to combine many preventative measures and treatments to find relief from the condition. BOTOX for migraines offers an effective and FDA approved option for preventing migraines. Northwest Face & Body provides the best BOTOX for migraines in Bellevue and Kirkland.
The plastic surgeons at Northwest Face & Body have decades of experience in BOTOX injections for cosmetic and medical procedures. Along with migraines, our physicians also have experience treating hyperhidrosis with BOTOX. They will take the time to understand your unique case of chronic migraines to craft the ideal treatment plan for you.
The above graphic shows the possible injection sites for your BOTOX for migraines injections. Your plastic surgeon may or may not inject at all of these sites based on your customized treatment plan.