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Understanding What Causes and How To Treat Migraine After Botox

Botox is a popular injection treatment that has many uses in cosmetics and therapeutic medicine. Among its accepted applications for medical conditions include cervical dystonia, overactive bladder, excessive sweating, muscle spasm, and chronic migraine headache disorder. It’s an overall safe treatment but just like any procedure, it comes with side effects and one of them is having headaches.  

So is it common to have headaches after a Botox injection therapy, and how can they be treated? Mild or severe headache is an uncommon reaction to a Botox treatment. Only about 1% of Botox patients have been reported to experience headache pain after the injections. Most of the time, the headache will disappear as the effects of the toxin wears off and they may also be remedied by some over-the-counter drugs and acute medication.

Say Goodbye To Your Wrinkles and Fine Lines

With just a few simple injections, our providers can erase your wrinkles and fine lines in no time with Botox. Call us today to book your appointment.

Migraine as a Rare Complication of Botox Treatment

Botox injections contain a purified form of the botulinum toxin, which is a substance produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It contains strong muscle relaxing properties, and it usually works by blocking the release of chemicals to stop muscle contraction.

In cosmetic Botox procedures, a botulinum toxin injection is administered to paralyze the muscles that cause wrinkles and fine lines, thereby improving their appearance and temporarily stopping new creases to form on the skin. When safely done by an expert, the common side effects of Botox cosmetic only include injection site reactions like swelling, bruising, and pain.

However, there may be instances when the neurotoxin works counteractively and causes certain facial muscles to contract excessively and create tension. This can trigger symptoms of severe tension headache which can be discomforting and disruptive to a person’s daily work and activities.

But not every Botox patient will experience this adverse reaction. According to a study done in 2001, at least 4 out of 320 (1%) subjects who were given Botox for cosmetic use only reported feeling severe headache pain after the procedure.

It is suggested that chronic pain after Botox may also be due to poor injection technique where the needle hits a nerve or the forehead bone during injection. In some cases, it may be due to the botulinum toxin substance being contaminated before injection.

Slight headache may also be associated with Botox for migraine pain treatment. The procedure typically needs 31 injections spread over 7 treatment areas so it’s normal to feel mild zapping pain in the head and neck.

Migraine-like headaches after Botox can last for two weeks to a month depending on how fast the effects of the toxin will fade. Over-the-counter migraine drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can help provide temporary pain relief. If the headache pain persists even after medication, you should call your doctor or check with a headache specialist for possible treatments.

Effectiveness of Botox Therapy for Migraine

Botox has been approved by the US FDA for preventive treatment of chronic migraine in 2010. It helps a migraine sufferer by blocking the release of chemicals and pain signals that are active in pain transmission.

When these chemicals and signals are disrupted, you will experience a significant reduction in the intensity of your migraine symptoms. Botox migraine treatment works best as a preventive measure and it can decrease chronic migraine attack and headache day occurrence.

The injections for Botox migraine prevention are placed in the neck and head muscle areas which are most sensitive to headache pain. These areas are the forehead, neck, top of the nose bridge, temples, back of the head, and the shoulder blades in the upper back. It’s a quick in-office procedure and it can be finished in about 15 to 20 minutes.

As long as it is done by an expert injector, Botox for migraine comes with little side effects and almost no serious complications. It’s common to feel some swelling and pain at the injection site which can be easily managed with a cold compress.

Some people may also feel neck pain, muscle weakness, and minor headache after the procedure. Serious side effects like an allergic reaction, droopy eyelids, and shortness of breath are very rare but medical attention is required if you begin experiencing these.

The pain-relieving effects of Botox may be felt as early as 2 to 4 weeks after the treatment. They can last for up to 3 months after which you may need to schedule another appointment to receive a new set of injections to maintain its results.  

When Should You Get Botox for Migraine? 

Studio shot of an attractive young woman receiving a botox injection in her face

Before deciding to get Botox for those intense symptoms that are starting to interrupt your activities, there are certain factors that you should consider:

  • Botox is only accepted for chronic migraine sufferers who experience a chronic headache that lasts for 15 days and more each month. The treatment may not be as effective for other migraine headache types such as episodic migraine, tension type headache, and cluster headache.
  • Your medical history and current health condition will be taken into consideration before the Botox treatment. If you have an allergy to botulinum toxin, present infection at the injection sites, or existing neurological disorders like myasthenia gravis or spasticity, then you may not be recommended for the treatment. 
  • Make sure you’ve exhausted all available migraine treatment and medication. Most of the time, Botox is considered as a last resort when traditional relief methods don’t seem to have an effect.

The first step to getting Botox is to find a reputable clinic and a doctor who specializes in Botox treatments. A first-time patient will be scheduled for 2 treatments which are 12 weeks apart. If the injections are working, Botox may be used for long-term therapy where you will need injections once every 3 months.  

Read more: The Pros and Cons of Botox for Migraines

Get Botox Solutions for Cosmetic and Wellness at aNu Aesthetics

Migraines are a rare side effect of Botox treatments. They can only happen in no more than 1% of patients and they’re often treatable with available headache medicines. To lessen the possible risks of the injections, it’s important to consider the skill and experience of your provider when getting Botox for cosmetic or medical problems.

aNu Aesthetics is a premier aesthetics and wellness clinic that offers a wide range of cosmetic and medical programs. We put priority to the needs of our clients and ensure that our treatments are personalized to help them attain their optimal beauty and health. Our doctors and clinic staff are all trained to perform safe and effective treatments. Contact us now to talk with one of our doctors and discover how we can help you.

Say Goodbye To Your Wrinkles and Fine Lines

With just a few simple injections, our providers can erase your wrinkles and fine lines in no time with Botox. Call us today to book your appointment.


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