Botox: A Non-Surgical Treatment for Migraines

Table of Contents

  1. Chronic Migraine Symptoms
  2. Causes of Chronic Migraine
  3. What is Botulinum Toxin (Botox)?
    1. Function of Botox
    2. Procedure
    3. Side effects and risks
  4. Botox Injections for Migraine Treatment
  5. Bad headache after botox


Chronic Migraine Symptoms

A migraine isn’t just a bad headache. A migraine is an incapacitating syndrome with symptoms that usually lasts between four and seventy-two hours. Other symptoms also include:

Visual and auditory disturbances




A severe, unbearing ongoing pulsating sensation

Extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch, and smell

Tingling or numbness in a person’s facial features

A migraine becomes a chronic migraine when you experience fifteen or more headaches a month and each lasting for more than four hours. Around two per cent of American adults experience chronic migraines. According to a study conducted by WebMD Medical, migraine usually happens with a severe and pounding headache that can last hours or even days. But migraine is much more than just a headache. However, There may be some risks of botox for migraines.

Causes of Chronic Migraine

There are a lot of triggering factors that can cause migraines, including:

Skipping meals and eating certain food


Little to no sleep, too much sleep

Changes in weather

Sound, light, and smells

Hormonal changes in women

Traumatic brain injuries


Physical exertion

What is Botulinum Toxin (Botox)?

In 1817, Botulism – a condition wherein it causes paralysis of muscles caused by high doses of this substance – was first introduced to the masses. Since the 1980s, Botulinum toxin is used to help…

Treat eye disorders such as strabismus and blepharospasm.

Treat muscle spasms such as cervical dystonia and torticollis.

Reduce the cosmetic appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Treat overactive bladder who cannot tolerate the side effects of other medications.

Treat hyperhidrosis in the armpits and excessive drooling.

Clostridium botulinum is the bacterium found in this substance. It can be found in a lot of natural settings such as soil, lakes, forests, intestinal tracts of mammals and fish and the gills and organs of crabs and other shellfish.

Function of Botox

We all know that this substance is responsible for wrinkle-free faces in Hollywood for generations. However, one breakthrough of Botox during 2010, it has brought relief to many people who suffer from chronic medical conditions. Botulinum toxin is very poisonous, in fact, one of the most poisonous substances in the world. A single gram of botulinum could kill as much as one million people and a couple of kilograms could wipe out the whole human race. However, despite all this, botulinum toxin has been proven by scientists to treat therapeutic pain as long as they will be injected into a human in extremely small doses of a botox for migraines.

See also: Botox for Migraines: What To Expect


The main function of these small doses is to prevent signals from the nerve cells to reach the muscles, therefore paralyzing them.

In relation to chronic botox for migraines and botulinum toxin, a study by Rami Burstein, using animal models, has shown that this substance inhibits chronic migraine by blocking certain pain pathways that involves nerve cells in the trigeminovascular system.


Botulinum toxin powder should be diluted in saline and inject it directly into neuromuscular tissue. For it to take effect, it usually takes 24-72 hours. In very rare circumstances, it usually takes 5 days for the botulinum toxin to be fully effective.

Lactating and pregnant women or any person who has a previous allergic reaction to any of the ingredients should never take botulinum toxin.

Side effects and risks

Botulinum toxin injections can be tolerated well and have only a few side effects. 

Side effects include:

Headache or mild nausea

Mild pain


Temporary upper lid or brow ptosis or unwanted weakness

Dysphagia and Diplopia

Gallbladder dysfunction

Flu-like illness


Blurred vision or decrease eyesight

Dry mouth, fatigue, or hives

Rashes, wheezing and swelling

Botox Injections for Migraine Treatment

Onabotulinum toxin A or Botox injections are usually given if you have been diagnosed with severe migraines. It works as a roadblock for chemicals called neurotransmitters that carries pain signals for the brain. The chemicals are halted before it reaches the nerve endings around the head or neck.

Bad headache after botox

Some people may experience some mild headache after a cosmetic Botox treatment, It is because of an injection into the head muscles. It can last more than an hour or some may take days. It is common for some people experiencing this kind of pain after performing botox from the forehead.

If you’re thinking about considering Botox for Migraines, you need a pain specialist who knows what he’s doing. Dr Ronak Patel is a pain management doctor who is certified to use botox for pain management.

Schedule an appointment today. You can also call him at (609) 269 4451.

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