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The answer is: Sometimes.
Botox has been approved as a treatment for chronic migraines, defined as suffering more than 15 days per month with these excruciatingly painful headaches. In trials, it has been shown to be effective in this.
Most of the patients who come to SISU for migraine treatment using Botox have exhausted many other approaches: multiple medications, changes to diet and lifestyle, and more. As migraines have such a negative impact on sufferers' day to day lives, there is a real urgency about their desire to stop the pain once and for all.
The bad news is, results from these approaches vary from person to person. This is often determined by the severity, frequency, and pattern of their migraines.
Unfortunately (yes, more bad news), there are so many potential causes of migraines that it can be a lifelong struggle for sufferers to narrow down what triggers theirs. Everything from caffeine, certain foods, hormones, and even the weather can be the culprit. Sometimes, multiple circumstances can cause a person's migraines.
The way Botox can help is by blocking the neurotransmitters that cause pain. Specifically in the case of migraines, a chemical messenger called acetylcholine sits at the point at which nerve endings meet muscle cells. This neurotransmitter tells the brain: "We are in severe pain."
As Botox relaxes these facial muscles, the neurotransmitters are not prompted to signal the brain. Thus the pain message is not relayed, and the patient gets relief from their chronic migraines - at least for a time.
The truth is, Botox treatments for migraines do not work for everyone. Those whose migraines are more episodic, rather than frequent, might not see the same level of prevention. If a Botox provider tells you otherwise, run away. Good doctors tell patients the truth.
Still, people who lose up to 15 days a month to their migraines are driven to try almost anything to relieve them. In the case of Botox, it's been shown that multiple treatments are necessary before the relief sets in. A 'one and done' mindset going into the treatment will mismanage the patient's expectations.
The crucial thing is to ensure your Botox injections are administered by doctors who have extensive training and experience in performing these treatments. Precision and refined technique are key, and most physicians who do not specialise in aesthetic medicine have not had substantial training in administering Botox treatments.
The first, absolutely necessary step in exploring Botox for migraine treatment is a full medical assessment by a qualified doctor who is highly-skilled and experienced in giving such treaments. That is the SISU approach, with free medical consultations as the starting point for any treatment. Patients are also given full information on their odds of getting relief from their migraines with Botox - and the opportunity to ask as many questions as they'd like. There is also a two-week review to monitor progress and the patient's wellbeing.
If you are looking for a solution to your migraines, come to one of SISU's clinics in Cork, Dublin or Killarney to meet with one of our doctors. You can book online, via Facebook private message, or by calling (021) 427-9438.