Across all of our disciplines, we have specialized training in techniques that prevent and reduce the severity of recurring headaches and chronic migraine. This includes the only medical treatment FDA approved for chronic migraines, Botox.* The treatments we offer have been shown to add to the effectiveness of more conventional approaches or to be effective where conventional approaches have not. Contact us now
to schedule a comprehensive assessment. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan designed to improve your quality of life.
Headache Treatments Including
- Review of your medications. Management of your oral meds if this is not being done by your primary care practitioner.
- Botox treatments: Stop migraines before they happen (continue reading this page for more info).
- Chiropractic to address deficits in spinal function.
- Exercise therapy to address postural deficits that can contribute to headache frequency and severity.
- Other non-medical treatments that can address soft-tissue lesions in the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back that are known to contribute to headaches.
Botox Treatments for Migraines
Where other medical treatments have not created enough relief from chronic migraines, Botox has helped. In one study, hundreds of patients who had not succeeded with medications taken by mouth received Botox injections for migraine treatment. Even among patients for whom oral medications were not working, nearly 70% of patients achieved greater than 50% reduction in headache frequency with Botox.1
Not only were the migraines less frequent, they were shorter and less severe. Botox injections stand apart as the best researched treatment for chronic migraines. Botox is the only medical approach FDA approved for chronic migraines.
More Effective than We Know?
In the longest-running study, people received five Botox treatments - one every 12 weeks. Every time, the effects of treatments were better and better. The researchers did not see a plateau in the results. It is possible that follow-up studies may show, over two and three years, the headaches continue to become less frequent, shorter, and less severe.
How are Botox Treatments Performed?
A specially trained practitioner will deliver the Botox by very small injections. The whole treatment takes about 15 minutes and occurs in our office. The needle is much smaller than what most people associate with injections. People say the injections feel more like pin pricks. Your clinician will deliver the injections at multiple points on your head, neck, and shoulders. Treatments are repeated once every 12 weeks (about once every three months), as long as you are getting good results. Results are most clearly experienced after the second treatment.
How Botox Treatments Work
Severe headaches cause muscles around the head, neck, and shoulders to tense. With recurring headaches, the tension in these muscles can become chronic, occurring constantly even when there is no headache. Muscle tension in these regions can trigger headaches, make them more frequent, make them longer, and make them more severe. A self-reinforcing cycle develops where recurring headaches make the muscles worse, and muscle tension makes the headaches worse. Botox works by causing chronically tense muscles to relax.
CGRP is a neuropeptide connected to the cause of chronic migraines. Pain fibers in your muscles produce CGRP. Botox reduces the sensitivity of pain fibers and thereby reduces the production of CGRP. Recent research has found that most people who receive Botox for chronic migraine treatment have reduced CGRP levels in their blood.2
- Aurora S, Dodick D, Diener H. OnabotulinumtoxinA for chronic migraine: efficacy, safety, and tolerability in patients who received all five treatment cycles in the PREEMPT clinical program. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. 2014; 129 (1): 61-70.
- Aurora S, Brin M. Chronic Migraine: An Update on Physiology, Imaging, and the Mechanism of Action of Two Available Pharmacologic Therapies. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2017; 57 (1): 109-25.
*Accurate as of June 18, 2017