Botox for Migraine
WHAT IS MIGRAINE
Migraine is the most common neurological condition in the UK. About 8 million people are affected by it. Migraine remains undiagnosed and untreated in 50% of patients and less then 50% seek professional help.Migraine is a recurring condition of headaches, which can be on one or both sides, described by patients as moderate to severe throbbing pain.Migraine can occur with or without aura. Aura refers to the symptoms and feelings that you notice or experience before the actual headache begins. These can be in the form of dizziness, ringing in the ears, seeing flickerings spots of light or zig zag lines, numbness and pins and needles sensations. These symptoms and feelings often develop slowly over 5min and can last for upto an hour and usually go away completely.
Sometimes patient may experience different symptoms like double vision, loss of balance or becoming unconscious. These may require further investigation and this can be arranged at the Berkshire Pain Clinic.
IF IT IS NOT MIGRAINE WHAT ELSE CAN IT BE?
It is important to differentiate between cluster headache, tension headaches, headaches that come from the neck (cervicogenic headache) and migraine. Often these symptoms overlap and it is important to differentiate between them as they have different approaches to treatment and management.
WHEN DOES MIGRAINE BECOME CHRONIC?
A migraine is called a chronic migraine when you have headaches that are present for at least 15 days each month, with migraine on 8 of those days.
CAN BOTOX HELP IN MIGRAINE CONTROL?
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has stated that Botox injections are a possible treatment for some patients with chronic migraine.
Ifyou are not taking too many painkillers or using them too often and you have tried at least three different headache medication to control your migraine without any success Then you would fit the type of patient who could see if Botox is useful.
HOW DOES BOTOX HELP?
Botox (botulinum toxin) has been licensed for use only in chronic migraine. It is not known whether it will help in other forms of headaches. There are different types (A-G) of the toxin but is only onabotulinum toxin Type A that has been used in headache disorders.
We don’t know as yet how the toxin exactly helps in chronic migraine. Unlike other conditions in which it is used, it is not thought to work by relaxing overactive muscles. Botulinum toxin has been shown to reduce pain in a number of disease states like dystonia, muscle spasticity, in stroke patients, myofascial trigger points. Botulinum toxin is believed to inhibit the release of certain chemicals, which may be responsible for sensitising the nerves and other structures that trigger or start migraine headaches.
IS BOTULINUM TOXIN RIGHT FOR YOU?
Only those patients who can be classified as chronic migraine are going to benefit from this procedure. That means you should be suffering from headaches occurring on 15 or more days each month, at least half of which have migrainous features. There are other treatments available for chronic migraine, and it is important that you have an informed discussion and the options for treatment with a specialist experienced in the diagnosis and management of headaches before a decision to use Botox® is taken.
HOW CAN THE BERKSHIRE PAIN CLINIC HELP?
It is important that you be examined by a qualified specialist who can
- Take a detailed medical history including your headache history
- Conducts a thorough physical examination to make sure that other forms of headache are not missed
- Arranges for any investigations and scans as appropriate
- Discusses options of any other medicines that have not been tried as yet
- Discusses the risks and benefits of any painkillers that you may be taking or wishing to try
- Ensures that medication overuse of painkillers is not contributing to the problem
- Discusses other injection options( cortisone shots, trigger point injections, occipital nerve blocks, facet joint injections) if there are components of cervicogenic headache
- Discusses the risks, benefits and side effects of the Botulinum toxin injection
- Arranges for suitable monitoring and follow up
At the Berkshire Pain Clinic, we understand the each patient and their circumstances are different. We will make sure that you are satisfied with the treatment plan and all doubts and worries are clarified. We believe that migraine can be managed much better with a combination of the above therapies and suitable lifestyle changes, thus improving your quality of life. The Berkshire pain clinic aims to be a one stop resource and support for helping you with this condition.