Accessibility Tools

A headache is localized or radiating pain in one or more regions of your head. The frequency may be occasional and of short-duration, or chronic, which may require medical attention.

Causes

Some of the common causes of a headache include:

  • Migraine
  • Tension or stress
  • Certain medications
  • Sinus cavity inflammation
  • Head injury
  • Specific types of exercise
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Various diseases
  • Certain medical procedures such as a spinal tap
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Excess caffeine
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Eye defects
  • Unknown genetic factors

Symptoms of a Headache

The symptoms vary as do the triggers that cause your headache. Symptoms may include:

Localised or radiating pain at one or both sides of the head

  • “Heaviness" of the head
  • Teary and red eyes
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting

Headache Management

Some important headache management methods include one or more of the following:

Avoiding the Triggers

It is important to know what triggers the pain so you can prevent it from occurring. Maintain a record of the following factors when you get a headache for better management:

  • The specific start time of the headache
  • The trigger(s) experienced
  • If it occurs during menses in women
  • If it directly follows another symptom

Medications

Your doctor can prescribe certain medications to relieve your headache. These medications can be combined with other treatment options such as:

  • Proper sleep
  • Massage therapy
  • Use of cold or hot compresses

Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies can include:

  • Osteopathy or Chiropractic sessions
  • Stress management techniques
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Botox injections
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

  • Reducing the intake of caffeine
  • Managing stress
  • Eating healthier food
  • Quitting alcohol consumption or smoking
  • Exercising regularly
  • Practising relaxation techniques
  • Losing weight, if obese
  • Managing blood pressure or diabetes
  • Getting sufficient sleep in a dark environment
  • Regularly following up with your doctor

BOTOX FOR CHRONIC MIGRAINE

What is Botox?

Botox is a type of purified protein synthesized from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox injection or Botulinum toxin injection is administered through a fine needle into the treatment area and works by blocking the action of certain chemicals that induce muscle contraction or spasm and relaxing the contracted muscles.

Botox for Migraine Headaches

A migraine is a type of headache characterized by severe throbbing pain on one side of the head accompanied by secondary symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Other symptoms may include light-headedness and blurry vision. A migraine may be preceded by an aura, a neurological warning sign, which may occur 10 to 15 minutes before an attack. These include flashes of light, tingling sensations, or speech problems. Sometimes, you may have migraines without an aura. A migraine may last from a few hours to 3 days.

When Botox is administered for migraine headaches, doctors believe it works by blocking the neurotransmitter chemicals that carry pain signals to the brain. Botox functions as a roadblock in a pathway. It blocks the pain signals before they reach the nerve endings located around your neck and head.

Procedure for Botox Injection

Botox therapy is a simple office procedure. The area to be treated is cleansed thoroughly. A topical anesthetic cream is applied to reduce discomfort and the Botox toxin is injected with a fine needle directly into the muscle beneath the affected region. The muscle function weakens, eliminating part or all of its function. It is a painless procedure, though a slight stinging sensation may be felt. The entire procedure will usually be completed within 15-20 minutes and you can return to your routine activities almost immediately.

Follow-Up

The effects of Botox will normally last for 4 to 6 months. Repeated Botox injections will be required thereafter as maintenance therapy. However, with continued use of Botox therapy, the effects of treatment may last longer. The Botox treatment is usually repeated every 3 to 6 months and can be continued indefinitely provided that you continue to have positive results and do not exhibit any serious negative reactions.

Risks and Complications

Botox therapy is a relatively safe procedure; however, as with any injection procedure, some risks and complications may occur, such as the following:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Tenderness
  • Allergic reactions

Related Topics