Is there any truth to the stories I’ve heard about Botox injections being used to relieve migraines?

Q: I’ve heard people say that they’ve gotten Botox because it helps alleviate their migraine headaches. Is that true? Do you recommend getting Botox to help with migraines?

A: Researchers have discovered that some migraine sufferers get almost total relief from their headaches after receiving injections of Botox. That’s the same substance dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons use to reduce facial wrinkles. It works by paralyzing the muscles that, when tense, create frown lines and crow’s feet.

Researchers from Harvard found that people who describe their migraines as a “crushing” pain went from an average of 16 migraine days per month to about one a month after Botox therapy. They believe that these types of migraines are caused, at least in part, by muscle spasms of the face and head. On the other hand, people who describe their pain as “exploding” didn’t experience the same benefits. If the usual treatments haven’t helped your pain, ask your doctor about whether Botox therapy might work for you.

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