Migraines sufferers experience a disabling condition that causes recurring pain attacks with various symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, cognitive impairment, and heightened sensitivity to light, noise, odors, and movement.
Today, migraines are the most debilitating illness in the world in those between 15-49 years of age.
Ongoing research has proven that migraines are a neurological disorder involving the release of chemicals and the overactivity of nerve pathways in the brain. Studies have also uncovered several triggers that can lead to these attacks, including chronic stress.
Botox is now commonly recommended as a treatment that can seem like an attractive option. The Botox procedure involves the injection of Onabotulinumtoxin, a toxin to temporarily numb sensitive nodules, known as trigger points, in the muscles of your back, neck, shoulders, and head. These trigger points can cause pain to radiate in the head, causing migraine symptoms.
However, the research on whether Botox helps or not is still inconclusive and depends on the individual patients. It is common to get Botox injections with no definite benefit.
Botox is FDA-approved to treat chronic migraine in adults, defined by more than 15 migraine days per month. This treatment is not approved for other headaches, like tension or cluster, nor is it approved for children or adolescents.
Botox for migraines is a standardized treatment. The therapy includes injections in specific trigger points in the forehead, temples, back of the head, neck, upper back, and shoulders. Every three months, patients receive 31 shots, totaling up to 155 units of Onabotulinumtoxin a toxin.
Serious side effects from Botox for migraines are uncommon and are rarely severe enough for people to stop treatment. However, there are common side effects to treatment, including redness, soreness, or swelling at the injection sites, bruising, fatigue, and neck stiffness. There is also the possibility of longer-term side effects. These may include muscle weakness and eyebrows that “droop” or look uneven.
When the standard approach hasn’t helped ease migraine pain without side effects, many patients are eager to explore alternative treatment methods to get relief.
A growing body of research suggests that Acupuncture may reduce migraine pain and decrease occurrences.
Acupuncture may even be more effective than popular headache remedies, including prescription migraine medications. The traditional therapy, used to treat pain for thousands of years, aims to treat the root cause of most migraine symptoms by increasing blood circulation, helping the body to release pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins, and relaxing the muscles.
While Botox injections aim to temporarily numb sensitive trigger points and tense muscles, Acupuncture takes a multi-faceted approach to reduce migraine pain. Acupuncture helps to release these sensitive nodules, without introducing any foreign substance into the body.
The whole body and mind approach of using Acupuncture and making healthy lifestyle changes often result in the most significant and long-term migraine relief.
There is growing evidence and patient results showing that Acupuncture is just as effective and has fewer side effects than many of the standard pharmaceuticals, including Botox injections. While further research is needed, Acupuncture continues to serve as a natural treatment for migraines without side effects or long-term dependence.
If you are suffering from my migraines, we urge you to seek a healthy alternative to the standard migraine treatments. Visit your local Modern Acupuncture clinic to discuss your pain symptoms and how Acupuncture can provide a sustainable solution for your migraines.
“I went in with sinus pressure and sinus migraine, and I was migraine free the night of my appointment. I have had massages and chiropractor care for years and have never reached the level of relaxation I was at with modern acupuncture. In just a few minutes my body was completely heavy, and I was at a point of profound relaxation. I wish everyone knew about the power of Acupuncture.” - Val (LA)
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural pain relief solution and the leading provider of Acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that Acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body.