Migraine Treatment - Adelaide
Approximately two million Australians suffer from chronic migraines. It can often be a debilitating condition, worsening an individual’s quality of life as they experience severe, throbbing pain that can cause nausea, vision impairment, sensitivity to light or sound, and the inability to tolerate any movement. This results in many sick days, with individuals waiting out the symptoms. Although medications are available, chronic migraines differ for every sufferer, with some patients trying multiple proposed solutions with little to no improvement. However, studies have shown that anti-wrinkle injections can be an effective treatment solution for most migraine sufferers, with 74% of patients experiencing a reduced number of headache days they experienced from roughly 25 days down to 10 over the course of 28 weeks.
As with our bruxism and platysmal neckband treatments, our migraine treatment uses muscle relaxant injections to treat the cause of the condition rather than the symptoms. Muscle relaxant injections block nerve signals to other nerves, bones, ligaments, or muscles to the central nervous system, depending on where the injections are made and work to reduce migraines.
A decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines.
Reduces the number of sick days individuals may typically need
Improves an individual’s functional ability during a migraine attack
Significantly improves an individual’s overall quality of life
Avoid rebound headaches from drug overuse
Avoiding headache medication can improve liver and kidney health
How it works
How can anti-wrinkle injections treat migraines?
Multiple studies have shown the efficacy of anti-wrinkle injections for chronic migraines, such as the well-known PREEMPT clinical study, which demonstrated that anti-wrinkle injections were vastly more effective than placebo treatments at preventing chronic migraines. Other studies have shown that up to 70% of people had their migraine days cut in half after five rounds of treatment.
Working in the same manner as other anti-wrinkle injection treatments, the injections aim to block nerve signals to the muscles and is usually used to prevent muscle contracture on the face, neck, and jaw area. With chronic migraines, the anti-wrinkle injections block chemicals known as neurotransmitters from carrying pain signals to the brain, acting as a roadblock that stops the chemicals from reaching nerve endings around the head and neck. Therefore, anti-wrinkle injections are a preventative treatment for chronic migraine sufferers and will take time before a significant reduction in the frequency of migraines is experienced.
Who is eligible for our migraine treatment?
In Australia, anti-wrinkle injections can only be used to treat chronic migraines. There is a lack of evidence to support its treatment for episodic migraines or other types of headaches. A consultation with Dr Targett will be required before undergoing treatment, as there are guidelines that patients must meet to be suitable for the treatment and ensure beneficial results.
Patients should have tried other medical treatments for their chronic migraines, such as oral medications, and experienced headaches and migraines for at least six months. Medication overuse headaches are also an occurrence with chronic migraine sufferers. Therefore, an in-depth discussion of your medical history and current or previous treatments is essential during a consultation with Dr Targett.
Regarding eligibility for cost coverage via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), there are further criteria that patients must meet, and it may not be guaranteed that the costs can be covered. It is important to be aware of this as anti-wrinkle treatments carry a high cost for continued treatments.
Who should have migraine treatment?
The ideal candidates for Muscle relaxing injections for migraine treatment are realistic in their expectations. Though studies have shown that treatment with muscle relaxing injections is successful at reducing or eliminating headache pain for many patients, results are not typical for all patients.
Most individuals who opt for migraine treatment with muscle relaxing injections are often chronic sufferers whose lives have begun to be negatively impacted by the pain.
How should I prepare for migraine treatment?
Do nothing differently. Just go about your day to day activities as normal. Your skin will be cleaned at the time of the procedure so try not to use any products or cosmetics.
What should I expect during the treatment?
The treatment will only take 15-20 minutes, and patients can resume their daily activities afterwards. Injections can be administered around the temples, forehead, bridge of the nose, back of the head, back and neck. Areas, where individuals experience the most pain or severity of migraine may require more injections than other areas. Patients may feel a slight sting with each injection, but the treatment is comfortable with no pain. Afterwards, patients can continue their day as no significant recovery or downtime is required.
How many treatments will I need?
Muscle relaxing injections migraine treatment works within a few days but can take as long as 14-21 days for the full paralysing effects to show through. Muscle relaxing injections are not permanent, so we recommend repeat treatments at 3-6 monthly intervals to maintain the effects. To treat headaches with muscle relaxants, in particular, it must be remembered that, some individuals have very specific focal points and these may require treating every 3 months exactly.
Thousands of these treatments are performed every year, with astonishing results – noticeable from 2-14 days afterwards and lasting several months.
Are there any side effects?
The pain associated with migraine treatment injections is mild and no local anaesthetic is required. The needles used are very fine and approximately the same diameter as coarse human hair.
You will be able to drive and engage in all of your usual daily activities immediately after your injections. You may develop slight bruising at the injection sites, but otherwise, there will be no visible signs of your treatment.
When will I experience the results?
The results of our migraine treatment are highly individualised, and it is hard to say when exactly you will start to notice results. Some patients may see reduced migraine days after just one treatment. Still, it can take 2-3 courses of treatment repeated every 12 weeks to notice its effectiveness in reducing the frequency or intensity of migraines. Results can last up to 10 weeks, but continued treatments can prolong the effects.
Dr Rahma Targett
Dr Rahma Targett is a General Practitioner(FRACGP), with a specialty in Cosmetic Medicine. She founded Advanced Cosmetic Medicine in 2016 and has since become well known as a trusted and in demand Cosmetic Physician in Adelaide. She has a Diploma in Dermoscopy and a Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Dr Targett is a leader in her field and regularly attends Cosmetic conferences to keep up to date with modern aesthetic techniques. At advanced Cosmetic Medicine you can always be reassured that you will be welcomed and treated personally by Dr Rahma Targett.
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What are the causes of headaches?
A headache can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or in just one location.
Headaches can radiate across the head from a central point or have a vice-like quality. They can be sharp, throbbing or dull, appear gradually or suddenly. They can last from less than an hour up to several days.
There are different ways to define headaches. The International Headache Society(IHS) categorize headaches as primary when they are not caused by another condition, or secondary when there is a further underlying cause.
Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses caused directly by the overactivity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive.
This includes the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves of the head and neck. They may also result from changes in chemical activity in the brain.
Common primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
Secondary headaches are symptoms that happen when another condition stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. In other words, headache symptoms can be attributed to another cause.
A wide range of different factors can cause secondary headaches.
- Eating something very cold can lead to a “brain freeze.”
- Alcohol-induced hangover
- Brain tumour
- Blood clots
- Bleeding in or around the brain
- “Brain freeze,” or ice-cream headaches
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Teeth-grinding at night
- Overuse of pain medication, known as rebound headaches
- Panic attacks
As headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition, it is important to seek medical advice if they become more severe, regular, or persistent.
For example, if a headache is more painful and disruptive than previous headaches, worsens, or fails to improve with medication or is accompanied by other symptoms such as confusion, fever, sensory changes, and stiffness in the neck, a doctor should be contacted immediately.
What are the differect types of headaches?
Tension headaches are the most common form of primary headache. Such headaches normally begin slowly and gradually in the middle of the day.
The person can feel:
- As if they have a tight band around the head
- A constant, dull ache on both sides
- Pain spread to or from the neck
- Tension-type headaches can be either episodic or chronic. Episodic attacks are usually a few hours in duration, but can last for several days. Chronic headaches occur for 15 or more days a month for a period of at least 3 months.
A migraine headache may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain usually only on one side of the head. The aching may be accompanied by:
- Blurred vision
- Sensory disturbances known as auras
Migraine is the second most common form of primary headache and can have a significant impact on the life of an individual. According to the WHO, migraine is the sixth highest cause of days lost due to disability worldwide. A migraine can last from a few hours to between 2 and 3 days.
Rebound or medication-overuse headaches stem from an excessive use of medication to treat headache symptoms. They are the most common cause of secondary headaches. They usually begin early in the day and persist throughout the day. They may improve with pain medication, but worsen when its effects wear off.
Along with the headache itself, rebound headaches can cause:
- Neck pain
- A feeling of nasal congestion
- Reduced sleep quality
- Rebound headaches can cause a range of symptoms, and the pain can be different each day.
Cluster headaches usually last between 15 minutes and 3 hours, and they occur suddenly once per day up to eight times per day for a period of weeks to months. In between clusters, there may be no headache symptoms, and this headache-free period can last months to years.
The pain caused by cluster headaches is:
- Often described as sharp or burning, typically located in or around one eye
- The affected area may become red and swollen, the eyelid may droop, and the nasal passage on the affected side may become stuffy and runny.
These are sudden, severe headaches that are often described as the “worst headache of my life.” They reach maximum intensity in less than one minute and last longer than 5 minutes.
A thunderclap headache is often secondary to life-threatening conditions, such as intracerebral hemmorhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, ruptured or unruptured aneurysms, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RVS), meningitis, and pituitary apoplexy. Therefore, people who experience these sudden, severe headaches should seek medical evaluation immediately.
How are headaches diagnosed and treated?
A doctor will usually be able to diagnose a particular type of headache through a description of the condition, the type of pain, and the timing and pattern of attacks. If the nature of the headache appears to be complex, tests may be carried out to eliminate more serious causes.
Further testing could include:
- Blood tests
- Brain scans, such as CT and MRI
The most common ways of treating headaches are rest and pain relief medication. Generic pain relief medication is available over the counter (OTC), or doctors can prescribe preventative medication, such as tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin receptor agonists, anti-epileptic drugs, and beta-blockers.
It is important to follow the doctor’s advice because overusing pain relief medication can lead to rebound headaches. The treatment of rebound headaches involves the reducing or stopping pain relief medication. In extreme cases, a short hospital stay may be needed to manage withdrawal safely and effectively.
Headache relief and self-care
A number of steps can be taken to reduce the risk of headaches and to ease the pain if they do occur:
- Apply a heat pack or ice pack to your head or neck, but avoid extreme temperatures.
- Avoid stressors, where possible, and develop healthy coping strategies for unavoidable stress.
- Eat regular meals, taking care to maintain stable blood sugar.
A hot shower can help, although in one rare condition hot water exposure can trigger headaches. Exercising regularly and getting enough rest and regular sleep contributes to overall health and stress reduction.
Are there any side effects or risks associated with the migraine treatment?
Patients may experience swelling, bruising, tenderness, or redness at the injection sites, which is a normal reaction to any injectable cosmetic treatment. Headaches are also known to occur with anti-wrinkle injections and may persist for several days after your treatment. However, there are also other significant potential risks associated with anti-wrinkle injections. These reactions can be rare, but it is important to make patients aware of this before treatment.
Other side effects include:
- Loss of facial movement
- Muscle spasms
- Drooping eyelids
- Tingling or numbness
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Skin rash
- Difficulty swallowing
An in-depth consultation with Dr Targett and adherence to aftercare instructions are vital to minimising the potential for risks or side effects to occur.
What should I do after the treatment?
Following your treatment, it is recommended that you avoid blood-thinning medications and excessive alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours, as well as strenuous exercise. This is to minimise any swelling or bruising. However, you may continue your usual migraine medications if needed.