My current neurologist recommended in 2016 that I try Botox for Chiari Malformation to help with my chronic migraines. Their hope was that the injections would lessen the severity of my migraines, or at least give me less headache days a month. I was extremely hesitant at first, but decided to try it out anyway- my neurologist was going to be the one administering the treatment, so at least it was someone sort of familiar.
About the Botox needles
While I am able to do acupuncture, I freaked out over the Botox needles at first, because they were going in my head. Thankfully, my neurologist was very understanding, even though I started crying, and helped me get through the injections. Later on, they said my reaction to the needles made total sense, since I had just met them and then they were stabbing me with medication. But overall, the needles didn’t hurt much.
I had a huge migraine a few hours after I got Botox for Chiari Malformation. At first I wondered if the treatment had worked at all. But then I noticed my migraine attacks were a little shorter, maybe by 30 minutes. This was huge for me, as I was able to get on with my life that much sooner. I became less anxious about the injections over time, and have since had them done several times.
- Life with Chronic Migraines
- Explaining Chiari Malformation in Seven Words or Less
- How I Explain Chiari Malformation
Treatment for cervical dystonia
Recently, my neurologist suspected cervical dystonia, which would explain my severe neck and shoulder spasms and increased muscle tension. Since Botox is approved for use with cervical dystonia, we decided to try it again, this time hitting points in my neck and shoulder. I had anxiety again about the needles, so my neurologist played music while they did the injections. That helped a lot!
After those injections, I had another severe migraine. It was to the point where I yelled at my brother for turning on a light in my room and made him bring me an ice pack for my head. After that, I noticed I had much better movement in my shoulder and fewer spasms. The same was true for my neck. I didn’t notice any change in my pain levels.
Overall, Botox for Chiari Malformation has helped me a lot with chronic migraines and cervical dystonia. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it’s important to explore all different types of treatments for managing chronic illness.