Published on March 26, 2019
Jennifer Breedlove has suffered from migraines for over 10 years.
“I have tried many prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, acupuncture and head massages from several spas,” said Breedlove, a Phelps Health medical office secretary. She even was admitted to the Emergency Department for her severe headaches.
Despite these different treatments, Breedlove was still getting frequent migraines. “I have been to multiple neurologists, have had MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) of my brain and tried almost every treatment there was for them,” she said.
Then, Breedlove learned about Botox injections offered through Phelps Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dawn Myers, DO, MPT, a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation with the Phelps Health Medical Group, has been offering Botox injections to patients who have migraines often and patients who have spasticity (when muscles contract or tense up) since October 2018.
Typically, Botox injections help people who have chronic migraines, meaning they have them for 15 or more days a month, according to Dr. Myers. Botox can assist patients in cases when other medicines or techniques to manage migraines have not worked.
“These patients can receive a series of injections that can help reduce the frequency of migraines,” Dr. Myers said.
Patients who have spasticity after a stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or who have suffered a brain or spinal cord injury may benefit from Botox injections, too. “Botox injections can help to temporarily weaken the tightness in muscles,” Dr. Myers said.
Patients who qualify to receive Botox injections may see more strength in their muscles, a better range of motion and less pain. “This can help patients make things much easier, such as getting dressed or other daily activities,” she said.
The injections do not take long and can be performed at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation clinic in the Phelps Health Hospital.
“I receive many injections at different sites around my face, head and neck areas, every 12 weeks,” Breedlove said. “I have received two treatments so far from Dr. Myers. I noticed after the first treatment that I got relief.”
Breedlove said she is happy she decided to try the Botox treatments as she feels they have improved her quality of life.
“I don’t have to take my migraine medicine daily anymore,” she said. “My migraines are less frequent, and I don’t miss out on anything because I am lying in bed in the dark.” Breedlove said she no longer comes to work with weekly migraines and she has noticed an increase in her energy level.
“So far, these injections are the most effective treatment I have received,” she said. “I would definitely recommend Botox to other patients who qualify.”
Patients who feel they may benefit from Botox injections for migraines or tightness in their muscles should first discuss their concerns with their primary care provider. Primary care doctors can help decide if Botox is right for their patients, and if so, they can provide a referral to Phelps Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.