Botox putting the freeze on migraines

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The wrinkle blaster Botox is FDA approved to treat migraines, but in Kentuckiana one headache specialist that's using it reports that a lot of patients are unaware it's an option.

Dr. David Salvatore with Baptist Neuroscience Associates is trained to perform the injections that follow the FDA guidelines. It's about 30 shots in 7 different sections of the head and neck. It requires just a tiny needle and Dr. Salvatore says patients report minimal discomfort especially when compared to the pain of chronic migraines.

Sarah Morris started having migraines about 10 year ago. She tried every medication possible until she was finally referred to Salvatore.  

Since starting Botox injections about a year ago, "as each day progressed it just got better. It was like it was weights being lifted off of me and I hadn't felt like that in 10 years" Morris said.

She's now able to spend hours playing with her 7-year-old daughter Lilly instead of hours in bed in complete darkness.

The results are not the same for every patient. "I've had people that are headache free, that have one or two migraines a month down from having one everyday. I have some people that it just decreases the intensity of the headache" Dr. Salvatore said.

He also says patients are often surprised when he first mentions it as an option. "I think there's a lot going on in regards to awareness that we need to improve to be able to get this out to the population."

As for risks, he believes it's less than a lot of the prescription meds being use. Patients can expect a mild headache and possible neck pain during the first few days post injection. Another possible complication is a droopy eyelid, but he's never seen that happen.  

If a person is suffering with chronic migraines and prescription medications haven't worked this is an option that insurance typically covers.

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