Approximately 3.2 million Americans suffer severe pounding headaches called migraines. For Jill Demeritts, the migraines were so debilitating she would stay in bed for days missing work and family obligations.
"I missed out on a few friends weddings...I had to plan my life around my migraines," explained Demeritts.
Searing and constant pain led Demeritts to try an assortment of treatments, but with little success.
"The medicine worked, but it knocked me out I would not be able to do anything anyway…I had tried a needless shot, but it hurt so bad," said Demeritts.
She tried to find out what triggered her migraines, but 10 years of pain was not easing up.
"There are many treatments for migraines, but we're not really sure how some of these medications work. There are multiple triggers for migraines. It's a complex disease and it affects millions of people," said Dr. Bill Lowry, Physical medicine specialist at the Center for Orthopaedics.
Demeritts, at the end of her rope, decided to try a known wrinkle-buster, Botox, that was recently approved for the treatment of migraines.
"A treatment like Botox can last for months. They don't have to take medication everyday. It doesn't make them sleepy," said Dr. Lowry.
The thread-size needle is injected 31 times on the forehead, neck and temples blocking pain receptors. Demeritts said the pricks were worth it.
"A little sting, but I had lived with pain that long and I found out this is not too bad," explained Demeritts.
The Botox treatment takes about 10 days to kick in completely and Demeritts said she has been migraine free for three months now.
"I will get a little headache here and there, but nothing like what it used to be," said Demeritts.
Botox can be dangerous in large doses, but Dr. Lowry said these injections for migraines are tiny amounts. A possible side effect is eyelid drooping, but he said that will eventually wear off. Some insurance providers cover the treatment. The best candidates suffer migraine pain 14 days out of the month.