Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin A known best as a wrinkle treatment, but it also has medical uses. Don’t avoid the benefits of Botox because of fear of pain. Painless Botox is now possible thanks to numbing creams!
The many Benefits of Botox
- Reduce the apperance of facial wrinkles
When Botox is injected into a muscle that causes a wrinkle in the overlying skin when it contracts, paralysis of that muscle prevents the wrinkle from forming. The effects of Botox are most noticeable in dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are only present when the muscle contracts.
As we get older and lose elasticity in the skin, a permanent crease can form leaving a wrinkle that is noticeable even without muscle contraction. Botox does not get rid of these wrinkles, but may help soften them.
- Treat repetitive neck spasms also know as cervical dystonia
In the study, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Pain Management, researchers looked at the effects of combining a single injection of Botox delivered to the affected neck muscle with standard physical therapy in 25 people with chronic neck pain.
After three months of follow up, the participants were asked to rate their neck pain on a scale of one to 10. The study showed that the combination treatment reduced self-reported pain scores significantly, from about a six at the start of the study to a four by the end, an average reduction of nearly 40%.
More than 50% of the patients who participated in the study said they would undergo future Botox injections for the same problem.
The findings are consistent with previous studies that have shown Botox injections can relieve pain caused by other muscle-related conditions, such as cervical dystonia and spasticity (neck muscle stiffness and spasms). These studies show that the duration of pain relief offered by Botox varies from about three to- six months, depending on the disorder.
Researchers say that since this study did not compare the effectiveness of Botox combined with physical therapy versus physical therapy alone, it offers only indirect evidence that the injections enhanced the rehabilitation efforts. But they suspect that using Botox to relax the muscle before therapy maximizes the potential for rehabilitation and repair of damaged muscle tissue, strengthening of weakened muscles caused by spasms, and relieving pain.
Researchers says treating neck pain with Botox injections may also have an advantage over oral pain medications because the effects of the injection are local and does not cause the type of side effects commonly associated with oral pain medications, such as sedation, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Excessive sweating also know as hyperhidrosis
Botulinum toxin is a treatment option for excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. It works by blocking signals the brain sends to sweat glands.
Botox injections are given in affected areas, such as the armpits, hands, feet or face.
The procedure can last up to eight months.
- Overactive bladder
Overactive bladder affects up to 20% of people – mainly women – over the age of 40. It is a type of urinary problem whose symptoms include having to pee often (frequency), the need to get up in the night to use the bathroom (nocturia), and wetting accidents before reaching the toilet (incontinence).
A 2012 study published in the journal European Urologyfound that injecting botulinum toxin A (Botox) into the wall of the bladder is an effective way of treating the debilitating condition in which people have a sudden urge to pass urine. So Botox injections are one option for treating this condition when other treatments have not been effective.
Those treated with Botox in the study saw the number of times that they had symptoms fall from six a day to less than one a day. However, the benefits started to wear off after around six months.
- Some causes of crossed eyes
With strabismus, also known as crossed eyes or a squint, the eyes don’t look towards an object together. Botox may be injected into one of the eye muscles as a treatment option, usually if a squint develops rapidly without an obvious cause. The injection weakens the injected muscle for a period of time, which lets the eyes realign themselves.
- Migraine headaches
Botox injections are an NHS treatment option in parts of the UK to help prevent chronic migraine. Botox may be considered if other treatments are not effective, not well tolerated or cause too many side effects.
The medicines regulator MHRA says there’s evidence Botox is effective at preventing headaches in adults with chronic migraines.
The Migraine Trust says Botox may offer a safe and effective preventative treatment option to help people with chronic migraine manage their migraine and improve their quality of life.
- Treatment for Bell’s pallsy
Bell’s palsy causes the drooping of the side of a person’s face because of nerve problems. The effect usually goes after some months. However, Botox injections may be used in long-term Bell’s palsy to relax muscles that have become tight or to help reduce unwanted muscle movements or twitching.
- MS and muscle spasms
Botulinum toxin is used to decrease spasticity related to multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Botox injections may help stop muscles contracting or twitching when the person doesn’t want them to.
- Tennis Elbow
A botulinum toxin injection may reduce the pain from tennis elbow.
Many people avoid Botox because they fear needles and the pain associated with needles. Botox has many beauty and medical benefits that shouldn’t be passed up because of fear. Doctors recommend the use of a topical anesthetic before receiving Botox injections.
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