You don’t have to look very far to see Botox® injections being used these day for cosmetic enhancement; in most cases it is difficult to miss. However, is it possible that a treatment which has become famous for it’s cosmetic benefits could offer significant pain relief too? Well depending on the source of a persons pain the answer is a resounding YES! You may have noticed when someone has received Botox® injections it appears that they can’t move the muscles in the area where they received the injections and that is exactly what has happened. There are many pain syndromes that are primarily caused by chronic muscular spasms and this group of pain syndromes can respond to Botox® injections extremely fast as their primary affect it to inhibit muscles from contracting.
Should I Receive Botox® Treatments for Muscle Spasms?
Muscle contractions are caused by the release of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. For most people, this chemical performs as expected. However, some individuals release excess acetylcholine for a variety of reasons, leading to a painful condition commonly known as a muscle spasm.
Muscle spasms can cause pain directly in the muscle affected but they can also cause neuropathies such as sciatica depending on the muscle which is in spasm. If you suffer from muscle spasms or a pain syndrome caused by a muscle spasm, you may be able to experience temporary relief from your symptoms after an injection of Botox®. This chemical prevents the release of acetylcholine, temporarily halting the occurrence of muscle spasms.
Although Botox® treatments cannot cure muscle spasms, these treatments often lead to a dramatic reduction in symptoms. Each treatment lasts for approximately three months; at that point, the potency of the original injection begins to wear off, and the nerves may resume their overactive release of acetylcholine. However, you can continue your Botox® treatments indefinitely as long as you have not experienced any significant negative side effects.
Are Botox® Treatments Safe?
Botox® has been the subject of many clinical trials, and it has been approved as a treatment for muscle spasms by more than 70 national health agencies. Over the past 11 years, more than a million patients have received Botox® injections.
Is Botox® Safe for Long-term Use?
Botox® treatments can continue indefinitely as long as you do not show any significant negative side effects. Each Botox® treatment typically provides three months of relief before it will need to be repeated.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with Botox®?
Botox® is used to treat several conditions related to muscle spasms, including:
- Spasmodic Torticollis: twisting and writhing movements of the neck
- Writer’s Cramp: difficulty writing because of excessive muscle contraction of the forearm
- Spasticity from stroke: including painful contractions of the arm and leg
- Spasticity: from cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury
- Hemifacial spasm: Repetitive twitching of onehalf of the face
- Tic disorders
- Blepharospasm: forced eyelid closure
Several conditions may also be helped by Botox® including:
- Hyperhidrosis: excessive sweating of the palms, face, or arm pits
- Anal fissures
- Achalasia: an excessively tight stomach valve
- Strabismus: crossed eyes
- Headaches: especially those beginning at the base of the head
How Should I Prepare for my Botox® Injection?
Simply bring a list of your current medications to your procedure. You do not need to take any special preparations, such as fasting, before your Botox® treatment.
What Happens During a Botox® Treatment?
Using a fine-gauge needle, your doctor will inject Botox® directly into the appropriate muscle. Your doctor will determine the correct location for your injection as well as the proper dosage.
Will I Experience Pain During My Treatment?
Some patients have reported minor pain in association with their treatment, but most patients report no pain. Botox® is combined with a neutral saline solution to create as painless an injection as is possible. In addition, a fine-gauge needle is used to minimize patient discomfort.
Common Side Effects of a Botox® Treatment
When they occur, the side effects are usually mild and may include excessive muscle weakness near the area of the injection. Because the effects of Botox® always wear off, so do any side effects of muscle weakness. Bleeding and infection are always risks when the skin is punctured, but they are rare. Allergic reactions are also extremely rare.
Are Botox® Injections the Right Option for My Pain?
At Care Medical Center we see a variety of different pain syndromes and causes for pain everyday and individual cases are just that: individual. To determine if Botox® injections would be an appropriate treatment option for your condition it would be essential to understand your individual case. When a person is in pain we understand that they want to be out of pain as soon as possible and we are able to offer a full range of pain reliving methodologies. What is most important is that we find the treatment which best suits your particular situation.
Giving our office a call today is your first step toward being pain free.
For Your Health,
Dr. Ryan Moorman