Uses of Botox Injections

Uses of Botox Injections

Many people hear Botox and immediately think of the over plumped faces of people trying to look young.  However, there are many different medical uses of Botox that extend far beyond cosmetic purposes.  Botox has become much more widely used in the medical community to treat a wide range of medical problems.  This includes everything from cosmetic needs to migraines.  Botox is a neurotoxin.  However, when it is correctly purified and used in small doses, it can lessen muscle contractions.  The effects usually last 3-12 months.


Botox and Migraines

One of the more common uses of Botox is for migraine treatment.  Botox is FDA approved for the treatment of people suffering from chronic migraines.  This means eligible candidates must be suffering from 15 headaches a day per month.  Typically, patients who suffer from more headaches tend to have a better outcome.  Botox for migraines usually works by blocking chemicals that are involved in pain transmission from being released.  Typically, patients see the treatment work better after a few treatments have been completed.


The treatment overall takes less than half an hour.  There is no real downtime to the procedure, and the only real side effect is a potential sore neck.  While Botox will not work for a patient with occasional migraines, it can work wonders for patients who suffer migraines a majority of the month.


Botox for Neck and Back Pain

Botox can be used to treat neck and back pain, which is a problem many people suffer from.  It is not considered a cure because patients must come in for treatments once the previous ones wear off.  However, it can be a great addition to a pain management plan for patients suffering from neck and back pain.  For this use, Botox works by essentially inactivating the muscle which stops the pain.  Botox for this use is typically most effective when combined with physical therapy.  For eligible candidates, Botox may be preferred over oral pain pills because the treatment is more localized, thus reducing risks that come with pills such as addiction, drowsiness, and sedation.


Botox for Chronic Muscle Spasms

Botox can be used to relieve pain from chronic muscle spasms.  Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine, which typically causes muscles to contract.  When too much acetylcholine is released, it may cause muscle spasms.  In the event of chronic muscle spasms, Botox can be injected directly into the site of the muscle being affected, which helps stop the spasm.  Patients will typically see the effect in about a week and can last up to three months.  This is another treatment that is greatly enhanced by physical therapy.


All in all, Botox has many medical applications beyond cosmetic uses.  At its core, Botox works by blocking neurotransmitters, which ends up paralyzing the affected muscle.  Botox is not a cure for any ailment because it will always require ongoing treatments.  However, Botox can be very effective for a variety of conditions when used as part of a treatment plan.  Botox is not always covered in full by insurance.  Therefore, it is important to discuss the treatment with a medical professional and make sure it is appropriate for your needs.