Most people have heard of Botox. It is best known for it's cosmetic application in the removal of wrinkles. When it was developed, it was used for other reasons not related to cosmetics. The purpose of this blog is to describe a few uses that people aren't well aware of.
Botox is a medicine that is derived from the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. The way it works is that the toxin prevents muscular contractions and glandular secretions. Therefore, when medical issues arise that are caused primarily from excessive muscular contractions (or excessive glandular secretions), simply decreasing the intensity of the muscular contractions (or glandular secretions) will resolve the problems.
Up to 90 % of headaches are muscle tension headaches. If we get the muscles to relax, then the symptoms will be alleviated. Botox will alleviate the problems that occur from overuse of muscles in the head and neck.
Some believe that all headache types can be treated with Botox. Many medical sites including the Botox website state that chronic migraines can be treated with Botox.
I discussed headaches in my most recent blog. There is much misinformation even amongst medical professionals. I'm not entirely convinced Botox can alleviate the symptoms of migraines. The cause of migraines has nothing to do with the musculature. You can relax the muscles all you want, but since the pain has nothing to do with the musculature, the symptoms will not be relieved in this manner.
Blepharospasms and Strabismus
The muscles of the eyes or eyelids can sometimes be overworked and may spasm. Again, simply getting the muscles to relax will resolve the problems associated with these muscles.
This condition is also called Spasmodic Torticollis. This is a movement disorder where there is uncontrollable muscle contractions with repetitive movements and abnormal postures. There is no cure for the disorder. In the past, treatment has been palliative and has proven to be difficult. Now, Botox appears to be an excellent treatment option and has shown remarkable results.
The ability to sweat is important in regulating the body's temperature. Some people however suffer from excessive sweating of certain parts of their bodies such as the hands, feet, forehead and armpits. We call this condition "Hyperhidrosis".
Administering Botox just under the skin will reduce the signals for the sweat glands to excrete sweat.
Many people suffer from a strong urge to urinate. The urge may occur frequently. There may be leaking or wetting accidents on occasion. In these cases, Botox can be injected into the muscles of the bladder in adults with an overactive bladder.
The spastic muscles in children suffering from Cerebral Palsy have been successfully treated long before Botox was ever even used cosmetically.
I only mentioned a few conditions that could be treated successfully with Botox. In reality, there are hundreds of potential conditions that can be treated with Botox. If a problem arises from a muscle that is overstimulated or over-utilized, then the solution is simple......get the muscle to relax. Botox has proven to be incredibly safe and effective in therapeutic doses.
If you believe you suffer from an issue arising from excessive muscular contractions (or glandular secretions), see your healthcare professional and ask if Botox may benefit your condition.
Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit www.advanced-smiles.com.