Botulinum toxin – a substance that is used pretty wildly in both aesthetic treatments and traditional medicine. Speaking about the second option, it is mainly used to deal with various types of muscle spasms. We are talking about different conditions – cerebral palsy in children, cervical dystonia in women, eye movement disorders (such as lazy eye syndrome), twitching on the eyelids or face overall, etc.
However, most people still think that Botox (botulinum toxin type A) is only used for skin rejuvenation and wrinkles prevention. Today, we are going to dispel this myth. Filler Supplies is always here to educate you! Continue reading and learn more about botulinum and what beneficial effects it can bring to many patients out there.
Botulinum toxin and how can it help with a muscle spasm
Different types of spasms and stiffness can cause great inconveniences in people’s routine and, as followed, noticeably affect daily activities and the quality of life overall. As a result, we get such complications as trouble sleeping, constant fatigue, movement disorders, chronic migraine, and various other undesirable consequences. Basically, that’s exactly why Botox injections are used so often these days; if there is a chance to help those who need that – doctors use it.
After botulinum administration into the target area, the substance starts acting; it may take some time for the first results to appear. The remedy relaxes nerve endings in muscles (in this way, contractions stop) and prevents the release of acetylcholine. As followed, muscles become less stiff, and a person may enjoy the beneficial effect of the treatment. Of course, before the actual procedure, careful analysis that includes medical tests and questionnaires is performed by a doctor to ensure whether botulinum is suitable for a patient.
What is botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin – a special medication received from clostridium botulinum bacteria (this is a naturally produced neurotoxin). In more significant amounts, it can cause botulism – a severe, potentially fatal health condition. However, thanks to special calculations, it is now possible to design medications without any harmful effects; moreover, botulinum remedies are often used to deal with various health conditions in patients.
Now, three medications are approved by the FDA for spasms treatment:
As we have already mentioned, botulinum is popular in cosmetic treatments (for facial wrinkles elimination and skin improvement) and in medicine to treat many conditions that include muscle stiffness.
How botulinum toxin injections are performed?
As with all medical treatments, botulinum injections have a certain procedure routine medical specialists follow in their clinics. First of all, a pre-appointment with a doctor is a must in order to define the problem, decide which muscles need to be injected, and how much remedy is necessary in order to see a positive result.
During the appointment itself, the target area is cleansed with the help of a special solution; topical anesthetic is applied on request of the patient as well. The procedure lasts no longer than 40 minutes (all because several injections are usually given during it). In order to make sure that the solution reaches its destination, electrical signals are sent through the needle with the help of a special device; in this way, it is possible to cause muscle groups contractions in a person. Some people may require up to two weeks to see and feel the results of botulinum toxin injection, so it is important to keep calm and just wait.
Be aware of side effects
It is always better to be aware of possible side effects that may occur, all because if you are prepared, the chances of complications become much smaller. So, let’s have a closer look at the most common symptoms that appear after botulinum injections:
- Increased sensitivity in the treated spot;
- Injection site reactions (bruising, redness, itching, etc.);
- Temporary eyelid drooping;
- Temporary weakness in the nearest muscles;
- Eye dryness;
Everything mentioned above is usually gone in a few days after the procedure, so patients shouldn’t worry about it. However, in case any of the side effects listed beloved appear, it is recommended to contact a health care provider right away in order to avoid serious health complications:
- Double vision or disorientation;
- Severe allergic reactions (that includes difficulty swallowing and breathing problems, as well as swollen tongue and lips);
- Cardiovascular problems (for example, arrhythmia or myocardial infarction);
- Worsening in neuromuscular disorders.
The treatment is not recommended to those who are allergic to any components of the medication, people with damages or inflammation in the treated area, those with flu-like symptoms, high fever, etc. For such patients, an alternative should be chosen by the doctor for more effective treatment.
Pros and cons of botulinum toxin for muscle spasticity
In case you still have questions about the botulinum toxin treatment, we are going to present the list of advantages and disadvantages of this treatment. With its help, we hope to explain to you its uniqueness, as well as the reasons why doctors worldwide use it.
- The procedure is highly effective and provides great results for several months;
- It may be applied for the treatment of the smallest muscle groups;
- The amount of the remedy is usually so small, people mainly do not experience any unfortunate side effects.
- The treatment is not very effective for larger muscle groups. Doctors often choose alternative medications for patients who require injections for larger target areas;
- As the results are temporal (even though they stay for several months), the procedure should be constantly repeated. Otherwise, the effect would just disappear;
- Our bodies are able to create antibodies for botulinum toxin. That’s why it is not recommended to administer a large amount of the medication per one procedure;
- Even though botulinum toxin is FDA approved for the treatment of various muscle-related issues, a pre-appointment and a doctor’s improvement are still needed before starting the procedure. As follows, it can take some time to begin the treatment officially.
The bottom line
Botulinum toxin treatment is among the most effective ways to solve muscle-related problems. Even though the substance in the base is associated with a dangerous health condition and food poisoning, in smaller amounts, it becomes a powerful medication able to treat various health conditions. Hopefully, today you’ve learned more about botulinum toxin and understand its working principle much better. Thank you for reading, and see you in our next blog post!