Many people are familiar with the use of Botox, or botulinum toxin, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, this injectable medication has several uses that you may not know about unless you suffer from one of the conditions it can treat.
Uses for Botox
Botox is the best-known brand name for botulinum toxin, so that’s what most call it. However, it is only one form of the neurotoxin sold for use in humans. Two types are available and sold under different brand names to treat medical conditions.
The two types of botulinum sold for cosmetic or medical uses include:
- Botulinum toxin A – The brands for type A include Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. Along with cosmetic purposes, it can also treat certain medical conditions.
- Botulinum toxin B – It sells under the brand name Myobloc and can treat cervical dystonia.
Only licensed medical personnel like doctors, nurses, and physician assistants, can give these injections. They need to take an accredited Botox training course to get certified so they can give the injections that treat these conditions.
A chronic migraine sufferer is someone who endures very painful headaches at least 15 days a month for at least three out of 12 months. The headaches can last for hours, sometimes up to three days.
Botulinum type A can treat this condition to provide sufferers relief from their pain. It works by blocking pain signals to keep them from reaching nerve endings, so the sufferer doesn’t feel headache pain.
Myobloc, which is botulinum type B, treats muscle spasms, such as cervical dystonia. This condition causes the muscles in the neck to contract and twist to one side.
As a neurotoxin, Myobloc can help alleviate the contractions by blocking the signals in the nerves. It isn’t a cure since it wears off and needs to be injected again.
Many people need to use the restroom several times of day because their bladders contract too much. It can sometimes cause urinary continence in both men and women.
Botox injections can help reduce muscle spasms in smooth muscles like the bladder. A doctor may prescribe the injections to patients who cannot tolerate oral medications for this condition.
Excessive sweating under the armpits can be very embarrassing because it can be noticeable if the person who has it is not wearing a jacket or coat. However, people who have hyperhidrosis often have sweaty palms and feet as well.
Botox A can treat this condition by blocking the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands under the arms. The injections replace oral anticholinergics if patients cannot tolerate them.
Myofascial pain involves the layer of tissue that covers muscles, the fascia. Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a chronic condition that causes pain in people’s muscles and soft tissues.
Doctors may prescribe botulinum toxin type A to treat this condition, so their patients can live a better quality of life.
If you have one of these conditions, speak to your primary physician or a specialist about botulinum toxin injections for treating it. It isn’t the first treatments doctors consider, but if you’re finding that other treatments don’t work well, then ask about the shots.