Botulinum toxin A is produced by the bacteria clostridium botulinum. It is injected into the muscle in tiny amounts to stop or reduce muscle spasms by blocking nerve signals to the muscles.
The process of pain control has three stages.
- Blocks the nerve transmission of neurotransmitters to the muscle so it cannot contract or spasm
- New nerves sprout
- These nerve sprouts connect to the muscle without triggering nerve fibers that cause pain
Conditions That Respond To Botox
- Cervical dystonia was one of the first conditions to respond to Botox. It is a condition where the head is in an abnormal position, and there is pain within the head, neck, and upper shoulder area.
- Cerebral Palsy can cause involuntary muscle movements called spasms. Botox can help stops the spasms
- Migraines can be treated with Botox
- Neck Pain/Head Pain– Both neck and general head pain can be treated effectively with Botox
- Low back pain is another condition where Botox may be useful and is under investigation
- Fibromyalgia/Myofascial pain syndrome Botox is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome by paralyzing the muscles causing the pain. It can provide relief for a period of 3 months or so.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is another possible use of botox, but the verdict is out and requires more investigation.
- Diabetic Neuropathy in the Feet or Feet Affected By High Heels – Both diabetic neuropathy (in the feet) and feet pain from high heels can damage nerves and cause pain. Botox stops the painful nerve transmissions
- Excess Sweating called hyperhidrosis can be helped with Botox.
- Overactive bladder can be silenced with Botox
- Lazy eye may benefit from Botox
Since the drug is injected locally, there are no systemic side effects like fatigue and sedation, such as those seen with orally-administered muscle relaxant drugs. Botox injections sometimes have to be repeated to maintain a therapeutic effect, usually every three months. Sometimes, the doctor uses a CT scan to localize the source of pain so that the injection is placed in the appropriate area.
If you are suffering from any chronic pain conditions, talk with Dr. Johal at the Prestige Pain Center to figure out the best option for you.