Botox or botulinum toxin Type A is best known for improving a person’s cosmetic appearance, by eliminating facial wrinkles, but it has much more medicinal benefits than just smoothing out a furrowed brow or treating crow’s feet. Doctors all over the world are using this naturally occurring neurotoxin to treat painful muscle syndromes such as myofascial pain syndrome and chronic bilateral posterior neck. It is also really effective in soothing the pain of arthritis, cancer and chronic migraines as well as chronic lower back pain.
When used for lower back pain, the analgesic effect of botulinum toxin reduces muscular hyperactivity, thereby significantly reducing muscular spasms. The best thing about Botox injections is that a single dose could offer pain relief for several months.
Botox generally takes 2 to 5 days to weaken skeletal muscle strength, which minimizes in a couple of weeks and then recovers. Efficacy of lower back pain treatment can vary from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the technique used, severity of the problem and the physical condition and age of the patients. Extent and period denervation also depends on the amount of toxin injected.
Lower back pain
Botox offers the most effective cure for lower back pain. Botox or Botulinum Toxin is a naturally occurring muscle relaxing agent produced by the bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. This neurotoxin works by targeting the motor nerve endings – the nerves that take signals to and from the brain. When used for relieving lower back pain, a small amount of Botox is injected into the lower back muscles, where the chemical works by blocking the discharge of acetylcholine – a message transmitting substance responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. This helps relieve severe spasms in the back muscles and the patient feels significant relief in lower back pain.
Botox or botulinum toxin is widely used to treat chronic migraine headaches. The toxin was licensed for treating chronic migraine headaches in July 2010 and has been since successfully used for alleviating chronic migraine symptoms. Effects of treatment can be seen 2 to 3 days after first getting the injection and generally last for 3 to 4 months.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Botox is probably the most effective treatment for myofascial pain syndrome. When injected into affected muscles, it relaxes the uptight muscles by blocking transmission of nerve signals responsible for tightening of muscles. Botulinum toxin is preferred over traditional therapies due to its prolonged and sustained results.
In recent years, Botox jabs have become the first choice of doctors to treat focal spasticity, especially in stroke patients. Spasticity is a medical condition characterized by overactive muscle contractions. Disorders that can cause spasticity include cerebral palsy (CP), stroke, spinal cord injury or tumor, multiple sclerosis and few other central nervous system disorders. Botox reduces muscle spasms by temporarily blocking nerve impulses that tell a muscle to contract. Once the chemical signal is blocked, the muscles do not spasm. Botulinum toxin usually takes full effect after 7 to 10 days, and its effects generally last for 3 to 4 months.
Cervical dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes chronic neck pain and neck muscle spasms. When used to treat cervical dystonia, the toxin is injected directly into the dystonia affected muscles, where it attaches to the nerve endings, blocking release of chemical transmitters that cause muscle contractions. The toxin takes effect gradually over 5 to 7 days, sometimes longer as well, depending on the severity of problem and physical condition of the individual. Effects of treatment generally last for 16 weeks, but this may vary from individual to individual.
- Botox jabs significantly reduce the pain scores as compared to any other pain relieving procedure
- Migraine patients report significant reduction in the number of headaches per week
- A consider reduction in the severity of pain (numerical pain score rating) has been reported
- Individuals also reported reduction in the interference of lower back pain, muscle spasms with their ability to perform their routine tasks as well as general activities, such as walking, sleeping etc. – in short an overall improvement in quality of life.
Doctors believe that this inject-able drug could revolutionize the treatment of lower back pain. If you are also one of those suffering from any of the above mentioned painful conditions and the traditional therapies have failed to offer significant relief, Botox may be an option.
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