Are you thinking about getting Botox?
While most Americans seek Botox to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, you might be surprised to learn that Botox isn’t just for cosmetic purposes. Botox has quickly become the drug that’s being used to treat just about anything.
Today the uses of Botox include back pain, migraines, sweating, erectile dysfunction, and so much more. The widespread applications of Botox are probably why over one million Americans get injected every single year.
Keep reading to learn more about the basics of Botox, and ways you can use it besides preventing and treating wrinkles.
What Is Botox?
When you look back at the history of Botox, it’s not surprising that we now use the drug for non-wrinkle related purposes. When it was first invented, it was used to treat crossed eyes and facial spasms. We now know this product as Botox Cosmetic, which was used to prevent and get rid of wrinkles. Now it has many off-label uses.
Botox is a toxin that is produced by botulinum. Don’t let the word toxin scare you. The Botox that we use in medical offices all around the country is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it’s perfectly safe for use in your body, and you won’t get sick.
This bacteria can cause botulism (a type of food poisoning), but Botox is a minimal dose of purified botulinum. Ever since the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic purposes in the late ’90s, doctors have been experimenting with the injectable and have since discovered plenty more off-label uses for the product.
Of course, while all the benefits of Botox sound very appealing, everyone should speak with their doctor and do plenty of research on Botox before you make an appointment. If you’re not sure if Botox is right for you, you can find out more online or when you visit a local clinic that offers Botox services.
Uses of Botox That Are Non-Cosmetic
The uses of Botox are almost endless, and doctor’s are discovering new benefits of the drug all the time. While everyone will have a different experience with Botox, some people have reported relief from severe, debilitating conditions like chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Here are seven of the most common conditions that Botox might be able to help you with:
1. Migraine Headaches
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know how unbearable they can be. Migraines are more than just a headache. They have the power to take away your vision, leave you in bed for an entire day (or more) and prevent you from living your life and taking care of your family.
Ask your doctor about using Botox to treat migraines if this sounds like you. Botox has already helped a lot of people find a bit of relief. Migraines are hard to manage, so some doctors started injecting Botox around the patient’s forehead to see what would happen.
The idea is that the toxin disrupts pain signals as they’re sent to the brain. In 2010, the FDA approved Botox injections as a treatment for migraine pain.
2. Tennis Elbow
This injury is common with tennis and other racquet sports, but you can still get tennis elbow even if you’ve never played a match in your life. Any activity that involves a twisting motion can cause this injury over an extended period. These activities include painting, cooking, plumbing, or using a computer too much.
This injury is chronic, but Botox has shown to provide some relief. A doctor will inject Botox into the muscles around the fingers and relieve tension up through their arms.
3. Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is extremely uncomfortable and causes you to feel like you need to run to the bathroom. Some studies have shown that by injecting Botox into a patient’s bladder, you can help their bladder relax and decrease the number of bathroom breaks.
This Botox use is good news for people who struggle with urinary incontinence. There are few things worse than continually needing a bathroom, or having to wear a diaper as a backup, in case you don’t make it in time.
Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. Sweating a lot can be embarrassing and cause you smell bad. This extra sweat might not seem like a big deal for those of us who don’t deal with it, but it can cause a lot of social anxiety.
Fortunately, Botox can be injected into the armpits to prevent this condition. People who used to sweat excessively can now enjoy life without having to wear absorbent pads or making multiple wardrobe changes every day.
5. Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are a common complication that people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have to face. MS damages the nerves in your body, which causes them to send signals to your muscles and move your limbs in involuntary ways.
Thanks to some experimentation, doctors discovered that Botox blocks the chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical transports the signals, so by blocking it, the muscles can relax.
Strabismus was one of the first uses of Botox, and it’s still useful to this day. Strabismus is sometimes called being cross-eyed. The condition is caused by one eye muscle being weaker than the other. The stronger eye muscle will pull the eye inward or outward.
Botox isn’t a permanent solution for Strabismus. Your doctor will inject the Botox into the stronger eye muscle, so it relaxes and doesn’t pull the eye in one direction.
7. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is another chronic and painful condition that Botox can help treat. Again, it’s not a permanent solution, but it does provide some relief.
You’ll get Plantar fasciitis when the connective tissue in the muscles in the sole of your foot get inflamed. It’s painful and makes it difficult to walk and stay active. Recent research concluded that Botox injections and a stretching regime provided the fastest and safest way to recover from plantar fasciitis.
Learn More About Cosmetic Procedures
If you have one or more of the conditions we listed above, you should ask your doctor if Botox might be a good option for you. There are plenty more uses of Botox, but these are just some of the most popular.
Make sure you go to a practitioner who is trained and legally licensed to administer the drug. Complications from improper Botox use can be serious.
Check out the rest of our website for more information on Botox and other cosmetic procedures that you might be interested in for the future.