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Botox® - The pain, mood and sweating treatment!

iStock 000008396357SmallBotox® - Also a treatment for pain, mood, and sweating etc…!

In the second of two columns looking at other Botox benefits, let’s look at the use of Botox for depression; muscle spasm (including overactive bladder); muscle pain (including chronic low back pain); nerve pain (including post-shingles nerve pain); excess sweating; wound healing; tremor; and migraines/tension headaches. Although Botox mainly relaxes muscles it also is thought to interrupt pain signals.

  • Depression
    Depression is a disabling and common problem. A prominent professor, at the American Psychiatric Associations’ 2014 conference explains how Botox can help in depression- "Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin [Botox] interrupts this cycle". In addition, a positive side effect is a reduction in frown lines.
  • Muscle spasm
    Muscle spasm can cause squints, blepharospasm (overactive forced eye closure), overactive bladder, anal fissures, and is also seen in children with cerebral palsy. Botox relaxes muscles and so can help with all these problems.
  • Pain
    There is good evidence that Botox can help with muscle pain. Specifically, studies have mainly been done on patients with chronic low back pain from muscular causes. It will not work for all causes of low back pain and so a thorough examination is essential to assess if Botox is right for you. Botox can also help with pain from other causes such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain) or the nerve pain that can occur after a bout of shingles.
  • Excess sweating
    This is a common and embarrassing problem. People I have treated with Botox for this problem have gone from being anxious, and unconfident to being relaxed, and confident. Botox usually provides 6-12 months reduction in sweating. It can also be used for sweaty palms, leading to confidence when shaking hands.
  • Wound healing
    Wounds of the face (whether caused by surgery or trauma) can cause unsightly scars. This is particularly true of scars in the more mobile areas of the face such as the forehead, as the muscles in this area pull on the edges of the wound. All studies show Botox to be effective and safe for reducing the chance of unsightly scars by relaxing the muscles around the wound.
  • Tremor
    Benign essential tremor is a common problem and easily treated with Botox.
  • Migraines/tension headaches
    There is two theories as to why Botox helps with migraines and muscle tension. One is that it relaxes the muscles that can lead to these problems. The second is that Botox interrupts the pain signals. However it works, the relief from these problems is amazing. I have had clients who are on multiple medications and seen multiple specialists obtain relief from years of suffering.

As you can see, Botox has many uses. All of which provide an overall confidence boost. Next month we’ll look at an exciting new treatment that, for the first time ever, is now available in the South Island!

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