Botox is a very popular treatment for people who want to look younger. However, Botox injections were originally developed for medical purposes. In fact, it was designed, among others, to treat the symptoms of dystonia. This is a condition in which the muscles seize up involuntarily, causing people to have an abnormal posture and have a significantly reduced quality of life.
Treating Dystonia with Botox
People with dystonia are in constant agony. Some days are better than others, but bad days are horrible. People find that their muscles suddenly tighten up, and not even physical therapy will make it better. The pain is tremendous and it leaves people feel isolated, because they are afraid to go out in case their muscles suddenly seize up. Luckily, however, they can opt for Botox injections and find relief.
Botox for Dystonia
Dystonia usually affects a specific part of the body more than any others. It is also progressive in many people, meaning that they start to feel worse and worse. It is a poorly understood condition, and it often takes an experienced neurologist to suggest that Botox could be a suitable solution. Made from botulinum toxin type A, which also causes food poisoning, Botox helps to relax the muscles. Effectively paralyzing certain muscles, it can help relieve stiffness in people with dystonia as well. While most people continue to associate Botox with an anti-aging treatment, therefore, it does actually offer fantastic benefits to help increase someone’s quality of life.
In patients with dystonia, Botox is injected into the muscles that spasm up, releasing the tension found in there. Doctors mark the affected area, before covering it with a topical anesthetic. Then, a special needle is used to inject the Botox into the right places. The toxin then stops the muscle from going into spasm. It is important, however, to understand that Botox doesn’t cure the condition. It usually takes between one and two weeks for the substance to work, and the effects last for around half a year. After that, further treatment will be necessary.
Botox is providing tremendous relief for people. The injections are virtually painless and there are almost no side effects. Some people experience some localized weakness but, if anything, that is a relief from the pain caused by the dystonia. Furthermore, this weakness goes after a few days. It is a shame that Botox is not a permanent solution for people with dystonia, particularly because it is not cheap. Significant amounts have to be injected, far more than what is used in anti-aging treatments, not in the least because the affected muscles are generally a lot larger. Not every insurance company covers the treatment either, which means people often have to find the funds themselves.
However, various charities are working hard on changing this. Considering the tremendous increase in quality of life these injections bring, even enabling people to become more productive and take on professional positions. Hopefully, their work will pay off and it will soon become a generally accepted treatment.