Thirty years ago, Botox® Cosmetic took the worlds of dermatology and plastic surgery by storm, when medical professionals began using it to erase forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet in women and men who were concerned about these early signs of aging. Recently, Botox’s popularity has surged. Since the year 2000, in fact, the number of procedures performed annually with Botox and other neuromodulators has jumped 819%, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
While you may know, and have even experienced for yourself, how effective Botox is at relaxing dynamic muscles that cause frown lines, forehead furrows, and crow’s feet, you may not know that Botox is also an effective, nonsurgical, non-cosmetic treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Dr. Julio Garcia, a plastic surgeon Las Vegas with expertise in injectable therapies, shares some of the ground-breaking ways that you can use Botox to improve your quality of life:
Relieves Facial Paralysis and Bell’s Palsy
The Facial Paralysis Institute states that Botox is one of the most effective treatments available for women and men who suffer from disfigurement and speech impediments caused by partial facial paralysis. Botox is used to relax the spastic muscles in:
- Bell’s palsy
- Partial facial nerve paralysis
Injecting Botox directly into the spastic, overactive, or frozen muscles causes them to relax so they can perform normally. By restoring hyperactive muscles to a functional state, Botox helps your face regain symmetry and a normal appearance. You may still need physical therapy to help retrain your overactive muscles.
Knocks Out Migraines Before They Start
If you suffer from 15 or more migraine attacks per month, you may be able to stop the headaches before they start with Botox. The FDA approved Botox as a migraine remedy back in 2010.
Botox prevents headaches by numbing the nerve fibers that cause the pain associated with your migraines. Although not everyone responds to treatment, you may find that the severity of headaches is lessened or that you have fewer headaches after Botox.
To treat your migraines, Dr. Garcia administers about 155 units of Botox in seven different areas of your head, for a total of about 31 injections. Treatments are repeated approximately every three months.
Stops the Sweat
Hyperhydrosis is an embarrassing medical condition in which you sweat profusely and abnormally in such areas as your:
While sweating is your body’s natural method of cooling down, if you have hyperhydrosis you sweat far beyond the point that’s needed for cooling. Botox helps stop excessive sweating that can’t be controlled with antiperspirants or other methods by blocking the signals that your nerves send to your sweat glands. While you may still sweat, your rate of perspiration will be normal, allowing you to participate in life more fully and less self-consciously.
Botox is not meant to treat normal sweating. You must have a diagnosis of hyperhydrosis to benefit from Botox treatments.
Saves Your Teeth
Bruxism is a condition in which you habitually grind your teeth. Usually, you’re unaware of the habit. Most people, in fact, engage in bruxism only when they’re asleep. Untreated bruxism leads to a slow grinding away of your molars and other teeth, jaw pain, and temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ).
By injecting Botox into your masseter muscles, which open and close your jaw, Dr. Garcia relaxes just them enough so that they can’t clench and grind your teeth. Administering Botox to the masseters is a highly advanced skill that requires precision and knowledge of anatomy to avoid over-relaxing the jaw muscle. A poor injector could inadvertently cause problems with your chewing and speech. That’s why you should only trust your Botox treatments to a medical professional who’s also an expert injector.
If you habitually clench your jaw, you may have symptoms such as jaw pain, popping, clicking, and a jaw that doesn’t close properly. Known as TMJ, these cluster of symptoms can interfere with proper chewing, and cause pain to radiate to other areas, such as your neck, and contribute to tinnitus (ear ringing). Dr Garcia in Las Vegas will help relax your masseter muscles with Botox so you can’t overuse or clench them.
Quiets Down Overactive Bladder
If you’ve been diagnosed with overactive bladder, you suffer from embarrassing and troubling symptoms, such as:
- Strong need to urinate, with leakage or wetting
- Urinating too frequently
- Sudden, intense need to urinate
- Frequent leaking or wetting
You may find yourself planning your daily activities around bathroom breaks. If you haven’t responded to medications, such as anticholenergics, or if you can’t tolerate the side effects, Botox may be the answer.
Dr. Garcia injects Botox into your bladder muscle to stop it from over squeezing and causing the persistent need to urinate. Botox calms the nerves in your bladder so that it can retain urine for longer periods of time, allowing you to focus on other areas of your life.
Uncrosses and Aligns Your Eyes
If your or your child over the age of 12 has strabismus (crossed eyes, wall eyes, or eyes that turn upward or downward), Botox is a simple, nonsurgical remedy that restores proper eye alignment. Untreated, strabismus can lead to severe vision problems.
Dr. Garcia injects Botox into the overactive muscle that’s causing your eye to turn in the wrong direction. Once the muscle relaxes, your eyes face in the same direction at the same time, allowing you to see properly.
Stops Over-Blinking and Eye Narrowing
Another eye condition that Botox can remedy is called blepharospasm. Due to overactive muscles, one or both of your eyelids may undergo involuntary spasm, which results in symptoms such as:
- Blinking uncontrollably
- Squinting and narrowing
- Involuntary eyelid closure
Botox is injected directly into the overactive eye muscles so that it relaxes and performs normally.
Alleviates Cervical Dystonia
Cervical dystonia is a disorder of the neck muscles that causes them to tighten or spasm involuntarily. The muscles may force your neck into an uncomfortable or unusual position. Cervical dystonia is often painful and frequently embarrassing. Dr. Garcia relaxes the overactive, spasming muscles with Botox so you can position your head and neck normally, without pain.
Relieves Muscle Stiffness
If your joints are stiff due to focal spasticity, Botox relaxes the surrounding muscles to increase your range of motion. You may benefit from Botox if you have stiffness in your:
After your Botox treatment, your joints should be more flexible and you should be able to complete your everyday tasks without inhibition or pain. You should still continue any physical therapy or rehabilitation prescribed by your doctor.
Botox treatments must be repeated every three to four months. If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that can be treated with Botox, your insurance may cover your treatment.
To find out more about how non-cosmetic uses of Botox can improve your life, restore normal function, and alleviate pain, contact Dr Garcia in Las Vegas by phone or email.