While we are all familiar with Botulinum toxins, many of us don’t realise that it can be used for far more than cosmetic purposes. Botulinum toxins injections are widely used by medical practitioners for treatments like chronic neck and shoulder pain, migraines, bruxism, vaginism, vocal cord spasms, bladder hypersensitivity, an over active bladder, lazy eye, excessive sweating and even anal fissures to name but a few of the ailments it can help relieve.
In fact, there are several studies that have revealed that Botulinum toxin type A injections significantly improve pain and quality of life in people with chronic bilateral posterior neck and shoulder myofascial pain syndrome.
Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum. In people with pain and muscle spasms in their shoulder, it works by blocking muscular nerve signals to the brain and consequently decrease the feeling of pain in the shoulder.
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching which is also called bruxism, is usually related to stress or anxiety. While it does not always cause symptoms, but some people get facial pain and headaches, and it can wear down your teeth over time. Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw are not even aware that they’re doing it.
Traditional treatments have been ineffective at treating the pain and masseter hypertrophy associated with chronic grinding and clenching. Botulinum toxin has been found to be a safe and effective treatment with little downtime or side effects for treating both the neurogenic and muscular components of bruxism.
By injecting small doses of botulinum toxin directly into the masseter muscle or the large muscle that moves the jaw, the muscle is weakened enough to stop involuntary grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw. This significantly relaxes the muscle and reduces the wear and tear on the teeth due to grinding.
Although botulinum toxin injections are not a cure for bruxism, they can effectively control the uncomfortable symptoms better than a night-guard for some patients. This treatment usually lasts for three to four months.
Botulinum toxins works on vaginismus by relaxing the spastic vagina muscles that are obstructing penetration. The treatment generally takes place under local anaesthesia or sedation depending on the degree of vaginismus, because only then will a woman with vaginismus tolerate needles in her vaginal muscles.
If you are suffering from any of the above ailments, do contact us on 6235 3325 to find out more about how the use of Botulinum toxins can help you beyond its more popular anti-aging and cosmetic benefits.