Most people recognize Botox as a beauty procedure that tightens skin and reduces wrinkles. However, the health benefits of Botox go beyond giving you a more youthful appearance.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is a botulinum toxin that blocks communication between your nerves and your muscle. This forces it to relax. It’s a simple procedure that doesn’t typically take long, and it has a quick recovery period. In most cases, the doctor injects the drug directly into the muscle that you’re treating.
What Can Botox Treat?
Doctors use Botox to treat wrinkles, excessive sweating, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, muscle spasms, bladder problems, and more. Researchers continue to explore ways in which Botox can help.
Botox for Migraines
When injected into areas of the neck, face, and head, Botox significantly reduces migraine pain for many people. This treatment received approval in 2010. It’s available if you suffer from migraines for at least 15 days each month; it doesn’t appear to work for cluster headaches. Doctors believe that Botox intercepts the migraine pain signals traveling from your central nervous system to your muscles.
Botox for Sweating
In cases where sweating is excessive and typical products don’t work, Botox can help. While it can be used for sweaty hands or feet, the FDA has only approved it for underarm use so far. The doctor injects about 25 doses of Botox into the skin of each underarm area. It works by blocking acetylcholine, which tells your glands to produce sweat.
Botox for TMJ
The temporomandibular joint helps your jaw open and close correctly. When there are issues with it, you can experience jaw pain, teeth grinding, problems chewing, and headaches. Botox relaxes the jaw muscle, leading to a reduction in all of TMJ’s associated issues. Most doctors recommend trying Botox in conjunction with other treatments, but some people find that it alleviates most or all of their TMJ problems.
Many of Botox’s health benefits are off-label — the FDA hasn’t officially approved them yet. Speak to your doctor about whether Botox is the best option for your treatment plan.