Botulinum toxin-A, also known as Botox, is considered a neurotoxin (a purified toxin) that has the ability, if consumed or ingested in high doses, to cause food poisoning. Botox temporarily prevents your muscles from tightening (contracting) when it is injected directly into your inflamed, strained or tense muscle(s) and joints. In other words, it blocks nerve and brain signals that cause your muscles to spasm and/or constrict and your joints to stiffen.
Although Botox can be harmful in large doses, you can safely use small amounts to ease arthritis-related joint pain, tenderness and stiffness. Consult a medical professional before using alternative treatments like Botox to reduce or eliminate your arthritis symptoms. If you are wondering if Botox can help with arthritis – you have come to the right place. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Botox and arthritis.
How is Botox administered?
A syringe is used to inject Botox directly into the affected muscle(s) and/or joint(s). It may take several injections to experience total pain relief, but over time your arthritis symptoms should subside.
How does Botox work?
At this time, it is unknown exactly how Botox reduces arthritis symptoms, but it is believed that it works by blocking the production of excess neuropeptides (brain cells that produce either a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory reaction) in your body. Neuropeptides are responsible for regulating your moods, pain, pleasure, metabolism, immune system responses and energy levels. According to medical researchers and scientists, Botox is beneficial for arthritis pain because it stops your body from over-producing neuropeptides, which at high levels can increase your pain and discomfort.
How effective is Botox when treating arthritis symptoms?
Botox appears to be very effective when treating arthritis symptoms (joint pain and tenderness). It is important to note, it may be more effective when treating severe joint pain and tenderness, then it is when treating mild-to-moderate joint discomfort.
How can Botox benefit me?
Ok, so you are probably wondering, “How can Botox benefit me?” Well, when Botox is injected directly into your muscles and/or joints, it can ease arthritis-related joint pain, stiffness and tenderness and increase your mobility, which is especially true, if you suffer from osteoarthritis-related knee pain. In order to fully understand how Botox reduces arthritis symptoms, additional research studies are needed. At this time, scientists are trying to determine how much of this neurotoxin can be safely injected into your body without the presence of side-effects and/or complications.
What side-effects can occur when treating arthritis with Botox?
If large amounts of Botox are injected into your body too quickly, it can cause side-effects and/or complications such as: an allergic reaction, muscle and/or joint paralysis, breathing and/or swallowing difficulties, etc. It is important to remember that Botox is a neurotoxin (a purified toxin), which can be dangerous if the dosage is too high or the toxin is injected too frequently.
What other health conditions can be treated with Botox?
Botox can also help reduce skin conditions such as: crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles. Moreover, in some cases, it can effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of lower back and neck pain. In addition, Botox has shown success in alleviating muscle spasms in those who suffer from osteoarthritis. In fact, in the last few years, it has gained approval for the treatment of hyperhidrosis (extreme perspiration).
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that occurs when your body has a difficult time regulating your temperature, which causes severe sweating (perspiration). You will need between 10 and 15 underarm Botox injections (every 4 to 6 months) to reduce excess perspiration.
Chang-Miller, A. (2011). Can Botox injections relieve arthritis pain? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/expert-answers/botox- injections/FAQ-20057967
Drugs.com. (2014). Botox. Retrieved from http://www.drugs.com/botox.html
John Hopkins Medicine. (2009). Botox and hyaluronic acid injections for osteoarthritis. John Hopkins Health Alerts. Retrieved from http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/alerts/arthritis/JohnsHopkinsArthritisHealthAle rt_2781-1.html
WebMD. (2012). Botox. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/botox/cosmetic-procedures-botox