What Is It?
Botox therapy is the injection of an extremely diluted, purified form of botulinum toxin type A (made from the bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning) into specific muscles.
This causes a localized and temporary paralysis of those muscles and prevents them from contracting. Botox was initially used in rehabilitation medicine for treating severe muscle imbalances in people physically impaired by strabismus (crossed eyes), stroke, brain injury and cerebral palsy. In recent years, it has become a popular cosmetic measure to erase wrinkles in the face or neck. In addition to relieving symptoms caused by muscle spasms, Botox is also being studied for the treatment of a wide variety of other complaints, from migraine, fibromyalgia and chronic back pain to overly sweaty armpits.
How Is It Done?
Following a pre-procedure evaluation, select muscles are chosen for injection, The injection is performed with precision-guided needles attached to an electromyography machine.
How Long Does It Take?
The procedure generally takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
What are the Expected Results?
When Botox is injected into a muscle, it attaches itself to nerve endings in the injected area and blocks the transmission of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that relays messages from nerves to muscles and tells muscles to contract. When these messages are blocked, temporary muscle paralysis results.
Over the next three to six months, new nerve endings will form to replace the paralyzed ones, once again allowing for communication between the nerves and muscles. At this time, the muscles will return to their previous state. If you and your doctor are pleased with the results, the injections will recur every three to six months depending on how your body processes things.