What Types of Pain Can Botox Help?

Most patients are familiar with botulinum toxin A, or Botox, for cosmetic use, but the neurotoxic protein can also be used to relieve some common forms of pain. Botox is administered as an injection through a thin needle and works by preventing nerves from releasing acetylcholine, which acts as a neurotransmitter. As a result, the signals in your body that cause muscles to contract become blocked. Clinicians can target a specific muscle or group of muscles and force them to relax. Multiple sessions are typically needed over a period of weeks, or months, depending on the desired and achieved results. Botox treatment is considered safe when performed by a licensed clinician, but side effects can include swelling or bruising, muscle weakness, and in some cases, flu-like symptoms.

Find potential relief for 5 common pain conditions in this slideshow.

 - Reported by Melissa Summers

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Those suffering from chronic migraine symptoms, generally for more than 1 year, may find that Botox treatments reduce both the severity and frequency of their attacks. Injections are typically administered in targeted head and neck muscles over multiple treatment cycles. Adverse reactions are considered minimal, and most patients report less headache days per month as a result of treatment. Patients have also reported improvements in health-related quality of life after Botox therapy. The injections are considered to be less effective in those with episodic or non-chronic migraine or with chronic tension-type headaches.