Most of us think of BOTOX® in connection to its cosmetic applications but it is also an extremely effective product for the treatment of muscle spasms. Before BOTOX® was used for reducing wrinkles, it was being researched for its ability as a treatment for chronic medical conditions like muscle spasms.
What are Muscle Spasms?
Muscle spasms are caused by the contraction of a single muscle or a group of muscles. They are usually harmless in most people but can become a chronic condition in others. Hypertonic muscle spasms, for one example, are characterized by muscles that continue to contract even when a muscle isn’t active. Hypertonicity is caused by malfunctioning nervous connections between the brain and muscles.
What is Blepharospasm?
Blepharospasm is a specific type of muscle spasm that involves the eyelids. It’s characterized by a frequent, abnormal twitch or contraction and can range in severity from a benign, temporary condition (that disappears after a few days without any treatment) to a serious affliction that refuses to resolve itself and can result in functional blindness. Severe cases of blepharospasm can cost a sufferer their eyesight due to muscle contractions keeping the eyelid closed (even though the eye itself remains healthy). Blepharospasm can be caused by a large number of factors that include environmental irritants and stress.
How Does BOTOX® Help with Muscle Spasms and Blepharospasm?
Botulinum toxin is able to help treat patients that suffer from blepharospasm or chronic muscle spasms. It functions by creating partial paralysis in a targeted area (that is localized and thus unable to spread to other parts of the face or body). Blepharospasm and muscle spasm sufferers often prefer BOTOX® injections to alternatives treatment methods due to its high degree of effectiveness and almost immediate results.
Patients that attempt to treat blepharospasm without the use of BOTOX® usually experience only short-term results that fail to properly resolve the condition. Sometimes a change in diet or therapy sessions that deal with underlying stress are able to solve the problem but, more often, the application of Botox is recommended as the last step before surgical methods are considered.
BOTOX® injections are usually given every couple months and can provide quick relief from symptoms (although responses and injection dates can depend on an individual). By adhering to a regular schedule of injections most cases of blepharospasm or other muscle spasms can be treated to a high enough degree that a patient is able to resume their normal life, free of the affliction’s effects.