Botox injections are medications that use botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze specific muscle activity to treat several health problems.
Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning that results in paralysis. However, when diluted and injected in small doses (depending on the condition being treated) the toxin weakens or paralyzes certain muscles and blocks certain nerves, limiting their activity.
The injections are often used for
- Cosmetic purposes: to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, forehead lines, crow's feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines
- Health problems: repetitive neck and shoulder contractions, excessive sweating, uncontrollable blinking, overactive bladder, misaligned eyes, and chronic migraines
Botox injection is an outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes and requires either topical or no anesthesia at all. You should avoid alcohol intake for one week and must stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications two weeks prior to Botox treatment so as to reduce bruising. Botox is generally not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Your doctor will inject Botox into the problem area with a fine needle. During the procedure, you may feel minor discomfort. The effect of Botox injection is generally seen in 3-7 days after administration.
Some of the side effects of Botox injection include pain or tenderness at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache, problems with vision, breathing and swallowing, and drooping of eyelids when injected in the face.
Your doctor will thoroughly evaluate your condition and decide on the dosage of the Botox injection to circumvent any complications.
Botox Injection for Piriformis Syndrome
Botox injection is effective in the management of piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is a condition that occurs due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve is a thick, long nerve passing through or below the piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttock region connecting the sacrum to the outer surface of the hip. This muscle is involved in various movements such as walking and running. Piriformis syndrome can occur when the piriformis muscle undergoes spasm and exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain in the buttock region which radiates to the back of the thigh and the leg.
Botox injections are used to ease spasm in the piriformis muscle and relieve pain. This therapy involves the injection of Botox® directly into the piriformis muscle, causing it to paralyse. This results in relaxation of the muscle which provides pain relief.
Botox injections do not provide a permanent solution, but only alleviate the pain for a few months. A stretching and rehabilitation program may also be used to resolve the problem. Once the effect of the injection wears off your symptoms may reappear.