Botulinum injection are used to treat painful muscle conditions. Botulinum is a bacterial toxin that blocks the neuromuscular transmission of acetylcholine, which regulates muscle contraction. It is most commonly used to treat strabismus, blepharospasm, and spasticity.
Botulinum injections work best when injected into muscle trigger points. This may include the sternocleidomastoid, occipital, frontal, glabellar, and temporal muscles.
While it is a safe and effective treatment, it is not permanent. Patients often need several Botulinum injections over time. The effects of the injections typically start to disappear after a week.
Some patients experience dramatic improvement after an injection. However, in some cases, re-injections are necessary months after the initial injection.
Depending on the severity of the condition, Botulinum injections can be administered once a month or every two months. There is no consensus on the optimal dose.
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An experienced clinician can perform the procedure. During the procedure, a thin layer of skin is rubbed to spread the toxin. Generally, the needle should be inserted at a 45-degree angle. Injections can be done with or without topical anesthesia.
After the procedure, patients should not lie down for two to three hours. During this period, the risk of bruising is reduced. If a hematoma develops, anti-inflammatory analgesics can help. During the recovery phase, patients should avoid bending over, reclining, or lying on their back. They should avoid injuring nearby structures such as their carotid sheath.
As with all medical procedures, side effects can occur. The most common side effects are local. These may include redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site.