Did you know Botox® was originally created to treat people with crossed eyes? In the 60s, Dr. Alan Scott thought if he could relax the muscle that caused the crossing, he’d be able to cure it. The San Franciscan ophthalmologist was onto something, and after testing a strain of purified botulism (that acts as a paralytic) he had successfully created Oculinum. His discovery was later renamed Botox® and rebranded as a wrinkle paralyzer.
While Dr. Scott was out to find a cure for crossed eyes, the medical community has since discovered numerous other uses for Botox® and the list keeps growing.
While we use Botox® for cosmetic purposes, here are six other surprising ways Botox® is used. In these cases, relief is temporary, but a great option when other treatments are not effective or cause too many other side effects.
Botox® can be used as a preventative treatment for chronic migraine sufferers (defined by 15 or more migraines per month) with injections into the muscles of the head and neck.
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)
Commonly injected under the skin of armpits, hands, feet, or face; Botox® blocks signals the brain sends to sweat glands.
Injected into the wall of the bladder, Botox® has been found to be an effective way of treating people who suffer from urinary incontinence by reducing leaking, feeling the need to urinate right away, and frequent bathroom trips.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD and TMJ)
Jaw tension and pain can be eased by injections into the temporomandibular joint (where the skull and jaw connect). This eases tension by relaxing the joint and muscles.
Muscle Spasms and Tightening
Botox® can be injected into muscles to treat cervical dystonia (a condition that causes the muscles in your neck to tighten or spasm without your control) and Upper Limb Spasticity (in which muscles in your body become stiff or tight).
For voice disorders caused by dysphonia, Botox® injections into the larynx decrease muscle spasms or abnormal movements.
Though we may not provide all of these services, Botox® is a fascinating treatment, and we can’t wait to see what the medical community learns next!