Botox is the brand name of the formula containing clostridium botulinum, a toxin used to treat weakened muscles, facial twitches and uncontrolled blinking, report doctors at Cleveland Clinic. Cosmetic surgeons inject Botox into areas of the skin to reduce wrinkles and facial creases. The effects of Botox injections last about four to six months, and exercise after a procedure usually is tempered for a short period of time.
The side effects of the toxic injection usually don't last more than 24 or 48 hours for most patients. During that time, patients may require more rest and avoid exertion due to headaches. Aerobic exercise may exacerbate the headaches and should be avoided for a couple days.
The potential for adverse affects from the drug can be worsened by exercises that cause patients to sweat. Drooping eyelid is caused by the migration of the Botox to other areas of the face where it can pool and create more extensive paralysis. Patients are warned not to rub their faces for at least 12 hours and to avoid activities that cause the face to sweat profusely. To avoid Botox migration, patients also are urged to avoid exercises for which they must lie down for at least three or four hours.
To manipulate the Botox to enter the muscles more deeply, patients often are encouraged to perform facial exercises without touching their faces, report doctors at the Cary Skin Center. Patients should contract the muscles around the area where the Botox was injected and hold for five seconds, then release. Contract muscles by squeezing them tightly and holding. Other movements may include squinting, frowning or pursing the lips, depending on where the shots were placed. Repeat the contraction exercises often for about four hours following the procedure.
Other exercise considerations must be made for patients who received Botox injections for muscular complications in other areas of the body. Stretching the injected muscles immediately following injections is important for patients who received treatments for spastic muscles, such as those with muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Stretching should be slow and consistent, avoiding pulling or sudden tugging. Other patients receiving Botox treatments for leg muscles may require additional physical therapy for walking properly after the spasms have reversed. Walkers, grab bars and other balancing devices should be incorporated to assist with walking at first.
In addition to possibly pushing the toxin to unintended areas of the face, there are other consequences of performing vigorous exercise the day before the injections and for one or two days following a Botox treatment. Boston cosmetic surgeon Dr. Brooke Seckel reports that by elevating the heart rate and blood pressure, patients increase the incidence of bruising at the site of the injection.