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Botox for Muscle Tension

author image Shagra Stone
Shagra Stone began writing in 2010 for LIVESTRONG.COM. She is a certified athletic trainer and a performance-enhancement and corrective exercise specialist. Her career has focused on injury prevention and health and wellness. Stone has a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from San Jose State University.
Botox for Muscle Tension
Botox for muscle tension Photo Credit: NikiLitov/iStock/Getty Images

Botox or Botulinum type-A is a neurotoxin prescribed to individuals with different types of muscle pain. The medicine is delivered by injection only. When Botox is injected into the muscle it targets the nerve endings and binds with acetylcholine to stop muscle spasm, thereby eliminating pain. Relief can last three to four months.

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There are two types of Botox, cosmetic and medicinal. Botox cosmetic is used to smooth away wrinkles on the forehead and frown lines between the eyebrows for individuals ages of 18 to 65. Botox for medical purposes is used to treat excessive sweating, upper limb spasticity and muscular eye issues.

Cervical Dystonia

Commonly referred as spasmodic torticollis, cervical dystonia is a painful incurable condition where the muscles of the neck involuntarily contract, causing the head to tilt and twist to one side. The most common dystonia is when the head is twisted and the chin is pointed toward one shoulder. This condition causes neck pain, radiating shoulder pain and headaches. Botox can help alleviate the pain up to four months. The medicine is injected directly into the muscles associated with dystonia.

Eyelid Spasms

Blepharospasms will cause the eyelids to involuntarily contract. Chief complaints with this condition are excessive eye blinking, eye pain, twitching around the eye and light sensitivity. Botox is injected directly to muscles causing the tension. Relief comes within a few days after treatment and lasts up to four months.

Tension-Type Headaches

According to the National Headache Foundation, individuals with chronic tension headaches experience pressure and vise-like contractions around the neck and scalp. Sufferers feel pain on the forehead, temples, back of the head and scalp. Botox is used as a preventative medication for tension-type headaches. The medicine is injected directly at the site of pain or on trigger points. The muscles associated with tension headaches are sternocleidomastoid, temporalis, frontalis and occipitalis. Relief can last three to four months.

Side Effects

Side effects include common cold-like symptoms, tiredness, dry mouth, headache and pain around the injection site. A serious side effect from Botox is botulism. The botulinum toxin will spread from the injected site and affect other areas in the body. The symptoms for botulism are extreme fatigue, loss of strength, double vision, voice change, and trouble breathing and swallowing.

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