Botox and Fibromyalgia: A Cure For All?
Some patients who experience fibromyalgia find that it can have a devastating effect on their lives. It is a condition whereby patients feel their muscles and limbs are exhausted, they can feel pain in certain parts of their bodies and they may also experience poor sleeping patterns, inability to eat properly and feelings of very heightened and even free floating anxiety, where the patient feels anxious without any proper reason for the anxiety.
Any one of these conditions would be difficult to live with, but when combined they can really affect the quality of life that a person has.
The situation is then further exacerbated by the condition having no one single ‘cure’ that can be applied, so patients may often be left trying several treatments, but finding that no positive outcome can be achieved.
Could Botox Be The Cure?
Patients are often keen to explore any relatively ‘new treatments’ which may elicit some relief from debilitating conditions and many patients with fibromyalgia have heard that botox injections may relieve the pain that they feel and are keen to try this as a treatment.
However, patients need to be aware that there is still no single solution that can cure the cause of fibromyalgia and alleviate all its symptoms. So botox is no widespread panacea for this condition.
There are indeed cases where botox injections may prove effective, but similarly not all patients will get relief from botox injections.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox (more commonly used as a unisex beauty treatment) works by either paralysing or weakening some muscles and nerves.
In its use in fibromyalgia this can effectively block out pain and thus the patient may feel an improvement in terms of pain and the symptoms they experience.
Indeed botox is being used much more commonly to alleviate pain and to enable patients to continue day to day life, because it minimises the discomfort patients feel.
Why Isn’t Botox Routinely Administered For Fibromyalgia?
Although botox may be useful for treating fibromyalgia, it is not suitable for all patients.
It should only be administered by someone who is expert in using botox as a form of pain management. The dose administered has to be absolutely correct for each individual patient: there is no room for any error, so not all clinicians will be comfortable using botox as a way of controlling fibromyalgia: it is for use in expert hands only.
Patients who receive botox will do so after other treatments have been tried and failed to elicit a positive outcome. Primarily this is due to the fact that botox is a potent toxin (it is the organism that actually creates botulism in people) and there is a risk of some contra-indications, such as back pain, neck pain, the eyelid dropping etc.
The primary use of botox is therefore generally reserved for cases where the condition of fibromyalgia is refractory in the sense that it simply does not respond to treatment.
Finally, it needs to be stated that botox injections will only work on the symptoms fibromyalgia; they cannot cure this condition and it should be viewed in this context as opposed to being a treatment that actively heals a patient.