How does botulinum toxin work when it enters your body? 


Summary. Botox injections are primarily noted for their ability to reduce facial wrinkles. It is also used to treat conditions such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder, and lazy eye. Botox injections can help prevent chronic migraines

What is a botulinum toxin used for?
Botulinum toxin has both cosmetic and therapeutic uses. Researchers are conducting clinical trials for its use in a growing variety of conditions, including pain control in some chronic pain disorders.

Potential therapeutic uses of botulinum toxin injections include:
Focal muscular dystonia
Focal dystonia is an involuntary, persistent, and uncontrolled muscle contraction that causes abnormal posture. Different types of focal dystonia treated with botulinum toxin injections include:
• Cervical dystonia - also known as spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract and the head turn to one side).
• Blepharospasm: involuntary blinking or blinking of the eyes
Laryngeal dystonia - uncontrolled spasms of the muscles of the larynx
• Dystonia of limbs: involuntary contractions of arms and extremities
• Mandibular dystonia: Contraction of the jaw and other facial muscles
• Oral dystonia: Contraction of the muscles of the lower face, mouth and tongue
• Dystonia: Contraction of spinal, abdominal and chest muscles

Spasticity is a condition in which the muscles become tight and rigid, preventing normal movement. Studies have shown that botulinum toxin injections are effective in treating spasticity caused by conditions such as:

  • Brain attack / Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury

Non-chronic disorders

The following are some non-periodic disorders in which muscle spasms can be treated with botulinum toxin injections:

  • Hemifacial spasm (muscle contraction on one side of the face)
  • Tension
  • Tics
  • Myokymia (involuntary contraction of local muscles)
  • Myokinesis (voluntary muscle movement that causes involuntary movement of other muscles)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears due to twitching of the inner ear muscles)
    Genetic muscle cramps
  • Nocturnal bruxism (brushing teeth while sleeping)
  • Trismus
  • Rectal (tightness of the pelvic floor muscles makes it difficult to pass stools)
    Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Nystagmus (involuntary and repetitive eye movements that can cause vision problems)
    Chronic pain


Botulinum toxin, used to control pain in many conditions, is still in clinical trials. Only migraine pain relievers contain botulinum toxin approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in pain relief. Here are some conditions where chronic pain and localized muscle spasms can be treated with botulinum toxin injections:

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Myofascial pain syndrome (muscle pain)
  • Thinking headache
  • Chronic migraine headaches
  • Overdose headache
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • knee pain
  • shoulder pain
  • Neuropathic pain (pain due to nerve damage)

Smooth muscle hyperactivity disorder
Smooth muscle is found in internal organs and blood vessels and helps them function. Conditions involving the smooth muscle that can be treated with botulinum toxin injections include:

  • Neurogenic bladder: enuresis
  • Detrusor muscular dysplasia: lack of muscle coordination between the various muscles that control urination.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia: Enlarged prostate
  • Achalasia cardia: Food accumulation in the esophagus
  • Hirschsprung's disease: A condition that affects the movement of stool in the colon
  • Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction: A condition that obstructs the flow of bile
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Chronic anal fissures
  • Raynaud's phenomenon: Spasm of blood vessels that restricts blood supply to the fingers, toes, ears or tip of the nose.