Before Botox injections were widely known for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, Botox was mainly used for managing chronic pain. The history of this versatile injection has proven to show how adaptable and effective this treatment can be. From managing back and nerve pain to helping patients suffering from TMJ, Botox has many uses and may be the ideal solution for managing your chronic pain.
How Botox Works
When used for pain management, Botox therapy can treat specific targeted areas in the body. For chronic pain control, Botox injections allow patients to experience relief from pain that has been otherwise unable to be managed or treated by typical pain management prescriptions. Botox can offer a solution for managing persistent pain and discomfort in otherwise untreatable areas.
Using Computed Tomography (CT) scans to find where the source of the pain originates.
Injecting the specific target muscle or muscle group with Botox.
Allowing the muscle or muscle group to relax, relieving the chronic pain.
Potential Applications of Botox for Pain Relief
Botox can be effectively used to treat the following chronic muscle and nerve pain conditions:
Botox can prevent the recurrence of migraines for up to three months when used as directed. It may also help a specific type of head pain known as low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) headache caused by an internal leak of spinal fluid.
Bruxism is the medical term for unconscious teeth clenching and grinding, either while awake or asleep, leading to physical pain and severe dental problems. Chronic teeth grinding can cause headaches, earaches, facial pain, and even migraines.
More commonly referred to as TMJ, this joint is located at the base of your skull in front of the ear structure and connects the lower jaw with the upper jaw. Like any other joint in the body, the TMJ can be fractured, swell, and sore, causing limited lower jaw movement and pain radiating to the head and neck area.
For Those Suffering From TMJ
Problems with facial discomfort can quickly take over your life, whether you’re experiencing head pain, jaw pain, or sinus pain. If you’ve been feeling persistent pain in your jaw, your discomfort may be stemming from a TMJ disorder. Typical symptoms of TMJ include:
Facial, neck, or shoulder pain when you chew, speak or open your mouth
Limited range of motion or inability to fully open your mouth
Locking of your jaw
Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw
Difficulty chewing or biting
Toothaches, headaches, or neck aches
Dizziness, earaches, or hearing loss
Combining Botox With Other TMJ Treatments
The first step in managing chronic TMJ pain with Botox is to discuss the symptoms and discomforts you’re experiencing with your dentist. During a TMJ evaluation, we will check for the following:
We will check the facial muscles for tenderness
A range of motion exam will be performed where your provider will listen for locking, clicking, or popping
A series of x-rays will be taken to check the positioning and contact of the joint
Your bite will be examined for proper alignment
Treatments for TMJ disorders can extend to other causes of jaw discomfort if left untreated. The techniques used to treat TMJ are typically TMJ massage, a custom nightguard, and using trigger-point injections of Botox therapeutic to relax the muscles that surround the joint. When combined, these techniques will help to relieve pain and spasms entirely.
Is Botox Right For You?
Because Botox treatments only involve a few simple injections, most patients that experience any chronic pain, including pain from TMJ, are eligible for treatment. The best way to determine if Botox therapy can be used as an alternative to other forms of chronic pain control is to discuss your case with Hinsdale Dentistry. During an evaluation, our Botox experts will be able to determine if Botox can help ease your pain and give you the relief you need.