One of the most common off-label uses for Botox is continuing to gain popularity and helping countless cerebral palsy patients. Botox can be used to help combat spasticity, or the muscle stiffness associated with the condition. Muscles that are spastic make it difficult to move and perform basic tasks. While there are conventional oral medications, Botox can treat spastic muscles at the exact site.
What Is Botox?
Botox is a material created by bacteria. It can be used safely and effectively to treat spastic muscles in patients with cerebral palsy. Botox treats the muscles by blocking the signal between the nerves and the muscles that tighten or contract. As a result, it can give patients major relief from muscle spasms and discomfort.
How Can Botox Help Patients with Cerebral Palsy?
Botox can provide cerebral palsy patients with:
- A radically improved gait
- Increased range of motion
- A decrease in pain in spastic muscles
- Reduction in spasticity
- Less discomfort when stretching
- Increased comfort in braces
How Long Does Botox Help?
Most cerebral palsy patients experience relief from spasticity within 5 days, with maximum relief occurring around 3 weeks after the injections. Patients will typically experience symptom relief for up to 3 months after the injections, and the symptoms and spastic muscles will gradually return until they have another injection. As with any medication or treatment, make sure that parents fully understand the potential benefits and risks to their child. Since Botox is created from the bacteria that causes food poisoning, there are risks involved with treatment.
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