More Than Just a Beauty Drug

In Columns, Features, Moments with Michelle by Michelle Henson

The assurance of a more youthful appearance is very tempting to most people who feel the need to better themselves by undergoing cosmetic procedures. Doctors now offer many options for those people who choose to correct features they dislike. Taking advantage of these procedures can provide a much-needed boost to one’s self-esteem, making one look and feel better.

Often, when one thinks of cosmetic procedures they think of something that is very costly, time consuming and somewhat superficial.

The words—cosmetic procedure—immediately conjures up images of tummy tucks, face lifts, nose jobs, butt jobs, and breast implants.

But for people with disabilities, a common wrinkle remover that has became the hip new cure all to fight aging, may have some added benefits.

What if I were to tell you that one of the most common substances injected into the face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles can also be used to drastically improve someone’s mobility who has a disability?
Botulinum toxin type A, more commonly known as Botox, often used to relax facial muscles in cosmetic procedures also has been found to reduce muscle activity in other areas of the body as well. Recent studies show that most people who experience some type of muscle spasms and tightness can also benefit from using Botox.

Among the many those who might benefit from using Botox are those with cerebral palsy, essential tremors, and other neurological disorders, such as eyelid and facial spasms, headaches, excessive sweating and speech problems.

Since the effects of Botox are usually temporary, most doctors recommend that patients using the drug follow-up with regular treatments every few months. Botox coupled with regular stretching exercises may make it easier for patients to maintain loose muscles.

Though, it has been successful when used on some patients it is important to point out that Botox works differently with all disabilities and the results vary with each individual. Some people notice dramatic results within the first 24 hours, while others experience little or no change.

I have had my own experiences with Botox. I have mild Cerebral Palsy and a little over a year ago, I had muscle releases done, I had Botox injected into my heel cords because of tightness. I was not mobile the first five days. Unfortunately, it is during that time period that Botox, along with exercise of the muscle, is believed to have the greatest benefits. Therefore, I really had no noticeable effects from the injections.

Recently, I visited my orthopedic doctor because of some recurring tightness in my heel cords. Once again, he suggested that I have Botox injected into my calves to reduce tightness.

Though I did not see any major results the last time, I am hopeful that I will benefit more from the procedure this time around. Mainly because the Botox will be injected in another part of my body and I am a lot more active than I was allowed to be when I had the other procedure done.

I hope this information has provided you with a better understanding of one of the newest and most exciting drugs that we have at our fingertips.

Maybe one day, a drug like Botox will be used to cure the disability with which you were born.

I have gathered some of my information with the following websites: and http:/ Please feel free to visit them for more in-depth information.