When we think of Botox injections, what may come to mind first are well-off, mature white ladies who may or may not have lost their ability to express emotions on their face. And while yes, Botox is used for cosmetic purposes, there are also plenty of therapeutic uses too.
According to Dr. Ilan Danan, a physician and sports neurologist at the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California, botulinum toxin A is used in a wide variety of clinical settings for therapeutic benefit and relief.
The toxin can be injected into humans in extremely small concentrations and works by preventing signals typically released by nerve cells from reaching muscles, weakening the muscle in the process, Danan tells SheKnows.
"In order for a muscle to contract, nerves release a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine at the junction where the nerve cell meets the muscle cell," he explains. "Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. Administration of botulinum toxin results in a decrease in contraction of the muscle cells, allowing muscles to become less stiff."
So, aside from smoothing wrinkles, what else can Botox do? Click through to find out.