Botulinum Toxin A (BTA) is most commonly known for its use in the cosmetic industry, however, it has also been used in medicine for over 20 years to successfully treat patients with neuromuscular conditions such as dystonia and has more recently in the last 10 years been used to treat children with cerebral palsy.
It is used to treat and elevate the spasticity these children experience. Many have very tight muscles or, in some cases, fluctuating muscle tone and when the BTA is injected in small, safe doses into the targeted muscle it produces a local temporary weakness that will help to decrease the muscle stiffness. This allows better stretching of shortened muscles, increased range of motion and the opportunity to strengthen the muscles that work opposite the muscles which have not been injected. This treatment benefits the child greatly by allowing it to achieve it’s developmental milestones such as crawling, standing or walking.
Many children with cerebral palsy have difficulty with movement due to tight muscle tone in their lower legs and will walk on the balls of their feet with the heel off the ground. Over time, this makes it difficult or almost impossible to place their feet flat on the floor, however an effective BTA treatment into the lower leg muscles makes walking much easier and more comfortable, as well as improving balance and reducing the risk of falls.
Botulinum Toxin A is much more widely used than just the aesthetic industry and has many benefits in the medical world. These are supported with clinical studies and trials that have indicated positive and helpful results for patients.