Botulinum Toxin (Botox)

Updated 8/20/2020
Botox and Dysport Injections for heel and nerve pain

We have all read about celebrities having botulinum toxin (commonly known as

Botox) injected into their wrinkles to make them disappear for a little while. The same substance is now used to treat some seriously painful foot and ankle conditions.

 

Botulinum Toxin relaxes and weakens the severely tight or spasming tendons, tissue, and muscles to bring relief to the most serious plantar fasciitis cases.

 

This revolutionary treatment is now available at University Foot and Ankle Institute, among the first in the country.

What is Botox?

Botox is a common trade name for the neurotoxic protein called botulinum toxin. A Botox injection blocks the release of acetylcholine in overactive muscles, inhibiting muscle contraction, and function.

 

Combined with physical therapy, botox can result in a faster and more sustained improvement with less risk for tissue damage and tendon ruptures.

 

How Does Botox Help Plantar Fasciitis and Tight Calf Muscles?

Tight calves can prevent the ankle from fully bending up, which makes it difficult to place your heel on the floor while walking (toe walking). Over time this can cause problems, including toe and Achilles tendon pain, bunions, and flatfoot deformity.

 

Tight calf muscles can also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. When the calf muscle is tight, it pulls on the Achilles tendon, creating tension on the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes). The result is the painful heel condition known as plantar fasciitis.

 

These conditions have been traditionally treated with steroids, such as cortisone injections, but this approach has potentially serious downsides. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine that can reduce pain and discomfort in plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately, 6 percent of the time cortisone injections cause the deterioration of cartilage and tissue in plantar fasciitis patients, leading to a ruptured plantar fascia. Repeated treatments greatly increase the odds of greater tissue destruction.

 

Now Botox brings us an alternative treatment that is an effective way to treat tight calf muscles and plantar fasciitis without destroying cartilage and tissue.

 

How Botox Works with Plantar Fasciitis and Tight Calf Muscles

Botox is injected into the calf muscle or plantar fascia to reduce the tone and stiffness. This prevents the nerve from over stimulating the muscle by blocking the link between the two.

 

This allows tight calf muscles to stretch, relax, and grow. Botox may assist with function, relieve pain, and eliminate muscle spasms. It may also improve pain and posture, possibly preventing surgery or permanent deformity.

 

When Botox is injected into the plantar fascia, it relaxes and weakens the strength of the tendon, relieving swelling and pain.

 

A New Treatment for Neuroma and Nerve Pain

If your feet experience pain, tingling, coldness, sensitivity to touch, loss of sensation, and numbness, you may suffer from neuropathy. Neuropathy is a painful condition caused by nerve damage. It is common in diabetics and often affects the hands, feet, and legs.

  

A neuroma is another painful nerve condition that occurs when the nerve becomes inflamed. It is often caused by repetitive motion of the foot or blunt trauma to the forefoot.

 

Botox injections offer an effective treatment option for both nerve and neuroma pain. After a Botox injection, the damaged nerves are paralyzed and can no longer transmit pain signals to the brain.

 

Botox Side Effects

As with all medicines, there are possible side effects. However, Botox is generally well tolerated and the side effects are mild and temporary.

  

After a Botox treatment, you may experience some discomfort around the injection site, which should only last for a few days. Other side effects may include muscle weakness, tiredness, muscle aches and pains, flu-like symptoms, or headache.

 

Am I a Candidate for Botox and What Does it Cost?

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not usually cover treatments with Botox. The price varies for what type of treatment you need, which dictates how much of the Botox is needed.

 

To learn more about this game-changing treatment for plantar fasciitis, tight calf Muscles, neuroma, and nerve pain, call University Foot and Ankle Institute to schedule a consultation and learn if you are a candidate for this treatment and its associated cost.

  • Foot and Ankle Surgeon and Director of University Foot and Ankle Institute
    Dr Bob Baravarian, University Foot and Ankle Institute

    Dr. Bob Baravaria DPM, FACFAS is a Board-Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital, and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as Director of University Foot and Ankle Institute.

     

    Dr. Baravarian has been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy, and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi, and Hebrew),

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