You’ve likely heard of Botox treatments—the injections cosmetic surgery patients use to smooth wrinkles and look younger. You may not know, though, that Botox also has many other medical uses that can help those who experience injuries that range from muscular issues (such as myofascial pain syndrome) to neurological problems. This can be important for injured workers, as these treatments can offer significant benefits to help them move forward from their injuries and get back to work. So, how do you know if these treatments are right for you? Will the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) approve payment for these treatments?
What Is Botox?
Botox is the brand name for a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Typically, this toxin is dangerous. It can cause serious health problems, namely botulism, an illness that can cause muscle paralysis and difficulty breathing among other severe symptoms. Years ago, however, researchers discovered that small amounts of the substance could have positive effects on human health. When a small, weakened amount of Botox is injected into a muscle, the signal from the nerve to the muscle is blocked, which prevents the muscle from contracting (or contracting as strongly as before the injection). Most famously, this relaxes wrinkles in the face.
Botox treatments are non-surgical; injections are administered with a small needle in a doctor’s office and can be finished in just a few minutes. It typically works within 10-14 days, and the effects can last as long as four to six months. In addition, some patients use Botox in conjunction with physical therapy. The relief provided by the treatments can make it possible to rehabilitate the muscles, improving flexibility and strength.
Botox Benefits for Injured Ohio Workers
While Botox is most widely known for its cosmetic purposes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox for a number of uses. Besides cosmetic issues, it's used to treat:
- Chronic migraines
- Upper limb spasticity
- Cervical dystonia (neck muscle contraction) and neck pain
- Other specific limb dystonia (hand, jaw, or tongue)
- Nerve palsy
The same process used to relax the muscles that are wrinkled in the face can work to inhibit nerve communication and prevent other muscles from contracting, relieving pain and other symptoms that keep workers from moving forward from an injury. This can help those who have experienced multiple injuries from many types of circumstances, including falls, vehicle accidents, machine accidents, object collisions, and much more.
Will the Ohio BWC Cover Botox Treatments?
Most likely, the Ohio BWC will try to refuse coverage for Botox treatments after a work injury. While the treatment is FDA approved for specific circumstances, the most recent review of Botox by the BWC deems it “investigational.” It is possible, however, to request a hearing to make your case for approving Botox treatments.
At Monast Law Office, attorney Jim Monast has helped many workers pursue these treatments. Our legal team can help show Botox is necessary to your recovery by presenting a compelling case on your behalf. When your care providers deem this treatment an effective option for injury, we can provide the medical and scientific evidence, and the personal details that can help your claim to succeed.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury at your job, you deserve to pursue all the treatment options that may relieve your symptoms and help you fully recover. The legal team at Monast Law Office protects the rights of Ohio workers and ensures they obtain all the benefits they deserve. Even if you aren’t sure if your treatment will be allowed, call our Upper Arlington office today to learn more. Our team can answer your questions and help you obtain the care and compensation you need to move forward.