Can Muscle Relaxant Treatments Boost Mental Health?

New research has found that cosmetic injectables may be beneficial for anxiety.

A new study conducted by a team at the University of California San Diego has found that injectables may help to lower levels of anxiety.

The study analysed an FDA database of nearly 40,000 patients and found that anxiety levels among people who had received muscle relaxant treatments were 20 to 70 per cent lower. The report concluded that those who were administered the treatment “had a significantly lower incidence of anxiety and anxiety-related AE reports, compared to the control groups.”

Included in the study were patients who received muscle relaxant injections for cosmetic purposes as well as migraine, spasms and neck pain treatment.

“[Anti-wrinkle treatment] effects on mental health have really come into the forefront as really a positive side effect of the cosmetic treatments,” said facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Michael Reilly in a recent NBC report.

In an article for Psychology Today, Dr Reilly attributed this to the the “facial feedback hypothesis”, which is based on the idea that facial expression and emotional experience are linked — more specifically, the movements of facial muscles appears influences an individual’s emotions.

“When you can’t furrow your brow or show the emotions of concern or fear or panic, there is likely a calming effect on the nerve pathways that feed back to your brain that then allow you to actually not feel that emotion quite as much,” Reilly said. 

Whilst there is still more research to do and much more to learn about the link between injectables and anxiety, this study suggests that injectables may prove beneficial in treating mood disorders holistically.

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