Arizona Pain does not offer this treatment.

What Is a Botox Injection?

A Botox injection refers to the administration of the botulinum toxin, also known as onaboutlinumtoxin A, to muscle tissue.

Pain-Doctor-Botox-Injection-Procedure-1The toxin that is used is actually isolated from a microorganism that causes botulism, a form of food poisoning.

A serious complication that may occur due to botulism is paralysis.

However, when the botulinum toxin is injected in the proper amount to specific areas of the body, it temporarily relaxes muscles and can be used to treat some pain conditions.

Botox is the first drug that used the botulinum toxin, but newer drugs such as Xeomin, Myobloc, and Dysport now contain this toxin as well.

The newer drugs are used for similar conditions as Botox, but they cannot be administered interchangeably as they do not contain the same concentration per dosage of the botulinum toxin.

How Is A Botox Injection Performed?

Pain-Doctor-Botox-Injection-Procedure-2Before the Botox injection is administered, the targeted area is cleaned with a non-alcohol containing agent, such as betadine or Hibiclens.

A topical anesthetic may be applied to the skin as well, but this is not usually necessary because a very fine needle is used for the injection. Next, two or more different regions within the muscle tissue are injected with the botulinum toxin.

The larger the affected region, the more injections a doctor may administer. The procedure is typically complete within a few minutes.

Pain-Doctor-Botox-Injection-Procedure-4In order to reduce the occurrence of bleeding at the injection sites, anti-inflammatory medicine (e.g., ibuprofen) and aspirin should be discontinued for at least two weeks before receiving the injection.

Botox injections work by blocking the signal transmission of nerves that are responsible for muscle contractions, causing the targeted muscles to relax temporarily.

Some individuals feel the effects of the injection almost immediately, while others may begin to experience relief three to ten days after receiving the injection.

According to most patients, the effects usually last for several months. Some have reported effects that persisted for three to four months, and others experienced the health benefits for up to six months.

Pain-Doctor-Botox-Injection-Procedure-5When Botox is used cosmetically for purposes such as the reduction of wrinkles in the face, one to two injections are usually administered.

For chronic conditions such as persistent headaches, however, people usually need to receive several injections into the targeted region every couple of months in order to experience long-term effects.

Side effects that may occur after a Botox injection include bruising, bleeding, swelling, and burning sensations at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, blurred vision, and tingling in the upper extremities.

Pain-Doctor-Botox-Injection-Procedure-3In addition, ptosis (eyelids that droop) may temporarily occur when the injections are for migraines or headaches.

If the needle is not inserted into the right location, the medication may be administered to surrounding tissue and cause additional side effects such as a crooked smile, raised eyebrows, and excessive tearing or dry eyes.

Allergic reactions may cause itching, rashes, and welts.

In very rare cases, the botulinum toxin may spread to untargeted regions of the body, and this may cause serious complications such as muscle weakness throughout the entire body, visual impairments, trouble swallowing, speaking, or breathing, or a loss of bladder control.

These types of problems require immediate medical attention.

Conditions Related to Botox Injections

Initially, Botox injections were used for strabismus (lazy eye), blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), and cervical dystonia (neck spasms). Its use was later approved for the reduction of wrinkles in the face, and this is now the most common use of Botox injections.

Botox injections have also proven to be useful for additional conditions such as:

Individuals who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines that last for four or more hours, at least 15 days a month, may be treated with Botox injections. Most people report significant relief, but the injections have to be repeated about every three months.

Cervical dystonia is another condition that has been treated with Botox injections. This is a painful condition in which muscles in the neck and shoulders contract involuntarily and cause the head, neck, and shoulders to twist into uncomfortable positions. Focal limb dystonia (e.g., hand cramping) is a similar health problem that can significantly hinder movement. This type of dystonia has been shown to affect elbow, finger, and wrist muscles as well. Botox injections have proven to be effective at promoting movement for a number of individuals suffering from dystonia.

A muscle contracture refers to an abnormality that results in the constriction or stiffness of muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and even the skin. The constriction hinders individuals from moving normally. Conditions such as cerebral palsy and stroke-induced paralysis are characterized by muscle contractures and in some cases, Botox injections help improve movement by relaxing the muscles. The administration of Botox injections for low back pain has also helped reduce pain and muscle tension in some patients.

Conclusion

Botox injections entail administering the botulinum toxin into specific muscle tissue. Botox injections contain small amounts of the toxin that temporarily relaxes muscles by blocking the signal transmission of nerves that are responsible for muscle movement. Due to its effectiveness, Botox injections are now safely used to treat conditions such as low back pain, chronic headaches, migraines, focal limb dystonia (upper limb spasticity), cervical dystonia (neck spasticity), and muscle contractures.

The procedure is non-invasive, can be performed in minutes, and an anesthetic is not required. Health benefits have been reported to last for six months, and although the injections need to be repeated for most chronic conditions, it has not been shown to cause long-term side effects.

At Arizona Pain, our goal is to relieve your pain and improve function to increase your quality of life.
Give us a call today at 480-563-6400.

References

  1. Chan VW, McCabe EJ, MacGregor DL. Botox treatment for migraine and chronic daily headache in adolescents. J Neurosci Nurs. 2009; 41(5):235-43.
  2. Ramirez-Castaneda J, Jankovic J. Long-term efficacy, safety, and side effect profile of botulinum toxin in dystonia: a 20-year follow-up. Toxicon. 2014; 90:344-8.
  3. Yelnik A, Colle F, Bonan I, Bradai N. Efficacy at six months of the botulinum toxin A in the post-stroke lower limb’s muscular overactivity. Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2002;45(4):159-65.
  4. Gill C, Covington C, Padaliya B, Newman W, Pomeroy T, Charles PD. Successful treatment of childhood spasticity secondary to cerebral palsy using Botox. Tenn Med. 2003; 96(11):511-3.
  5. Jabbari B, Ney J, Sichani A, Monacci W, Foster L, Difazio M. Treatment of refractory, chronic low back pain with botulinum neurotoxin A: an open-label, pilot study. Pain Med. 2006; 7(3):260-4.