What exactly is spasticity, and how does Botox help? If you have undergone damage to your brain or spinal cord, two parts of the body that control voluntary movement, you could potentially have a spasticity condition.
Spasticity is where certain muscles continuously contract, causing stiffness and tightness, which then disrupts speech, gait, and movements.
Symptoms of spasticity include involuntary muscle spasms, exaggeration of reflexes, unusual posture, muscle and joint stiffness, and more.
Some people experience spasticity more often during nighttime, and for some, it can be quite painful. The encounter will vary from person to person, but typically, you will feel stiff with jerky movements.
As someone with Spasticity, it is crucial to know your options for treatment, including Botox for spasticity.
Now that you understand what spasticity is, you should understand how Botox affects it. However, first, what is Botox?
Botox, otherwise known as “Botulinum toxin,” is a neurotoxic protein. In fact, it is the exact same toxin that causes “botulism” – a life-threatening type of food poisoning. Before you get too concerned, though, you need to understand the way it is used that makes it relatively safe.
Doctors typically use Botox in small doses to treat various health problems, such as facial wrinkles and otherwise improving your looks. Because it is a toxin, your body cannot have too much at any one time, so it is used gradually in small amounts.
It paralyzes the underlying muscles to prevent conditions such as migraines, muscular disorders, and more. There are many who use it to treat their chronic migraines and headaches after a traumatic brain injury. Botox is inserted into your scalp in an effort to reduce headaches.
How does Botox for spasticity work, though?
It works by blocking the chemical signal between your nerves and muscles, which causes muscle contractions or tightening. As a result, your muscles can relax.
Botox has been found to be highly effective at providing relief from spasticity, most notably the pain and muscle stiffness that accompanies the condition.
Thousands of patients have seen safe results from using it to treat their spasticity, over the span of 25 years.
If you have a spasticity condition and are considering using Botox as a form of treatment, you should know the process behind it.
Botox for spasticity is administered directly to the affected area through an injection. The procedure usually involves multiple injections, and doctors will help minimize your discomfort as much as possible through the use of freezing sprays and oral versed. They also often encourage you to bring items from home that may bring comfort, including music.
The injections themselves are quite quick, usually only taking a few minutes, with follow-up care instructions provided afterward.
The length of time before relief occurs can vary based on several factors. However, generally, relief occurs in approximately a week and can last for about 3 months before symptoms may return.
After about three months have passed, you might begin noticing how the relieving effects of the Botox treatment gradually fade over several weeks, which is normal.
Botox might be among one of the first treatments recommended by your doctor before surgery is necessary. It’s important to remember that Botox may not be successful, though, depending on your circumstances.
In my case, I received Botox in my legs for my foot contractions. Prior to using these Botox treatments, my physical therapist attempted to cast my feet in a neutral position. However, they would not stay in place.
One week following the Botox injections, I was able to stand flat-footed for about one month before my feet retracted back into clonus. I was eventually referred to undergo tendon lengthening surgery to solve my issue.
While Botox for spasticity wasn’t successful in my case, I can understand how it relaxes the muscles to correct foot positioning, and it could be a potential solution for you.
Botox for spasticity is a recurring procedure that is often undertaken for a considerable amount of time to achieve the desired result, and it might be worthwhile considering for your spasticity condition.
The benefits of using Botox for spasticity vary, again, depending on your circumstances and personal health issues. The most common benefits include:
There are more benefits involved based on your personal experiences and goals.
Moreover, you should also know the potential side effects of using Botox for spasticity. This will help you know what to expect.
These side effects will also vary from person to person.
Since spasticity is such a disruptive condition, in which it interferes with many motor activities, it’s not something you can simply ignore.
If it’s going to hinder your recovery, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and you should be consulting with your trusted doctor and/or physical therapist to discuss possible solutions – including Botox for spasticity.
Furthermore, if you have recently been a victim of traumatic brain injury, spasticity is one of the first health conditions you should be aware of and take action immediately before it progressively gets worse.
As always, consult a trusted physician and know all of your available options before proceeding with the desired treatment.