Overview & Procedure
Botox injections are a minimally invasive treatment option for patients suffering from migraine headaches, spasticity, myofascial pain, back pain, neck pain, or neuropathy. Derived from the botulinum toxin, Botox is a purified protein that helps relax overactive and painful muscles. While this injection procedure is most commonly known for its effect on wrinkles, it is also a highly effective pain therapy that can provide three to four months of pain relief. During the procedure, a Southwest Spine & Pain Center physician will ask the patient to contract his or her muscles to help identify the treatment sites. After determining the locations for the Botox injection, the physician will administer the treatment. These injections typically contain a mixture of botulinum toxin and saline solution or local anesthetic. Between five and 10 injections in multiple areas may be needed to successfully relax tense muscles.
Shortly after administering the Botox injection, patients may experience mild side effects such as swelling, bruising, and some pain. Rarely, patients will experience nausea, a temporary headache, and other flu-like symptoms. Similar to other pain management injections, there is a risk of complication. Excessive relaxation of the muscle, vision problems, trouble speaking or swallowing, and trouble breathing can occur. Nevertheless, most complications are short-term and resolve without medication. Patients can apply ice to the treatment site and take over-the-counter pain killers to reduce any discomfort. The Botox injection should begin working within 10 to 14 days, with long term pain relief lasting anywhere from three to four months. Patients may need additional medications to ensure sustained pain relief.