Spasticity is a neurological condition associated with cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis that affects muscle control and reflexes. It occurs when the brain and spinal cord send constant signals to the muscles, causing them to become tight,stiff, and hyperactive. Although there are various treatment options for spasticity, including medications, physical therapy, and bracing, Botox and Dysport injections have been found to be especially effective in treating the symptoms associated with spasticity.
OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) and abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport) are both neurotoxins derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Neurotoxins interrupt the constant signals being sent through the nerves into the muscles, which reduces or eliminates the muscle’s ability to spasm. This ultimately prevents the muscles from being hyperactive and allows them to function more effectively. Additionally, Botox and Dysport work well for treating spasticity because they can be injected into the localized area directly affected by spasticity.
Did You Know?
Botox injections must be spread out to prevent the body from developing antibodies to Botulinum Toxin. When this happens, the body’s immune system will fight the Botulinum toxin and prevent the treatment from working as effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for treating spasticity with Botox?
You may be a candidate for treating spasticity with Botox if you have been diagnosed with spasticity and regularly experience symptoms in your fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, ankles, or toes. However, Botox may not be an ideal treatment for everyone, and people with additional nerve or muscle conditions, breathing-related problems, or who are on certain medications may be at an increased risk for side effects. Therefore, you will need to schedule a consultation at Premier Neurology to determine if you are an ideal candidate.
What can I expect when having spasticity treated with Botox?
All Botox injections are performed in our office with a fine needle. When having spasticity treated with Botox, you can expect to receive an injection approximately once every three months. The specific location of the injection will depend on the location of your symptoms and in some cases, more than one injection may be used. In most cases, the effects of Botox treatment will last up to three months, however it may take a few treatments before you will notice results. After your Botox injection, you will need to schedule a follow up appointment 4-6 weeks out. This follow up appointment will allow your neurologist to evaluate your progress to determine the best course of action moving forward.
What can I expect after having a Botox injection?
After your Botox injection, you will be able to return to your usual activities. Around five days post-injection is when the majority of patients start to notice results, however this can vary from patient to patient. If you are just starting Botox treatment for spasticity, it may take more than one treatment before you notice results.
Some patients may also experience pain or soreness at the injection site. This can be resolved with over the counter medications and applying ice packs to the area. In rare cases, you may also experience side effects such as temporary muscle weakness or infection of the injection site.