Botox for back pain
January 14, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Have you had Botox injections for back/neck spasms and pain? Tell me about it.

My husband is having some ongoing back and neck pain, exact cause unknown--could be one thing or another thing or a combination, we're not sure. He is mostly bothered by painful "jumpy" muscles, as he calls them, especially when they wake him up in the wee hours. A muscle relaxant (Flexeril) had too many negative side effects for him to try that again.

The neurologist suggested Botox. It sounds like a fine plan, but the husband is concerned about side effects--like, will there be any patches of numbness? He religiously adheres to a very mild exercise routine involving Therabands, which he thinks is helping and would be very distressed not to be able to do.

Will the Botox cause him to lose any strength or feeling in his back, neck, and shoulders? Is it just a temporary solution, or is the idea to stop the pain while the area heals?

Please tell me about your experience, if you've had these injections for this or a similar problem.
posted by Ollie to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My sister had botox for TMJ, she has a very serious case and has severe pain in her jaw muscles which never really relax because of the grinding and clenching. She reported no side effects(so far) but did say that it only lasted about 3-4 months, (when she began to feel some discomfort again- not a complete return to previous pain levels). It was an amazing relief for her after dealing with the chronic pain, however it's very expensive.

Just a data point- obviously having it done for the back and neck could be quite different
posted by abirdinthehand at 9:59 PM on January 14, 2012

A colleague has quarterly botox injections for dystonia, and has called them life-changing. She says it stops the neck, back and arm spasms altogether and she has a much freer range of movement, and doesn't report any side effects at all. She is noticeably stiffer and more uncomfortable (from my perspective) in the few weeks before her injection is due. We are in the UK so I can't speak to the cost effectiveness elsewhere.

As an aside, has your husband's neurologist ruled out dystonia? The few symptoms you've described here sound remarkably similar to those experienced by my colleague - worth reading up on anyway! Best of luck to you and your husband.
posted by goo at 7:33 AM on January 15, 2012

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