Botox And Chronic Neck Pain
Although the term ‘pain in the neck’ is an integral part of the English language, its origins relate to the fact that anyone who has experienced significant levels of neck pain will know just how painful it is and how it can feel quite debilitating. Neck pain may not be life threatening, but it can cause patients to experience a much worse quality of life than before the pain manifested itself. Driving can be difficult if not impossible; even the simple task of getting your seatbelt on can be very difficult. Sleep can be hard, since the pain doesn’t go to sleep, but is always there. It can be hard to take pleasure in life when experiencing pain on a daily/constant basis and people often find that they can become isolated or even a little depressed by the pain and the effect that it is having on their life. Although Botox may not seem like the obvious cure for neck pain, it is now used to treat all kinds of pain conditions and neck pain will often respond very well to Botox injections.
The American Experience
Botox was trialled for use with regard to neck pain in 2004, when a report for the American Journal Of Pain Management was produced which showed that an average pain reduction of 40% had resulted from Botox injections in conjunction with standard physiotherapy. This is a significant reduction in pain and since 2004, Botox has consistently been found to be useful in treating chronic neck pain. Within the UK its use has been growing over the last three to four years as increasingly it is seen as a relatively quick way of ensuring that pain can be effectively managed. Because the Botox acts almost immediately on the muscles involved, the results can be almost instantaneous, which means that patients can soon feel the effect and because their pain levels are so much better, they feel better psychologically as well as physically. The risks associated with Botox injections for neck pain are also very low, and indeed the risk of contra-indications or side effects is probably much higher from medication that is given to alleviate neck pain. This can be important for patients who do not like taking strong medication over a long period of time.
Botox And Physiotherapy
One of the other advantages of using Botox is that it helps patients to start or to re-start physiotherapy. Because the muscles have been treated with Botox, they are less prone to being damaged during physiotherapy exercises and the physiotherapy exercises can therefore be carried out with low risk of any damage to muscles. Because the process of physiotherapy is concerned with getting the body back to its natural position and ensuring that all the bio-mechanical aspects of the body are functioning correctly, it will always be necessary to undergo physiotherapy, even with Botox injections. However, the beauty of Botox is that it simply helps prepare the body and have it ready to start the physiotherapy, with little risk of exacerbating the current condition.