Can Botox Ease Neck Pain?

September 18, 2012  |  neck pain

A shot of Botox is no longer just for fine lines and wrinkles. It may also eliminate pain from your neck. Recent studies show that Botox injections can significantly reduce neck pain especially when accompanied by physical therapy.

What Is Botox?

Botox comes from botulinium toxin type A, the same toxin that causes botulism. In small doses, the substance can be safely used to relax muscles of the body and treat uncontrolled muscle spasms.

During the past decade, however, Botox has gained notoriety for being an effective cosmetic product. Hundreds of thousands of people use Botox to eradicate fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

How Does Botox Work For Neck Pain?

A recent study published in the American Journal of Pain Management looked at the effects of Botox injections on 25 people suffering from neck pain. A single dose was injected on to the affected neck muscle of each patient. Then, they all underwent standard physical therapy.

Three months into the study, the participants were then asked to rate their pain from one to ten. Their scores showed an average pain reduction of 40%. More than half of the participants also expressed the interest to undergo Botox injections in the future for similar pain problems.

The research did not compare Botox combined with physical therapy and simple physical therapy alone. Still, researchers believe that Botox may help relax muscles prior to rehabilitation, thereby increasing its effects.

Why Botox Over Other Treatments?

Treating neck pain with the use of Botox injections may have a considerable advantage over oral medication. Over-the-counter and prescription pain medication causes typical side effects like nausea, dizziness and fatigue. The only discomfort associated with Botox is the sting from the needle.

Because the effects of Botox last for at least six months, patients do not need to take pain medication regularly in order to deal with the discomfort.

How Much Does A Botox Injection Cost?

Botox injections are not approved as official treatments for chronic neck pain. Hence, major health insurance companies will not cover this. Majority of patients will have to pay for Botox injections out of their pockets, which can cost anywhere from £150 per shot.

Tips on Botox For Neck Pain

Like many other pharmaceutical options for neck pain, there are also many criticisms against Botox. Many people suggest trying non-invasive treatment options first before getting Botox shots. Still, it may be worth considering especially if you have tried many other options for pain relief.

Botox for neck pain is relatively new. However, several researches have attested its effectiveness in helping relieve the condition by relaxing the muscles. If you do decide to have Botox injections for neck pain, make sure that you talk things thoroughly with your doctor. The procedure also comes with its own set of disadvantages, so it pays to be informed before doing anything. Likewise, make sure that your doctor has all the necessary information about you, especially things relating to your medical history.

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