Botox for Neck Muscle Spasms (Cervical Dystonia)

Cervical dystonia

What is Cervical Dystonia?

Cervical Dystonia is involuntary muscle spasms in neck muscles resulting in pain and involuntary movements of the head/neck/shoulder.  Botox is the standard of care for treatment.

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin Type A (Botox) and Type B (Myobloc) are toxins produced by bacteria and then purified for medical usage. The toxin blocks the signal from nerves to muscles. It is injected into the skin or deeper into the muscle. As a result, the muscles reduce their contraction resulting in reduction of painful muscle spasms and/or the relaxation of wrinkles.

What should I do to prepare for the procedure?

Wear clothing that allows for easy access to the affected area if possible. No other preparation is needed.

What can I expect to happen during the procedure?

The injection itself is completed while you are seated or lying down. The area will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The “Botox” is then injected directly into the skin or muscle. The procedure frequently involves several injections in a small area.

How long will it take?

The actual injections take only a few minutes, but this will vary depending on the number of sites that are injected.

Will it hurt?

You should only feel the typical mild to moderate discomfort associated with an injection.

What should I do after the procedure?

You may be asked to limit your activity for several days after the injection. The pain may actually be worse for a day or two after the injection. Treat this pain with ice or cold packs (15-20 minutes at a time, for a few times each day). Do not use heat for the first 48 hours after the injection.
Make sure to call your doctor if you have severe pain, a fever, or any significant swelling or redness around the area of injection.

How long will it take to work?

While many people experience relief within 10 days, the maximal effect may take up to four weeks.