Botulinum Toxin Injections

Drs. Roland and Owens have extensive experience using this treatment. The botulinum toxin that is used for medical purposes is a genetically designed protein that weakens the activity of muscles by disrupting the chemical signals between the motor nerve and muscle. Botulinum toxin is used for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Spasticity (stiffness and limited range of movement caused by injury to the brain or spinal cord from conditions like stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • Dystonia (abnormal movements of muscles)
  • Tremor

Botox® is a specific product and the most common form of this medication used at the Oxford Neurology Clinic. More information, including very helpful videos and information about each condition for which botulinum toxin is an FDA-approved treatment is provided by the website http://www.botoxmedical.com/. Additional information is found at www.wemove.org.

What do botulinum injections entail?

Using a very small needle, minute amounts of botulinum toxin are injected into muscles. In some cases Drs. Roland or Owens may use an EMG signal to find abnormally firing muscles and guide where to place the injections. Each condition requires a different set of muscles be treated. There is a minimal amount of pain caused by the injections themselves. It may take 2 weeks before clinical effects can be seen and in many cases the optimal clinical response is not achieved until the 2nd or 3rd round of injections and the injection pattern with some conditions like dystonia is refined over time.

What are the risks of treatment with botulinum toxin?

Though rare, the risks of this treatment are due to its intended effects. Botulinum toxin weakens muscles and the fluid injected can spread to muscles other than those being directly treated. An excessive amount of weakness from botulinum toxin can be produced in the muscles of the face and throat. This can cause difficulty in breathing, speaking and swallowing and in very rare cases this can be life threatening. Please notify our clinic immediately during normal office hours or seek urgent medical care if these symptoms develop in the days to weeks after treatment.