Many Americans suffer from a painful and debilitating condition known as cervical dystonia. Also known as spasmodic torticollis, this condition causes some muscles of the neck to contract involuntarily, in turn making the head twist or turn towards one side or the other. This condition can also cause the head to tilt forward or backward. In addition, some patients will experience a jerking motion of the head. Headaches and neck pain that radiates to the chest and shoulders are also common symptoms. The chronic pain from this condition can be exhausting and debilitating.
Cervical Dystonia Facts
This disorder is rare, however, it can happen at any age, including infancy. It is more common in females than males, and in people of middle age. No one knows exactly what causes this condition. Though head, neck, and shoulder injuries, as well as certain medications, like antipsychotic or anti-nausea drugs, are suspects. Symptoms of this condition begin gradually and then tend to peak and not get worse. At this point in time, there is no cure for cervical dystonia. Sometimes it will resolve on its own. Some patients will require surgery. For other patients, injection botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, can reduce the signs and symptoms.
Botox: The First Therapy Choice
Many patients are surprised to learn that Botox is more than just a cosmetic treatment. The Botox doctors Houston patients can trust have found success in treating cervical dystonia with Botox. In fact, Botox is the most common form of treatment for this condition, and is also the first line of therapy. Meaning doctors reach for Botox first when a patient chooses treatment for their cervical dystonia. For the majority of patients, Botox treatment is very effective and reliable.
Effectiveness of Botox
Clinical studies revealed that nearly all patients being treated with Botox for cervical dystonia saw improvement in head posture and neck pain. They reported that their neck pain had a decreased intensity and frequency. They also reported an improvement in their ability to function and perform daily activities.
In addition to clinical trials, the Botox doctors Houston patients go to have seen great improvements, including:
- Reduction or disappearance of neck pain and spasms
- Improved posture of the head
- Increased ability to function normally and perform daily activities
It is important to note that individual results can vary. Some patients may need several Botox injections to experience an optimal response to this treatment.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is injected into the muscles around the head and neck. Botox works within the by blocking the nerve signals that can cause pain and muscle spasms. Muscle spasms and pain have been known to stop for as long as three months after a Botox neurotoxin injection.
Often times, Botox is paired with physical therapy for a better response. In some patients, oral prescription medications can also help. Surgery is generally avoided unless other treatment methods have failed. Talk to your treating physician to find out if Botox may be a treatment option for you.
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