Doctor Article: Botox Treatment at Neuropsychiatric Associates

Doctor Article: Botox Treatment at Neuropsychiatric Associates

By Dr. James Iannazzi, Neurologist

Botox, known widely for its cosmetic use, is a medication that is injected into muscles to temporarily weaken them.  In addition to wrinkle reduction, Botox has the ability to treat a number of medical problems. Several of these conditions are neurologic in nature, including dystonia, spasticity, blepharospasm/ hemifacial spasm, and most commonly, chronic migraine. Treatment for these conditions is offered through our Botox Clinic at Neuropsychiatric Associates.

 In order to receive Botox treatment for chronic migraine, the condition must occur at least 15 days a month for 4 hours a day. It is at times sobering to discover just how many patients are suffering to this extent from headaches that can bring any kind of useful activity to a standstill. Botox is believed to weaken muscles thought to be overcontracting during migraines and interfering with the function of pain receptors and pain neurotransmitters.

We also offer treatment for dystonia, which is involuntary sustained contraction of one or more muscles. The most common type is cervical (neck) dystonia, which causes abnormal head and/or neck postures and results in severe, chronic neck pain. Some patients with severe chronic low back pain may have lumbar dystonia and may be helped by a trial of Botox. Other forms of dystonia include “writer’s cramp,” in which forearm muscles involuntarily contract in a sustained manner, interfering with handwriting, which may benefit from Botox.

Additionally, Botox injections may be offered for spasticity, which is one of several types of muscle stiffness. It can be due to various causes, such as cerebral palsy, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. This condition can greatly interfere with mobility and/or function of the involved limb(s). There may be chronic pain associated with it, and Botox injections may be beneficial.

Among other conditions we offer Botox for is blepharospasm/ hemifacial spasm. Blepharospasm is the sudden, involuntary contraction of muscles involved in eye closure, causing the appearance of abrupt “winking.” This can be extremely frustrating, uncomfortable, and/or embarrassing if it occurs often.  Hemifacial spasm occurs if the same condition is widespread enough to also involve muscles in the mid and sometimes lower face. This results in abrupt “pulling” or twitching movements in those parts of the face.

The number of injections we give varies from just a few, as with blepharospasm, to about 30, as with chronic migraine. We typically treat on one calendar day per month, and patients usually receive treatments once every 3 months.

If you are interested in exploring whether Botox is right for you, call us at (888) 452-4762 or seek a referral from your primary care provider. Insurance often covers the costs quite well, though there can be requirements. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist in trying to make those discussions and efforts as smooth and timely as possible. We can also provide brochures and additional information on Botox to help guide you in making a decision.


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