Botox is a botulism toxin (neurotoxin) which can be injected into muscles to eliminate wrinkles, treat migraine and muscle pain and can be used to treat the problems associated with spasticity.
Spasiticity is very common in MS and is the result of an imbalance in the central nervous system caused by the disease affecting the brain and/or spinal. These involuntary muscle contractions cause muscle spasms and stiffness, which, over time may lead to decreased range of motion of the arms or legs. This limitation of range of motion can affect the ability to take care of ones daily needs (e.g. maintain hand and axilla hygiene and ability to dress) and affect the ability to weight bear and walk.
The Botulinum Toxin is injected into the specific muscle and effects begin to appear after one to two weeks. The injected muscles should then relax. The relaxation of the specific muscle can relieve any discomfort caused from the stiff muscle and with training from a neuro specialist physiotherapist can improve the ability to use the affected body part and ability to take care daily needs. If effective this process can be repeated at six months.
Not everyone with MS suffers from spasticity and this case Botulinum Toxin injections are of no use. Injections of Botulinum Toxin may also not be a good choice of treatment if the spasticity affected muscles are widespread or large muscle groups.
Botulinum Toxin is not cure for MS but rather a part of the overall management plan to help optimise movement and function. A neuro physiotherapy assessment prior or immediately following injection is highly important to help maximize the effect of the intervention and help decide if the treatment will help a patient in the first place.
Here at Advance Rehab Centre we have built strong links with local Neurologists to help with assessing the need for Botulinum Toxin Injections in clients with MS and help maximize the affect following the intervention through a stretching, strengthening and functional re training programme.