Botox for Neuromuscular Disorders
For many movement disorders, nonsurgical care provides relief of symptoms such as muscle spasms, tremors, stiffness and other issues. At Henry Ford Health, our specialists have extensive experience using Botox (botulinum toxin) injections to treat movement and other neuromuscular disorders.
What is Botox?
Botox is a medication that can temporarily relax muscles, reducing spasms, tremors (shaking) and other symptoms in some neuromuscular conditions. Botox is made from botulinum toxin, a natural substance produced by a bacteria that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. Manufacturing transforms the toxin into therapies that are safe for medical use in small, measured doses.
Our neurologists (specialists in conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves) use Botox injections to relieve symptoms of several neuromuscular disorders.
Neuromuscular disorders we treat using Botox
We offer botulinum toxin injections to help relieve muscle contractions, spasms, tremors and other symptoms in several neuromuscular disorders, including:
- Essential tremor
- Huntington's disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson's disease
- Tourette syndrome
How does Botox work?
Muscle movements, both voluntary and involuntary, happen when signals from the brain travel through nerves to muscles. Botulinum toxin reduces these nerve signals, which in turn reduces overactive muscle contractions and spasms.
To treat neuromuscular disorders, we inject Botox into specific muscles where excessive contractions occur. Reducing muscle spasms allows surrounding muscles to work better in maintaining neutral body postures and making smoother, more functional movements.
Botulinum toxin injections provide temporary relief, so you will need additional injections about every three to four months. At each visit, we can adjust the dose and location of injections, as necessary, to customize your care.
Botox for neuromuscular disorders at Henry Ford: Why choose us?
We have extensive experience with all types of botulinum toxin and work closely with you to decide on the most effective type for your treatment. Highlights of our program include:
- Experienced team: For botulinum toxin injections, it’s important to see knowledgeable neurologists who specialize in using it to treat neuromuscular disorders. Your care team includes neurologists and neurosurgeons who are nationally recognized for their expertise in movement disorders. Meet our movement disorders team.
- Research for the latest treatments: Our team is among national leaders in research for new and improved therapies for movement disorders. You have access (if eligible) to clinical trials offering the latest treatments for movement disorders. Learn more about our movement disorders research and innovation.
Henry Ford: Expertise in neuromuscular conditions
Botulinum toxin injections are one of many treatment options we offer to help relieve your symptoms so you can enjoy life. Learn more about our expertise in neuromuscular conditions, which affect the nerves that control muscles:
- Movement disorders: Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders affect your ability to control muscle movements, causing tremors and painful spasms. Find out more about our Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center.
- Neurodegenerative diseases: These disorders, which include multiple sclerosis, cause muscles to weaken and atrophy (waste away). Read more about our Neurodegenerative Diseases Center.
Botox for neuromuscular disorders: What to expect
If a botulinum toxin injection is right for you, we review the various types with you to decide which will best meet your needs. Your doctor discusses the likely results and possible side effects and answers your questions before the injection appointment.
Before the procedure
You receive the injection in our office. Most often, people experience only mild discomfort during an injection. You may choose to have numbing medication or take a pain reliever or mild sedative before the injection, depending on its location.
During the procedure
- Guidance to target the injection: To pinpoint the exact location for the injection, we use electromyography (EMG), technology that measures electrical activity in muscles. EMG shows where the nerve problem is happening so that we can place the injection at that spot. Sometimes, we use other guidance tools such as ultrasound.
- One or more injections: You may need several small injections, depending on your specific symptoms. We use a small needle, and the experience is similar to a flu shot.
After the procedure
- Immediately after: You can go home soon after receiving the injections, and you may prefer to have someone drive or go with you. It’s not necessary though, and you can return to your daily activities right away.
- First several days: Botulinum toxin injections usually begin to work within two to three days. You may have some soreness or bruising at the injection sites.
- Two to three weeks after: We schedule a follow-up appointment to check on your progress, address any side effects or concerns and answer your questions.