misc image

Neck Pain? Botox May Be Able to Help

Mar 08, 2023

Unrelenting neck pain can be… well, a real pain in the neck. Whether it’s the result of an acute injury like a muscle strain or whiplash, or it’s a product of a long-standing problem like chronically poor posture, neuropathy, a herniated cervical disc, or arthritis, you want quick, effective relief that lasts.

At Florida Pain Management Institute in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Florida, our board-certified experts offer a full scope of interventional pain management solutions for persistent or severe neck pain. In some cases, a few small Botox® injections in tight, spasming neck muscles can deliver swift and effective pain relief — and open the door to sustained, long-term relief.

Read on to learn how Botox eases neck pain, and find out how this proven treatment solution may be able to help you. 

Your stiff, aching neck

Neck pain, also known as cervicalgia, is a common musculoskeletal problem that affects up to one in five adults (20%) in the United States at any given time. Pain that develops within or around the section of spine that supports your head (cervical spine) can be a symptom or side effect of many different conditions or problems, including:

  • An acute muscle strain injury
  • Tight, stiff muscles from chronic stress
  • Poor posture or improper biomechanics 
  • Muscle tension, imbalance, or trigger points
  • Age-related joint wear-and-tear (osteoarthritis)
  • A traumatic injury (i.e., whiplash, torn ligaments)
  • Cervical stenosis, disc herniation, or a pinched nerve

Severe muscle tension is a significant factor in many persistent neck pain cases, including those that originate in the spine itself, such as a herniated disc. What starts out as neck pain from a pinched nerve, for example, can quickly turn into a worsening, compounded neck pain problem as your supporting muscles naturally tighten and stiffen in response to that pain. 

Left untreated, your stiff, achy neck may trigger radiating shoulder pain or chronic headaches, including migraines.

How Botox treats neck pain 

Most people know Botox as the popular anti-aging treatment that smooths out fine lines and wrinkles. But did you know that — way back in 1989 — the FDA first approved Botox to treat severe neck muscle contractions caused by cervical dystonia

That’s right: Way before experts discovered the anti-aging benefits of Botox, they knew it was effective at relaxing overly tight neck muscles and easing pain.

Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a highly purified protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In small doses, this potent neurotoxin becomes a therapeutic agent that can effectively disrupt the pain pathway. 

It works like this: When injected directly into your neck muscles, Botox interrupts the pathway of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that relays pain signals from your muscles to your nerves, spinal cord, and brain. When Botox blocks the expression of the sensory pathways involved in sustaining tension-driven muscle pain, it causes the targeted muscles to relax and loosen.

As your tight, stiff, and tender neck muscles gradually lose constriction, the relentless tension disappears, and you regain a pain-free neck with a more normal range of motion.

Is Botox right for you?

If muscle spasms, ongoing muscle tension, or painful knots (trigger points) in the myofascial tissue covering your muscles are contributing to your ongoing neck pain problem, Botox may be an ideal way to attain swift and effective relief and improve your quality of life. 

To alleviate muscle-related neck pain with Botox, we administer one or more small injections directly into the treatment area. While the dosage and number of injections you need depends on the nature and severity of your pain problem, many people require multiple injections to attain optimal relief.

You should start to feel the full effects of Botox injections within two to four weeks, and you can expect those pain-suppressing effects to last for three or four months, or in some cases, longer. 

And if posture-related imbalances or an underlying condition like arthritis are part of your pain problem, the muscle-relaxing, pain-easing effects of a Botox treatment can put you in a better position to make progress with physical therapy and other long-term pain relief solutions.

Could Botox be the solution for your neck pain? You can find out by calling or clicking online to schedule a visit at your nearest Florida Pain Management Institute office in Delray Beach or Boynton Beach, Florida today.