Botox® is a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent that reduces the rigidity of muscles or unwanted spasms in a specific muscle. Botox® is injected in small amounts into the spastic or stiff muscles. The injection stops the signal between the nerve and the muscle, relaxing the muscle and reducing stiffness. Botox® only affects the muscles that are injected and once the muscles are relaxed, therapists are able to stretch the muscles and stimulate normal growth.
Botox® can be an effective treatment for pediatric spasticity if:
- the child is 24 months of age or older (some exceptions may occur)
- the child demonstrates the potential for “functional” improvement (i.e. improved gait, enhanced hygiene, increased ability to use positioning equipment, etc.)
- the child is able to follow the prescribed post-injection rehabilitation program
- the caregivers are in agreement with and committed to the post-injection exercise program
Botox® injections can offer ease in stretching, improvements in range of motion, tolerance to wearing braces and developmental improvements in crawling, standing or gait changes.
Botox® is generally well-tolerated and side effects are minimal. Effects normally begin about three days after injection, peak at two to four weeks and last between three to four months.
Botox® is not a cure. It is an additional treatment to compliment daily exercise and bracing.