There are a variety of innovative treatments for various neuromuscular disorders and among those Botox (botulinum toxin) has emerged as a game-changer for managing spasticity and cervical dystonia. Originally known for smoothing wrinkles and creating a more youthful appearance, Botox has also become an effective therapeutic option for patients suffering from these debilitating conditions.
There is one doctor in Horry County to whom many local neurosurgeons and physicians have been sending their patients for this coveted treatment. “People should know that they have options for their cervical pain in their own backyard,” stressed Dr. Simone Maybin with CMC Orthopaedics. “There is no need to drive hours away when you can receive excellent therapy for these neuromuscular disorders right here at CMC.”
Dr. Maybin has been using Botox to treat these conditions for years and was specially trained in this agent’s neurologic benefits during her fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We turned to her to help us better understand how Botox works, its benefits, and its application in managing spasticity and cervical dystonia.
Understanding Spasticity and Cervical Dystonia
Spasticity and cervical dystonia are neuromuscular disorders that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
“Spasticity is characterized by an abnormal increase in muscle tone, causing stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions,” explained Dr. Maybin “It causes reflexes to be stronger or more exaggerated which can interfere with your normal movements like walking and speech. Spasticity can greatly affect your independence because of the limitations it can cause doing just your normal, simple, day-to-day activities like dressing and brushing your teeth.”
On the other hand, cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is a neurological disorder where the neck muscles contract involuntarily, leading to abnormal head postures and repetitive movements.
“Cervical dystonia, in some instances, can have a profound physical impact on people because your muscles contract without you making them move,” disclosed Dr. Maybin. “It can make your head lean or twist to one side. Your chin may pull up and down, forward and backward, and can make your shoulder also contort up. These contortions can result in chronic pain, headaches, spasms, and difficulty with everyday activities.”
Misdiagnosis of Spasticity and Cervical Dystonia
Although Dr. Maybin highlighted some of the more extreme symptoms that these conditions can present as, she also stressed that some patients do not experience these to the fullest which can often lead to misdiagnosis.
“Sometimes these conditions are misdiagnosed as arthritis, cervical spondylosis, or other musculoskeletal injuries because the patients aren’t experiencing dramatic, uncontrolled movements or their symptoms are only noticeable by a specialist. Muscle weakness, tremors, and abnormal posture are symptoms shared by a lot of different conditions so it can be easy for someone who is not as well versed in spasticity and dystonia to misdiagnose them or lump them into other health conditions.”
The consequences of misdiagnosis for spasticity and cervical dystonia can be severe. Delayed or incorrect treatment can lead to unnecessary suffering for patients, exacerbating their symptoms and impacting their quality of life. Moreover, misdiagnosed patients may receive inappropriate treatments, such as medications targeting other conditions, which could potentially worsen their condition.
Traditional Approaches and Limitations
For years, managing spasticity and cervical dystonia posed considerable challenges for medical professionals. Traditional treatment options included physical therapy, oral medications, and in severe cases, surgical interventions. While these methods offered some relief, they often fell short of providing long-term solutions and were accompanied by various side effects.
Enter Botox: A Game-Changer
Botox is a neurotoxin that works by blocking chemicals that make the muscles tight. “Botox is an excellent therapy for treating the muscles that are affected by these conditions,” said Dr. Maybin. “It weakens targeted muscles and alleviates spasticity and the abnormal movements associated with cervical dystonia. Over time patients will see a reduction in deformity and pain and experience improvements in posture, stiffness, their range of motion, and just their overall quality of life.”
Administering Botox for spasticity and cervical dystonia involves a precise and targeted approach. “During the procedure, I inject small amounts of Botox into the specific muscles responsible for the unwanted contractions,” outlined Dr. Maybin. “It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete and is done right here in our clinic. Overall, the procedure is generally well-tolerated. We’ll track the progress in follow-up appointments and apply additional Botox treatments as needed.”
Benefits of Botox for Spasticity and Cervical Dystonia
- Targeted Relief: Botox allows for localized treatment, targeting only the affected muscles. This precision helps minimize unwanted side effects.
- Non-Invasive: Unlike surgical interventions, Botox injections are minimally invasive and do not require lengthy recovery periods.
- Long-Lasting Effects: While individual responses may vary, Botox injections typically provide relief for several months before a repeat treatment is necessary.
- Improved Quality of Life: Botox helps patients regain mobility and function by reducing muscle stiffness and abnormal movements, leading to an improved quality of life.
- Customizable Treatment: Each patient’s condition is unique, and Botox treatments can be tailored to suit individual needs and symptoms.
Exclusive care for spasticity and cervical dystonia in Myrtle Beach, SC
Botox has revolutionized the treatment landscape for spasticity and cervical dystonia, offering an effective and well-tolerated solution for patients suffering from these neuromuscular disorders. With its targeted approach and long-lasting effects, Botox injections have become a beacon of hope, helping patients reclaim control over their bodies and enhance their daily lives.
If you’d like to determine if Botox is the right treatment option for you or your loved one, speak with your primary provider about referring you to Dr. Simone Maybin at CMC Orthopaedics. Under her expert guidance right here in Horry County, Botox can pave the way to a brighter and more comfortable future if you are facing the challenges of spasticity and cervical dystonia.
Fellowship trained in Interventional Spine at Johns Hopkins Hospital
A Top 20 under 40 honoree by the North American Spine Society in 2021
Dr. Maybin graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She earned her medical degree from The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Following medical school, Dr. Maybin completed her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency training at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. After residency, she completed a fellowship in Interventional Spine and Musculoskeletal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.