Thursday, 28 May 2009

Botox Therapy - Initial Treatment

Botox Therapy - Initial Treatment

Just over one week ago I received my first treatment with Botulinum Toxin (BoTox). The initial treatment of 5 injections per leg totaling 300 units of toxin. The gastrocnemius (gastrocs) and soleus muscles were targeted in hopes of reducing spacicity and tighness and improve my walking gait. The tightness pulling through the achillies always tried to keep my heels off of the ground even when standing. This was visable when walking as my heels could be seen rising up and out of my running shoes with each step I took. My hope was to improve on this action which might then translate to a better (upright) posture throughout my body.

Nerve endings blocked by Botox are permanent however peripheral nerves do regrow forming new pathways (circumventing the old bocked nerves) and the therapy must be repeated in approximately 3-4 months.

Injections were virtually painless and over in about 15 minutes.

After this first treatment, no ill effects were noticed nor was there any real noticable effect seen nor felt after one week post injection. The Dr. administering the treatment said that the toxin would take effect between 1 and 7 days post injection.

That's not to say there is no effect - just that I haven't personally noticed it either visually or through sensation. First thing in the morning as I place my feet on the floor and press down, I can feel a tension and tingling up the achillies as I press my heels to the ground. I'm using this tension and sensation as my guage in measuring the effacacy of the therapy. Perhaps my expection is misguided.

However, within 24 hours, my physiotherapist observed that I am taking longer strides with each step, so it appears that there is some benificial effect.

This, of course, is the initial treatment. It's my understanding that the doctor will assess the changes and adjust therapy accordingly. He spoke about videotaping my stride (walking with walker) over the course of the therapy in order to compare the changes over time and assess the progress.

Next appointment is two weeks post therapy for to assess effectiveness and adjust dosage and frequency of subsequent injections.

Again, 300 units from one vial was used in the initial injection at about $400-$425 CND per vial which is covered 100% by my private insurance.

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