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Botox injections for low back muscle pain?

Hi.  I am a 72 yr old retired educator with severe Degenerative
Disc Disease.  I've had three lumbar spine
operations, including a 3-level fusion of L1-4.  While my
neuropathic pain down my legs is basically gone, my spine is so
degenerated that I cannot stand straight up.  As soon as I do, my
spine hurts, and I bend forward to relieve the pain.  That has
caused severe ... severe muscle pain in my back muscles. 
To hold me up, they seize up and knot up and hurt ALL of the time
... within 30 seconds of standing.  I cannot even walk to my
mailbox without level 5 or 6 pain.  I can relieve the pain by
sitting down and taking the load off my spine, but it has made me
too sedentary. 
My condition is worsening monthly. 

I've tried most every treatment, to include surgery, 5 rounds of
physical therapy, 14 different NSAIDs, 3 years of oxycodone, 4 Rx
muscle relaxants, 5 - 6 steroid and nerve block injections into
the spinal area, evaluations for radio-frequency ablation and
implantable opiate pumps, medical marijuana, anti-seizure meds,
tilt tables, tens, massage, hot tubs, swimming, acupuncture ...
the list is long.  The heat, swimming and massage work, but only
until I stand up and begin walking.  Then, my back seizes up again
within 50 feet. The oxy did work for years, but no more, and I
don't want to boost the dosage.  I no longer take it.  The mechanism is simple.  My back muscles are doing what they were designed to do ... hold up my bent torso.  They are just doing it constantly as soon as I stand, and they are getting painfully fatigued fast.

I am seeking some treatment that will ease my back muscles enough
to stop hurting ... long enough to allow me to walk a mile or more
(I was an avid hiker). 

I have heard that botox for
low back muscle pain is a potential new treatment.  I am interested.  I have several
questions:

1.  Have you had actual injections of botox into seized and
fatigued lumbar back muscles directly?

2.  If so, did it eliminate your muscle pain for at least a month or more?

3.  If not, what percentage reduction in pain did you experience, and for how long?  (if it is less than a 60% reduction, it won't help me
walk bette
r)

4.  Given I have at least 3 muscle groups in my back that ache
simultaneously, do you know if you can inject all three at once?

5.  If botox forces my back muscles to relax, and they do, will I damage my spinal joints because my muscles are no longer protecting them?

6.  Is Botox covered by Medicare or Medicare secondary?  If not,
what would a lumbar muscle treatment cost me?

I really would appreciate your input.  Thanks

Frank
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Comments

  • Welcome fsgregs1 we’re glad you’re here!

    If you will go to the search box at the top right of your screen and type in botox, scroll past the ads, there are some older discussions there for reading only

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Here’s a great article about back pain on Spine-health that you might want to check out: Back Pain Overview: A Guide for Understanding Back Pain. The article outlines common lower back pain causessymptoms, and treatments. It’s a very comprehensive article. I hope you find this information helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.

    Chip 

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    Frank

    I hope you did as Chip suggested, read the older discussions. There is a lot of good information to be found. I had Botox injections in my back muscle a few years ago. It did not help. I did not have any side effects from the injections, it just didn't work. Since then, I have been taking Robaxin. The muscle in my back looks like a football, always, literally. At times it will get bigger and seize up or I will have spasms. But mine is caused from scoliosis pulling on that muscle.

    I also have a morphine pain pump. But it does not help with the muscle pain as the morphine stays in the interthecal canal of the spine. 

    Medicare and my secondary insurance paid for the Botox injections. But you need to check with your insurance to see if it will be covered.

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. And read the discussions.
    Sandra

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