The introduction of Botox has changed the way Hollywood appears to age, but long before that it revolutionized how patients with neurological disorders carry on their day to day activities. We met a Sioux Falls woman who would be crippled with pain in her neck if it weren't for Botox and her neurologist.
Donna Goldammer has suffered for 10 years with Cervical Dystonia in her neck and shoulders. Dystonia is a movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily.
Donna says, "It's not like when you have a pinched nerve, it's more like the muscle is in a vice and it's like the muscle is drawing shorter and shorter. It's more like a cramp, a really tight cramp in the neck."
7 Years ago Donna started getting Botox injections from Dr. Bill Rossing at the Avera Neuroscience Institute to relax those uncontrollable and ever-tightening muscles in her neck.
Dr. Rossing says, "The toxin works quite well because the specific muscles that are involved are not only causing pain, but it helps in head movement, posture, tremors and twisting. All of which Donna suffers from."
As the Botox treatment wears off, Donna says sitting down to write or be on the computer is impossible for any longer than 30 minutes. Anything that takes concentration will take a toll on her the rest of the day.
Donna says, "They call it deadening the muscle, killing the muscle actually. After 7 to 8 days the muscle gradually relaxes and it's like I just feel normal again. I can go back to my normal activity like being on the computer."
Botox therapy varies for each patient, but for Donna, Dr. Rossing gives her 7 injections into 5 specific muscles about every 3 months. He uses the EMG machine to pinpoint the right place by listening for the electrical activity in her muscle. And it's working, like a charm. If a few needle pokes can bring normalcy back to her life Donna says bring on the Botox shots. Her quality of life would take a huge shot without it.