This video was taken on January 12, 2017. The injections are sometimes painful but the whole procedure takes less than 15 minutes for me. The sound you hear is the EMG machine. If the needle were injected into a healthy muscle there would be no sound. The louder the sound of static is, the more dystonic muscle activity is occurring. This is what helps the doctor decide where to inject the Botox.
Psychologically it is a very scary thing for me because of a horrifying experience that I had a few years ago with Botox where I was barely able to walk or feed myself for a few months. The Botox can either provide great pain relief, no relief or make your symptoms much worse. The only way to know is to try and wait. It's a gamble. My anxiety has been high the past week and I have had difficulty falling asleep. My mind is racing with "what if" scenarios.
The Injection Process
Botulinum toxin injections are administered by trained medical professionals (usually a doctor, physiotherapist or dystonia nurse) and most commonly delivered at a local hospital. Some people find the injection hurts a little but others are not concerned about it at all. Depending on the location of the muscle spasm, doctors will either select the muscles by observing the abnormal postures or movements and feeling for the muscle spasm or will use an EMG (electromyography) machine which measures muscle activity.
The number of injections will vary depending on the severity of your dystonia. Talk to your doctor about the number of injections you will need.
After the injection, the treatment takes effect gradually over 4–7 days, sometimes longer. Where it is a suitable treatment, botulinum toxin provides significant relief for the majority of people but it is not perfect - usually mitigating symptoms rather than completely eliminating them. The positive effects of botulinum toxin injections can last up to 16 weeks, sometimes longer; although many people find that the injections need repeating before this and usually attend a clinic around every 12 weeks.