Botulinum toxin A (Botox) has been tried as a treatment for long-term low back pain. Although this practice is experimental and not well tested, it has shown promise. For example, in one small study of 31 people with long-term low back pain, a Botox injection into painful back muscles was compared to a saline injection. Pain relief was reported by most people as lasting 3 to 4 months.1
The small size of the study makes it impossible to guarantee that a Botox injection is an effective and safe treatment for you.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of Botox and its unlabeled use. Severe side effects have been reported.
- Waseem Z, et al. (2011). Botulinum toxin injections for low-back pain and sciatica (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).
Current as of: August 4, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation