Phenol nerve blocks for spasticity (1232)

Key points below

What is Ethyl alcohol?

Ethyl alcohol is a medicine that helps muscles relax.  It has been used to treat tight muscles for many years.

Ethyl alcohol nerve blocks are often approved by insurance and Medicaid.  

How is it used and what can it do?

Ethyl alcohol works best for big muscles like the biceps, hip adductors, knee flexors, and gastrocs.  It may help to:

How is it given?

Your child has to be very still for the shot. The medicine burns when it goes in. Most children will get pain medicine and medicine to sedate them for the procedure.  This can be done in day surgery or at the surgery center.   

Ethyl alcohol has to be injected close to the nerve.  This makes it harder to give than botulinum toxin.   A small stimulator is used to find the nerve to guide the shot.  The doctor is careful to inject the smallest amount needed.  

What will my child feel?

The muscles should not be firmly pulled or stretched in the first week to ten days.    Doing so could cause a strain injury.  Please keep doing the gentle stretching. 

Call: Pediatric Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Nurse Line 414-266-6631 with any questions.

For other health and wellness information, check out this resource:


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.