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Botox May Fight Pain in Addition to Wrinkles

By June 15, 2010 No Comments

Botox logoEveryone knows that Botox fights wrinkles; a new study shows it could also fight pain in some patients with a debilitating nerve compression disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).

Researchers at Johns Hopkins reported that patients treated with a single, low-dose injection of Botox in a neck muscle had a reduction in short-term pain.

The study, published in Pain Medicine, suggests that Botox could be a minimally-invasive alternative to the surgery used to treat TOS, which involves removal of the first rib and severing one of the muscles in the neck.

Paul J. Christo, M.D., M.B.A., an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the studyâ??s lead author, says: There haven’t been many alternatives to the use of surgery to treat this syndrome. Botox seems to be an effective treatment that avoids surgery’s obvious drawbacks, such as its invasive nature and long recovery time.

To maintain the results, Botox injections would have to be repeated every few months, since the effects donâ??t last. Dr. Christo says patients should be able to receive repeated injections of Botox into the muscle over time, though some could develop antibodies to the compound with excessive use, which would mean the toxin would no longer block pain.

As research continues on this new use for Botox, its use as a wrinkle fighter is as popular as ever. The most recent procedural statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed it was the number one minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure performed last year in the country. It is also one of the procedures Dr. Jonov performs in his state-certified officed-based surgery center in Seattle.

For more information on this new use for Botox, read the Johns Hopkins Medicine release titled Botox Eases Nerve Pain in Certain Patients.