Botox to Remove Wrinkles, Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain
Posted Jan 04 2010 6:00am
Botox, which is a commercial brand name for the botulinum toxin, is described as one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances in the world. Botulinum toxin was originally tied to improperly handled or prepared meat products and in fact over 95% of all cases of botulism are caused by ingesting the toxin or the spores.
Botox has been approved for use to treat strabismus (a condition where the eyes are crossed or misaligned), blepharospasm (any abnormal tic or twitch of the eyelid), Hyperhidrosis (chronic sweating, such as under the arms), bladder problems, migraine headaches and more recently, to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles.
Now comes a report about a small study conducted by Dr. Jasvinder Singh of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center that indicates Botox may be useful in treating shoulder pain in arthritis patients.
This study was on a group of 43 patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis in the shoulder. There were 2 groups in the study, one received a single dose of botulinum toxin type A and a local anesthetic, the other received saline and the local anesthetic.
Dr. Singh and his team compared the patient’s pain levels before and 28 days after the treatments. What they found was that 38% of the group that received the toxin had a 30% or more reduction in their pain scores compared to 9% of the saline group. The botulinum group also reported more improvement in shoulder function than the saline group.
Obviously, this still requires additional research as this is the first study of its kind. But according to Dr. John Hardin, chief science officer at the Arthritis Foundation, this “appears very promising”.