According to a new study, botulinum toxin, better known as ”Botox”, the popular remedy for wrinkles and frown lines, may be an effective and versatile treatment for controlling Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
There are numerous treatment modalities like massage, physiotherapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, heat /cold therapy etc. available to alleviate pain disorders. However, most of the people suffering from chronic pain are unresponsive to these treatments and continue to experience recurring pain.
People afflicted with chronic pain are exhausted by the day to day coping with the ailment. Researchers state that physicians utilizing Botox treatment for chronic pain control (including back and nerve pain) are able to help patients live healthier, more comfortable lives.
Outcome of the treatment
The researchers conducted a study to analyze the use of Botox therapy for pain management. As a part of the treatment, eight patients suffering from CRPS were administered a Botox injection once every four weeks over a period of nine months.
The researchers found that all the patients responded well to the therapy. They reported 31.25 percent improvement in their daily pain control and this progress kept up for 17 months.
A little about the treatment procedure
Since the process of Botox therapy involves just a few simple injections, most patients are eligible for treatment.
Botox is the brand name for the neurotoxic protein used in the injection which can temporarily poison nerves in the area of the pain.
For the treatment process, the injections are placed in the muscles to help improve the ache from chronic muscle spasm. The toxin paralyzes the nerves, which then allows the muscles to relax. These injections are safe enough to be performed in the office without fluoroscopy.
Very few risks linked to Botox treatment
According to the researchers, the complications associated with Botox therapy as treatment for chronic pain are rare. However, as with any invasive procedure, the negative side effects need to be considered.
Temporary side effects from the drug may include flu like symptoms, increase in pain, weakness in the muscles injected, body aches, dry mouth, and hoarseness.
The study was presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2009 conference, October 23-27, in Seattle.