Botox: A New Use?

Botox (botulinum toxin A) injections are currently prescribed for many different medical reasons, including cervical dystonia (disorders involving involuntary contractions of spasms of the neck muscles); blepharospasms (involuntary eyelid spasms); certain headache types such as migraines and tension-type headaches; and cosmetic conditions, including the elimination of lines in the forehead and the so called “frown wrinkles.” A recent report by Reuters News involves the findings of Taiwanese researchers who studied a small number of patients. Their study indicates that Botox may provide long-lasting relief of the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a disabling condition of the wrist and hand. In the study, Botox was used in five middle-aged women with a history of CTS. Three of the women experienced relief of pain following Botox injections, while one woman experienced no change, and one reported a worsening of the pain. Follow up after 3 months indicated that there was a trend toward improvement in pain scores. Researchers indicated that their finding calls for more studies involving larger numbers of CTS patients.