BALTIMORE, June 14 (UPI) -- Botox -- the popular wrinkles-smoother -- may ease nerve pain in certain patients, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore suggest Botox -- a toxin known to weaken or paralyze certain nerves and muscles -- may help ease a painful and debilitating disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome, in which compression of nerves in the lower neck causes pain in the neck or head shooting down the arm with numbness and/or weakness in the limb and extremities.
The study, published in Pain Medicine, found thoracic outlet syndrome patients reported a significant reduction in pain for two months after a single injection of low-dose Botox was guided -- using medical imaging -- into a neck muscle.
At three months, patients still reported a decrease in their pain as measured on a scientific pain scale.
"There haven't been many alternatives to the use of surgery to treat this syndrome," study lead author Dr. Paul Christo, says in a statement. "Botox seems to be an effective treatment that avoids surgery's obvious drawbacks, such as its invasive nature and long recovery time."