Anesthesiology 2012: Botox Beneficial in Myofascial Muscle Pain

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The Particulars: Previous studies have suggested that the long-term benefits of traditional myofascial pain therapy tend to be transient and unpredictable. Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) blocks nerve signals that cause muscle tightening. It has been theorized that Botox may provide prolonged and sustained myofascial pain relief.

Data Breakdown: UCLA investigators randomized study participants with myofascial pain syndrome to receive Botox or placebo injections in the muscles of the neck and shoulder. When compared with the placebo group, the Botox group had significantly greater reductions in pain scores. Botox recipients also had fewer and less severe headaches, and less interference of pain with general activity, sleep, and enjoyment.

Take Home Pearl: Botox appears to be an effective treatment option for patients with myofascial pain syndrome who have yet to find relief with traditional therapies.

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