Skip to Main Content

It’s not just for fine lines and wrinkles: Botox is showing promise as a treatment for chronic pain. Or, rather, the botulinum toxin that’s used commercially to erase signs of aging is also being studied as a potential alternative to opioid drugs.

A new paper in Science shows that a single dose of botulinum toxin, injected into the spinal cavity, prompted several weeks of pain relief from chronic and neuropathic pain — in mice. The researchers developed a new form of the neurotoxin to selectively silence key pain-causing neurons in the spinal cord. It worked for 23 days without killing any nerve cells and without causing any toxicities, the study found.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • So it’s not enough that they want to continue injecting corticosteroids into our spines, which have never been approved nor studied, is both expensive quite risky, but now botox?

  • I’ve been a non-physician advocate and social media forum moderator for chronic face pain patients and families for over 21 years. I’ve talked with literally thousands of people with facial neuropathy – sometimes called typical or atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia. I wrote the NINDS Fact Sheet on this disorder and I sat for three years on the Board of the US national Trigeminal Neuralgia Association.

    In this time, I’ve communicated with hundreds of people who have been tried on various forms of nerve blocks in the face, including Botox. My impression of outcomes in this population is that a relatively small minority of patients treated with Botox for facial neuralgia have displayed temporary improvements in pain levels — perhaps 10-20% of those I’ve heard from. However, in those who were successful, multiple blocks appeared to be required, and none lasted for more than a year — comparable to outcomes of Glycerol Rhizotomy.

    As a parenthetical observation, the introduction of any neurotoxin into the spine strikes me as one of the more dangerous and risky procedures I have ever heard of. There is a public record of significant controversy over the outcomes of interventional procedures which introduce cortico-steroids into the spinal chord. Thousands of patients now associate the use of such procedures with chronic arachnoiditis and permanent agonizing pain.

    In these waters, be there Dragons. Think hard before you leap from bad to worse.

  • There is nothing new or innovative here. This is another Advertorial pushing a proprietary pharmaceutical. Botox has been used for over a decade for spasticity, which is a component of chronic pain. It has been used to treat Migraines too, the ones that are caused by muscle tension in the neck muscles.
    Articles like this are deceptive, they mislead the general public. What should be more shocking is that with the use of Botox for certain conditions, not much research was done. Of course a less toxic version of Botox would be a major advancement, but the way medicine and pharmaceuticals are researched in the US actually held back the research. No one is noticing the pattern here. “Could” is the qualifier, it means the rest of the article is BS. Clickbait attention getting misleading headlines are setting science back decades. Stat is looking like the National Enquirer. It is really no wonder the US Medical System, is one of the worst in the world, and the most expensive too. Most people can’t tell marketing from science.

  • Botox being a neurotoxin has various side effects.
    The use of clinical botox is considered safe by medical professionals, but the wrong injection of Botox might result in paralysis.
    Botox can cause problems like a headache and allergic reactions to various things. Partial Face Paralysis also called Bell’s palsy is also a side effect of Botox.
    However, these side effects can’t be avoided by precautions. The advice of a professional physician and proper medication can help with these side effects. I have found this information after this ‘Botox Types, Uses, Application, Side Effects, Products & FAQs’ at zovon.

  • I’ve had botox injections in my neck for chronic pain and they did NOT work. The injections hurt nearly as much as the pain I already have. I, for one, have no faith in pursuing this method of pain relief

  • I have chronic pain and can’t do any thing but suffer because of the pain my legs are numb cause by the nerves being pinched in my lower back ( if they need a volunteer for the study on this shot I’m willing to do that)

Comments are closed.