Cosmetic Surgery Today

Plastic Surgery News, Costs of Cosmetic Surgery and Elective Procedures Blog

Botox Can Reduce Nerve Pain in Some Patients

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 18, 2010

Even though Botox injections are famous for reducing wrinkles and fine lines, the injectable also serves several off-label purposes, including the treatment of hyperhidrosis and migraines.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have published a study that indicates Botox may also be effective for weakening and paralyzing certain nerves and muscles in the body, and can therefore help those who are experiencing significant amounts of pain.

The study was published in the April issue of the Pain Medicine journal, and researchers point out that Botox is a safe, noninvasive alternative of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), which affects about 8 percent of the population. The current treatment for TOC involves removing the first rib and severing one of the muscles in the neck. It is also combined with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and other forms of surgery.

Paul J. Christo, M.D., M.B.A. and assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the study, points out, “There have been many alternatives to the use of surgery to treat this syndrome…Botox seems to be an effective treatment that avoids surgery’s obvious drawbacks, such as its invasive nature and long recovery time.” (Source:

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is caused by a compression of nerves in the lower neck. When there is not enough room in the cavity between the base of the neck and the armpit for the nerves to function properly, the individual experiences severe pain that shoots down the arm, and in some cases, numbness or weakness. TOS can be the result of a car accident, sitting at a computer for long periods of time, or it can be the result of a sports injury.

Botox can be administered into the muscles over time to reduce the nerve impulses and improve functioning of the muscles and joints. Dr. Christo reports that many people who agreed to participate in the Botox study were able to enjoy some pain relief before going to the hospital for more extensive surgery.


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