Carpal Tunnel Botox

Doctors use Botox to get rid of wrinkles, but can the same case be made for people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Doctors are now using drugs similar to Botox to treat pain.

The signs of Carpal Tunnel range anywhere from pain, numbness, to weakness of the hand. It happens when the main nerve to the hand becomes squeezed or pinched at the wrist.

Doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications or physical therapy. Some patient may even need surgery. But at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, doctors are using small amounts of Botulism Toxin to treat the condition.

Doctors inject the drug into the affected area.

The final results of the study are not in yet. But some patients are convinced it works.

These injections can cause pain and stiffness in the hand. But that usually goes away in about a week. Doctors haven't seen any other side effects so far.

The study will be complete in April. Extended Web Coverage

What is BOTOX?

BOTOX has been used for more than 15 years to help people with problems like crossed-eyes and twitching of the face and eyelids. In the past five years, it has been successfully used to treat spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.

Ophthalmologists have used Botox safely for more than 10 years. It has been used for wrinkle therapy since the early 1990s with no serious side effects documented.

How does BOTOX work?

BOTOX injections relax the muscles that create wrinkles, thereby lessening the appearance of frown lines, laugh lines and crow's feet. After a BOTOX injection, for example, you are no longer able to frown, so the lines created by frowning are eliminated.

A small amount of BOTOX is injected right into the muscles that are
responsible for creating wrinkles. BOTOX effectively inactivates the muscles that produce wrinkles, thereby causing lines to disappear or diminish dramatically.

Some of the common areas treated include crow's feet, frown lines, laugh lines and forehead wrinkles.

How often is treatment needed?

BOTOX is not a cure. A treatment is quick and results usually last three to six months. After that you may return for a follow-up injection. Some doctors report that after several treatments, the effect of BOTOX appears to last longer, often up to several months.

Treatment with BOTOX can typically be repeated as long as you continue to respond and you do not have a serious allergic reaction. Acceptable safety in long-term treatment has been well established. However, formal clinical evaluations of long-term treatment have not been conducted.

The most common complication, when used to treat wrinkles, is a slight, temporary drooping of the eyelid. BOTOX is used in extremely small amounts, only effects the muscles in which it is injected and does not spread throughout the body, so you can return to full activity immediately.

Source:; contributed to this report