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'Botox' Can Ease Writer's Cramp

Date:
December 26, 2006
Source:
BMJ Specialty Journals
Summary:
"Botox," the popular anti-wrinkle treatment, can also ease writer's cramp, suggests a small study published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Writer's cramp describes the painful involuntary, spasmodic muscle contractions of the fingers, hand or arm during writing. But it can also occur during other manual tasks.
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"Botox"' the popular anti- wrinkle treatment, can also ease writer's cramp, suggests a small study published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Writer's cramp describes the painful involuntary, spasmodic muscle contractions of the fingers, hand, or arm during writing. But it can also occur during other manual tasks.

Some people learn to write with their other hand, but in one in four cases, the condition affects both hands, and the condition is difficult to treat. It affects around three to seven in every 100,000 people.

Relaxation techniques, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupuncture, and 'writing re-education exercises' have all been used, but none of these brings sustained relief. And there is as yet no effective drug treatment.

Forty people with writer's cramp were randomly assigned to a course of injections containing either botulinum toxin (botox) or a dummy substitute in two doses, usually into two muscles, over a period of 12 weeks.

Of the 20 people given botox treatment, 14 (70%) said that their condition had significantly improved, and that they wished to continue treatment. Their improvement was confirmed using validated disability and pain scales.

Only six of the 19 people in the dummy group felt that their condition had improved. One person dropped out of the trial.

One person who received the dummy injection at the first session and botox at the second, also registered an improvement in symptoms.

After a year, half of the trial participants were still receiving botox injections, and were finding them helpful.

Side effects included mild and temporary muscle weakness and pain at the injection site. Symptom relief lasted from three to 18 months, with an average symptom free period of four and a half months.


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Materials provided by BMJ Specialty Journals. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ Specialty Journals. "'Botox' Can Ease Writer's Cramp." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221073502.htm>.
BMJ Specialty Journals. (2006, December 26). 'Botox' Can Ease Writer's Cramp. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221073502.htm
BMJ Specialty Journals. "'Botox' Can Ease Writer's Cramp." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061221073502.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

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