Botox May Ease Writer's Cramp
Drug Now Used to Treat Wrinkles May Relieve Pain of Writer's Cramp
Dec. 21, 2006 -- Chalk up another novel use for Botox. The toxin best known
for erasing wrinkles may also help ease the pain of writer's cramp.
A small, new study shows injections of Botox improved symptoms of writer's
cramp in 70% of those who received the treatment.
Writer's cramp is a painful condition that affects about three to seven out
of every 100,000 people. Symptoms include involuntary, spasmodic muscle
contractions of the fingers, hand, or arm during writing or other manual
People with writer's cramp may simply learn to write with the other hand,
but in one in four cases, the condition can affect both hands and is difficult
Treatment options for writer's cramp include relaxation techniques,
hypnosis, biofeedback, acupuncture, and “writing re-education"
Botox is a toxin that in large amounts can cause botulism. An injection of
Botox blocks signals from nerves to muscles.
New Chapter in Writer's Cramp Treatment
In the study, published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and
Psychiatry, 39 people with writer's cramp received either two sessions
(one month apart) of injections of Botox in finger and wrist muscles or a
The results showed that 14 of the 20 people given Botox said their writer's
cramp had significantly improved and they wanted to continue their treatment
compared with six out of the 19 who received the placebo.
About 50% of participants still reported good results with treatment after
Side effects of Botox injections included hand weakness, which caused some
participants to discontinue treatment, and pain at the injection site.
Researchers J.J.M. Kruisdijk and colleagues at the University of Amsterdam
say the results suggest Botox merits more study as a potential treatment for