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Botox for Your Shoulder? Doctors Experiment with New Arthritis Treatment

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58.5 million people in America suffer from arthritis. Although it’s thought of as a problem for old people, you can get arthritis at any age. If you have pain and swelling in your joints, you’re sure to have many questions about arthritis.

Are there different kinds of arthritis? Yes. Arthritis is a handy term for over 100 kinds of joint problems. The main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, psoratric arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

Are there tests for arthritis? There is no one test for arthritis. Let’s say you have pains and stiffness in your knees. About arthritis in knees, your doctor will examine you, run blood tests, and run imaging tests like X-rays or ultrasounds. This is to rule out other problems. If these problems can’t be found, then your doctor will diagnose arthritis.

How is arthritis treated? This depends on how bad the arthritis is and where in the body it is located. You may need to take medication and make major lifestyle changes. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist called a rheumatologist, who specializes in arthritis. If you have, for example, ankle arthritis, then you may be referred to a foot and ankle center.

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Botox has a long history in the public eye as the go to fix for age lines among the Hollywood elite and image conscious Americans. Its use is often maligned for the possible side effects. Botox is, after all, the by-product of a neurotoxin. But others have sworn by its rejuvenating powers.

But now, a group of doctors in England might be giving Botox a face lift of its own. Their hope is to help mitigate arthritis pain by injecting the Botox into a patient?s rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles where the arm fits into the shoulder.

Although anyone familiar with sports has likely heard of tearing a rotator cuff, it is hardly the most common cause of Arthritis of the shoulder. It is most often found in the older segments of the population as a result of decades of overuse.

So far, its seems to be working! Although this form of treatment is still too new for any formal data, anecdotal observation suggests that Botox is a good option for treating some forms of strain-induced arthritis. According to one patient, the effect was apparent from the very first treatment.

The theory is relatively simple. Botox treatment paralyzes muscles at the injection site by blocking nerve signals. In a cosmetic procedure, this has the result of a younger, more relaxed looking face. For arthritis patients, the paralysis reduces the movement of the damaged cuff, thereby preventing use of strained and damaged tendons.

If this theory proves to be effective, it could revolutionize the way health care professionals treat torn tendons. The price alone is enough to make it worth considering: treating extreme rotator cuff arthritis with Botox is fifty times cheaper than a joint replacement.

This is not the first non-cosmetic use for Botox, however. Botox has become a popular option for a number of medical issues, including involuntary urine leakage, migraines, muscle spasms, and Bell?s palsy related facial paralysis.

Still, Botox will probably never leave behind its beauty spa roots. Botox is, after all, a nearly $2.5 billion industry. It will continue to be offered alongside facial peels and laser hair removals aimed at keeping the young and the beautiful looking the part. But for the suffers of arthritis, it is an exciting development.

27 Apr 2017