The Use of Botulinum Toxin in Pain Management: Basic Science and Clinical Applications

Pain is an unpleasant experience resulting from either tissue damage or insults to the somatosensory system. Approaches to pain management evolve as we better understand both pain pathways and the tools available to interrupt these. The interest surrounding botulinum neurotoxin as a chemodenervating agent has expanded to include its potential applications in painful pathologies, both within and beyond the confines of plastic surgery. In this article, the authors discuss botulinum neurotoxin’s mechanism of action as it pertains to both muscular paralysis and its interplay in the modulation of proinflammatory pain mediators. In addition, the authors review evidence supporting the use of botulinum neurotoxin in common painful conditions, in order to prepare the readership to aptly provide their patients with evidence-based recommendations. After reading this article, the participant should be able to discuss both mechanism of action and common applications of botulinum neurotoxin in painful conditions.

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