PainSci summary of Gerwin 2012?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
This critical review of Botox injections for trigger points is more critical of the state of the evidence than other reviewers: “few studies have been designed to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with a trial of botulinum toxin treatment of trigger points.”
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
This is a review of literature relevant to the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome by botulinum injections. The objective is to critically review the studies to see if they are appropriately designed, conducted, and interpreted to provide guidance in the management of myofascial pain. The intent is to better understand the mixed results that these studies have provided. A search was made utilizing PubMed for literature relevant to the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of myofascial pain. All identifiable series were reviewed, including open label, single-blinded and double-blinded studies, randomized and controlled, or not. In general, small case series of only a few patients were not included unless they made a relevant point and there were no available randomized studies or larger studies. Single case reports were not included. This is not a meta-analysis. The studies were evaluated according to their design and the selection of outcome measurements, and the interpretation of results. The studies were individually critiqued, and an overall assessment and commentary was made of the studies in the field as a whole. Problems that were common to the studies were robust placebo responders, incomplete treatment of a regional myofascial pain syndrome, inappropriate or confounding control populations or treatments, and inappropriate time periods for assessment of outcomes, or misinterpretation of the time-frame of action of botulinum toxin. The studies of the effect of botulinum toxin treatment of myofascial trigger points have had mixed results. However, few studies have been designed to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with a trial of botulinum toxin treatment of trigger points. Better-designed studies may give results that can be used to guide practice based on reliable evidence. At the present time, one must conclude that the available evidence is insufficient to guide clinical practice.
- “Botulinum toxin A for myofascial trigger point injection: a qualitative systematic review,” an article in European Journal of Pain, 2007.
- “Botulinum toxin A for prophylactic treatment of migraine and tension headaches in adults: a meta-analysis,” an article in Journal of the American Medical Association, 2012.
- “An update on botulinum toxin A injections of trigger points for myofascial pain,” an article in Curr Pain Headache Rep, 2014.
One article on PainScience.com cites Gerwin 2012 as a source:
- PS Complete Guide to Headaches — Detailed, readable self-help for tension headaches and other common musculoskeletal headaches
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.