Toxins relax rigid muscles

MIAMI (KFSN) -- Upper limb spasticity is a painful condition caused by extremely tight muscles the person cannot control. It's often a side effect of stroke, neurological disease or brain injury. Now a new type of toxin similar to Botox may provide relief.

Barbara Aparicio loves having her family visit. She has multiple sclerosis. It's caused blindness in one eye, forced her into a wheelchair and even affected the muscles in her right arm.

"My arm gets very stiff, a lot of spasticity and also pain," described Aparicio.

Barbara's arm was so stiff she couldn't straighten it, making even the simplest tasks very difficult. The tight muscles were also incredibly painful.

Bruce Rubin, M.D., a board certified neurologist at Design Neuroscience Center in Miami, Florida, told Ivanhoe, "I asked her on a scale of one to ten, how bad is your pain and she said, 'usually around a nine.'"

While Dr. Rubin couldn't restore the use of Aparicio's arm, he thought he could get rid of her pain. He injected Xeomin into the muscles. It is similar to Botox.

"The injections of toxins allowed her arm to relax, allowed the muscles to relax and effectively reduced the pain, so she was much more comfortable," explained Dr. Rubin.

Being able to straighten her arm makes getting dressed a lot easier and being pain free makes spending time with her grandkids a lot more enjoyable.

Aparicio said, "To me, the treatment is like a miracle. It's something very, very beneficial for me."

Like Botox, this treatment does wear off so Aparicio has to get the injections every three months.
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