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Botox Injections May Greatly Reduce Knee Pain, Researchers Say

BOSTON (CBS) -- British researchers have found a new use for Botox.

Patients with a certain type of knee pain say just one injection is getting them back on track.

Dr. Michelle Earby jogs every day, but splintering pain around her knee nearly sidelined her passion for the pavement two years ago.

"It was really severe stabbing pain in my knee that I couldn't run through," she says.

She was diagnosed with lateral patellofemoral overload syndrome (LPOS), a common injury impacting the muscle around the knee and thigh. One in eight runners has it, and it also affects cyclists and other athletes.

Botox (WBZ-TV)

"For many of those patients, it just would have been physiotherapy, more physiotherapy and even more physiotherapy," says David Urquhart, a physiotherapist. "And surgical options were extremely limited."

David Urquhart and a team from London's Imperial College and Fortius Clinic found a breakthrough with Botox, which is often used to relieve wrinkles. Researchers say it also relaxes injured muscles associated with LPOS.

Earby was one of 45 patients in the study to receive a shot in the front hip muscle, which runners tend to overuse.

"I was relatively pain free," she says, "And was able to build up my running and have actually managed to do a marathon since then with no pain."

Botox - Dr. Michelle Earby
Dr. Michelle Earby goes for a jog. (WBZ-TV)

Researchers found just a single small injection along with continued physical therapy had a 69 percent success rate.

A doctor prepares to give a patient a Botox injection. (WBZ-TV)

The doctor says she has remained pain-free since her injection two years ago. She's now focused on training for not one, but two marathons this year.

Studies for the Botox injections are still underway, but British researchers say they could become available to the public in two years.

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