Knee pain? Try Botox

Suffering from knee pain? Botox may be the cure, as a new study has discovered the usually cosmetic treatment helped ease a painful joint condition which affects more than one in eight active individuals.

Scientists at Imperial College London and Fortius Clinic looked at 45 people suffering with what’s known as lateral patellofemoral overload syndrome (LPOS), with sufferers experiencing severe pain at the side and front of their knee joint. It is often round in runners and cyclists.

Dysport – a protein known as a botulinum toxin, which is what Botox is – was injected into the muscle at the front and outside of the hip of the participants in the trial, then they were given personalized physiotherapy treatment.

In total 69 per cent didn’t need any more procedures on the joint and after five years were free of pain entirely. This is a stark contrast to previous studies which showed that 80 per cent of people suffering from the condition still had ongoing symptoms after other treatments, while 74 per cent reported being less active.

Usual treatments include steroid injections, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs. If these fail, surgery is often considered as an option, and even then patients aren’t always guaranteed the issue will go away completely.

“As a physiotherapist it can be incredibly frustrating to run out of treatment options for patients with this painful condition,” study co-author Doctor Jo Stephen, of Imperial College London and Fortius, said. “Many athletes who took part in this study had exhausted all other treatment options and this was their last resort.

“We are really excited that our approach is showing positive results for patients, which could have implications for active people around the world.”

Findings were published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Patients traveled from all over the country to take part in this study, which is an indication of their eagerness to find a solution to their discomfort,” co-author David Urquhart, of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, added.

Fizzy drink consumption = Organs wrapped in fat

We all know that snacking on bags of crisps and bars of chocolate washed down with a litre of something fizzy is no good for our waistline or insides. In fact, very few people need another study to tell them the dangers of a diet high in sugar and fat, but unfortunately it’s an area of growing concern as obesity continues to soar across the world.

This time, latest research highlights the damage fizzy drinks cause to our insides, with those consuming the sugary beverages daily finding their organs wrapped in fat.

Scientists at the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Massachusetts followed 1,000 middle-aged participants for six years to conclude their results. Everyone in the study was asked how often they drank fizzy drinks and underwent X-rays to determine how much visceral fat they had.

Visceral fat is harmful fat stored within the abdominal cavity, which means it lingers around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. As well as making people pile on the pounds, visceral fat plays an important part in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.

The results have been published in medical journal Circulation, with the team finding those who drank sugary or fizzy drinks every day put on nearly a litre in extra visceral fat over the six years. That’s 30 per cent more than those who never consumed the beverage.

Diet drinks didn’t yield the same results, which suggests it’s sugar that causes the problem. The team suggests that insulin resistance triggered by added sugar could be to blame for fat increase.

“There is evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverages with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” Dr Caroline Fox, who led the new study, explained.

“Our message to consumers is to follow the current dietary guidelines and to be mindful of how much sugar-sweetened beverages they drink. To policy makers, this study adds another piece of evidence to the growing body of research suggesting sugar-sweetened beverages may be harmful to our health.”

Talk of a sugar tax is ongoing in Britain, with the latest study poised to add even more weight to the argument to make sugary treats more expensive.