A recent study released in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has shown that a shot of Botox, the shot typically used to erase fine lines and wrinkles, might help ease pain. This has many hoping that Botox could help treat sports injuries, like tennis elbow and runner’s knee.
Is it too good to be true? Probably.
The immobilizing effects of the injection can actually hinder your performance. Botox paralyzes muscles, which is why Botox-aholics have that frozen, caught-in-a-wind-tunnel look. Paralyzing the muscles in your limbs, however, can decrease performance, which will not only cause your game to suffer, it can set you up for more injury.
Most joint injuries are caused by over-used or over-stretched tendons, so the only way to truly cure your injury is to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the joint. Daily, consistent strength training and resistance exercises are your best bet to prevent and treat overuse injuries.
For elbow pain: Elbow pain is usually caused by over using your wrist extensors. To strengthen them, hold a resistance band in one hand, with your forearm resting on a sturdy surface, like a table, with your palm facing down. Hook the band under your foot, and slowly pull your hand back, without letting your forearm leave the table. Slowly lower your hand back down, resisting the downward pull.
For knee pain: There are a lot of muscles that affect the knee joint, and it is important to work all of them consistently. Check out this great list of exercises to prevent knee pain.
Shots and pills only mask the problem, which means even if you can’t feel the pain, you are still injured. Using the injured joint because you can’t feel the pain will prolong your injury, and possibly do irreparable damage. Always see your doctor for any injuries and pain caused by activity.