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.
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Elbow pain is often referred to as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is an over-use injury in which the tendons degenerate, which is very painful. I have two clients who have overcome this injury. One of which was a college tennis player and she ended up seeing a physical therapist to help with the problem. The therapist and I worked together and worked through the issue and she is now cured and back to her normal self. Another client of mine did not want to get medical help, so I have her in an elbow brace and it seems to be working just fine.
Many activities and occupations can lead to this injury: tennis, raquetball, throwing, weight lifting, plumbing, painting, and even raking. There are many treatments that can help reduce the pain such as wearing an elbow brace, rest and ice, stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. If you have chronic pain in your elbow, please see a physician because it will continue to get worse if not properly treated.