Botox For Athletes

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Athletes often suffer from severe cramps from repeated stress on certain muscle groups. Now, Botox is reportedly being used in Major League Baseball to alleviate certain muscle spasms and cramping without affecting an athlete’s strength.

The use is clearly off-label, but not very far off. Botox is FDA-approved to treat debilitating neuromuscular disorders like cervical dystonia (a disorder that causes the muscles of the neck to painfully contract and twist). It’s also been widely used to treat cerebral palsy: injections weaken the contracting muscles and physical therapy strengthens the weak muscles, allowing more controlled muscle movements and posture.

Is this performance enhancement? Not really-it’s treating symptoms. Who would be the doctor to see? An orthopedic surgeon or a physiatrist is appropriate to treat physical function, injury or pain.

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