Botulinum toxin injection to facilitate rehabilitation of muscle imbalance syndromes in sports medicine

D. Cullen, J. Boyle, P. Silbert, Barby Singer, Kevin Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intramuscular injection of Botulinum toxin to produce reduction of focal muscle overactivity, and localized muscle spasm, has been utilized therapeutically for almost two decades. Muscle overactivity in neurologically normal muscle, where an imbalance exists between a relatively overactive muscle and its less active synergist or antagonist, can inhibit control of the antagonist producing a functional muscle imbalance. This brief review provides an overview of the role of muscle imbalance in sports-related pain and dysfunction, and outlines the potential for intramuscular injection of Botulinum toxin to be used as an adjunct to specific muscle re-education and functional rehabilitation in this patient group. A comprehensive understanding of normal movement and the requirements of the sporting activity are essential to allow accurate diagnosis of abnormal motor patterns and to re-educate more appropriate movement strategies. Therapeutic management of co-impairments may include stretching of tight soft tissues, specific re-education aimed at isolation of the non-dominant weak muscles and improvement in their activation, 'unlearning' of faulty motor patterns, and eventual progression onto functional exercises to anticipate gradual return to sporting activity. Intramuscular injection of Botulinum toxin, in carefully selected cases, provides short term reduction of focal muscle overactivity, and may facilitate activation of relatively 'inhibited' muscles and assist the restoration of more appropriate motor patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1832-1839
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume29
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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