• Dr. Naureen Akhtar General Practitioner MBBS,MRCGP,DRCOG
botox for knee pain

British researchers have discovered a new way to use Botox. People diagnosed with Lateral Patellofemoral Overload Syndrome (LPOS), a condition that affects the muscles of the knee and thigh. It commonly affects cyclists, runners and other athletes. Also called patellofemoral pain sydrome, it is often categorized as an overuse injury. But the more appropriate term is ‘overload’ since the condition can also affect inactive individuals.

Hills, steps and uneven terrain tend to aggravate patellofemoral pain. When LPOS develops, even prolonged sitting can already be painful due to the increase in pressure between the femur and patella during knee flexing.

Symptoms of LPOS include a sharp localized pain and inflammation, which prevents runners, cyclists and athlete from continuing as it takes several day to recover. Experts estimate that one in eight active men and one in five active women have the symptoms of LPOS in varying degree.

Current treatment methods include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, steroid injections and if all else fails, surgery. Still, despite all these treatment options, most patients reported reduced activity levels and persistent pain.

Knee pain can wreck even the most dedicated cyclist, making pedalling too painful especially on rough terrains or steep slopes. Although there are many holistic ways to alleviate knee pain, from getting a correct bike fit to stretching, medical treatment is still necessary.

Botox for Knee Pain

That is where Botox for knee pain comes in. Based on a recent study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 45 patients with classified LPOS who failed to recover from conventional therapy were administered with Dysport, a type of Botulinum toxin injection, along with physiotherapy. The researchers noted that the patients had overused tensor fascia muscle in the hips rather than the gluteal muscles at the buttocks.

Researchers found out the reason why physiotherapy was not effective in the past – when the patients were performing exercises intended to ease the pain by strengthening the glutes, the tensor fascia lata muscle was still compensating, which concludes that the exercises have minimal effect.

Subjects first done physiotherapy alone but failed. Next, researchers used Dysport in the hip muscle to relax the tensor fascia lata to push the glute muscles to work harder. The Dysport treatment was followed up with physiotherapy to further strengthen the butt muscles.

Most athletes who participated in the study had exhausted all treatment options and Botox for knee pain was their last resort. Of the patients treated, almost 70 percent remained free of pain for five years after the experiment.
Although the research is an exciting new development for riders suffering from knee pain, it is worth to note that getting proper bike fit, appropriate muscle balance and sufficient recovery time can help your knee pain in control before considering Botox for knee pain.