Musculoskeletal injuries are commonplace, particularly during sports. They can lead to pain and significant limitations, preventing you from carrying out your normal activities. However, taking the right steps following an injury can help ensure you recover quickly and successfully.
Sports injuries can be caused by a variety of factors and can affect almost any part of the body, including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Although ankles and knees are particularly prone to injury during sports, other injuries such as shoulder and hand injuries can also occur. Ironically, a disproportionate number of injuries that fall into the category of “sports-related” occur in the aged population compared to the younger athletes. For example, rotator cuff tears that require surgery are far more common in people over the age of 55.
Common causes of sports injuries include:
- Accidents, such as a fall or direct trauma (like a heavy blow)
- Not warming up properly prior to playing sport/exercising
- Using poor technique or inappropriate equipment
- Overuse/repetitive stress injuries
Symptoms Of An Injury
If you are injured, you may experience immediate pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and restricted movement or stiffness in the affected area. Sometimes, these symptoms may not be obvious immediately and may occur several hours after injury. Overuse injuries may occur gradually over time and are caused by repetitive motions, which can cause trauma to muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Treatment for Sports-Related Injuries
You should stop physical exercise immediately if you get injured, as it may cause further damage and slow your recovery.
Injuries require immediate medical attention for a full evaluation.
Minor injuries, such as a mild sprain or strain, can often be treated successfully with self-care practices, which include:
- Resting and applying ice packs to the injured area for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours, which can help relieve pain and swelling.
- Compression during the day, using an elasticated bandage and keeping the injured area elevated to reduce swelling.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation.
After a period of rest and once symptoms have improved, you may begin to return to exercise/sport gradually. Depending on your type of injury, you may want to get advice from your doctor beforehand to ensure your injury has healed sufficiently.
Pacing yourself and using correct technique and proper equipment is crucial to avoiding overuse injuries. Consider modifying your technique or taking lessons to help prevent future injuries. Physical therapy can be beneficial to strengthen muscles and joints, increase range of motion, and improve your technique.
When To Seek Expert Help
Some injuries may require a specialist to help and rehabilitation in order to heal successfully and to avoid further damage. Sports medicine physicians are orthopedic specialists with the skill and expertise to diagnose and treat a range of sports-related injuries, including:
- Sprains and strains
- Shin splints
- Cartilage injuries
- Ankle injuries, such as Achilles tendon tears
- Elbow injuries, such as tennis elbow
- Knee injuries, such as meniscus tear or ACL tear
- Shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears
Sports medicine physicians don’t just provide treatment for professional athletes, they also work with adolescents and adults who regularly take part in sports or fitness, as well as those who have physically demanding jobs. They use a variety of treatment methods to suit individual needs and are fully up-to-date with advanced nonsurgical and surgical treatments, allowing you to get back to your routine quicker. A sports medicine physician will always explore nonsurgical treatments first, before considering surgery. The goal of treatment is to allow individuals to return to their original health, whilst strengthening weak or vulnerable areas to prevent future injuries.
In addition to diagnosing and treating injuries, a sports medicine physician can also provide advice to improve your overall health and performance, such as beneficial exercise and injury prevention. They have an in-depth understanding of how different types of sports and exercise affect the body. This means they can provide appropriate advice and instruction to prevent injury and reduce further damage. Treatment is customized to suit your individual needs and requirements to help you return to your sport or activity as soon and as safely as possible.
Sports Physician in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, Fl
If you have an injury that is causing you pain or preventing you from carrying out the things you enjoy, contact Advanced Orthopedic Center. Our sports medicine physicians can help restore your function, allowing you to get back to competing or doing what you enjoy as quickly as possible.
To find out more about our comprehensive orthopedic services or to schedule an appointment with one of our specially trained sports medicine doctors, call us at (941) 629-6262 or you can use our convenient online appointment request form.