Latest Nonsurgical Treatments for Sports Injuries and Overuse Injuries
In some ways, athletes are very different from the general population. They may be stronger, faster, tougher or more agile—they take every day attributes a step further. But in other ways, they’re no different than everyone else. Injuries, for example, heal the same whether you’re an elite athlete or an Average Joe. The body has a set healing rate that isn’t affected by your athletic prowess. Bones, ligaments and muscles all heal at a fixed speed that can’t change.
When you have a sports injury or overuse injury, your first priority is to get the best treatment available and to spend the shortest possible amount of time recovering. NY Orthopedics’ interventional physiatrist, Dr. Elizabeth Nguyen, specializes in nonoperative treatments for patients dealing with these types of injuries. Here’s an overview of some of the latest nonsurgical treatments she provides for sports injuries and overuse injuries.
What are the most common types of sports injuries?
Most athletes will experience an injury at some point. Some sports injuries are the result of accidents. Others are due to poor training practices or improper gear. Sports injuries may also happen when an athlete attempts something that’s simply beyond his or her level of conditioning. In addition, failure to warm up properly or stretch well before exercising or playing a sport can lead to injuries too.
There are many different kinds of sports injuries, just as there are many different types of sports. Some of the most common sports injuries include:
- Sprains (injuries to ligaments)
- Strains (injuries to tendons or muscles)
- Knee injuries of various sorts
- Swollen muscles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Shin splints
What are overuse injuries?
Overuse injuries (also called repetitive use or repetitive strain injuries) may occur due to sports or as a result of everyday activities. Simple wear and tear takes its toll when an action is repeated too often. An overuse injury is characterized by damage to a bone, a muscle, a ligament, or a tendon that occurs due to repetitive stress, but which isn’t given time to heal properly. Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and shin splints are all examples of overuse injuries.
There are four stages involved in developing repetitive strain injuries:
- Stage 1 – Pain in the injured area that occurs after physical activity
- Stage 2 – Pain that occurs during physical activity, but doesn’t restrict performance
- Stage 3 – Pain during physical activity that does restrict performance
- Stage 4 – Persistent, chronic pain that occurs even when at rest
What are the nonsurgical treatment options for sports injuries and overuse injuries?
There are a wide range of nonsurgical treatments that can both relieve pain and help to restore function and mobility. Depending on your specific injury, Dr. Nguyen will tailor a treatment plan designed to meet your needs.
Some nonsurgical treatment options that may be considered include:
- Physical therapy prescription
- Exercise guidance and modifications
- Injury prevention strategies
- Medication management
- Shockwave therapy
- Trigger point injections to relieve musculoskeletal pain
- Joint and bursa injections
- Facet joint injections, medial branch blocks, and radiofrequency denervation for back and neck pain
- Sacroiliac joint injections
- Ultrasound guided injections of the tendons and ligaments
- Fluoroscopic or X-ray guided epidural injections
- Prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) therapy
Where can I find the best nonsurgical treatments for sports injuries and overuse injuries in NYC?
At NY Orthopedics, our orthopedic specialists are united by a commitment to compassionate care and individualized treatment for athletes. Our goal is to get our active patients back to their active lives and prevent future injuries from occurring.
Dr. Nguyen is fellowship trained in interventional physiatry and specializes in the nonoperative care of spine conditions, sports injuries, and general musculoskeletal disorders. If you are suffering from a sports injury or overuse injury, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen at NY Orthopedics today to learn more about your nonoperative treatment options.