Quick Tips on Healing a Sports Injury
Whether elite, professional, or amateur, those taking part in sports activities enjoy an incredible number of benefits for mental, physical, emotional, and social health, but their endeavors aren’t without risk; an average of 8.6 million sports-related injuries are reported annually, or 34 for every 1,000 athletes. Although roughly half result in a simple office visit, many sports injuries are more serious and the associated pain and disability longer lasting. Which pain tips for athletes can help treat a sports injury, and what long term relief options are available?
While pain is uncomfortable, distracting, and exhausting on every level, it does serve a purpose. Pain acts as an alert system, and results from inflammatory processes that let the nervous system know that something is wrong and a potential threat to maintaining the body’s homeostasis. Imagine having a sprained ankle; putting pressure on that joint will induce pain, discouraging continued use and directing attention toward securing a solution. When does pain from something like a sports injury become an issue?
The Problem with Powering Through
Rapid recovery from injury is only possible with adequate rest. The swift pace of modern life doesn’t exactly support the relaxation required for restoration, so driven athletes may resist the time off needed to let the body attend to injury repair. Although a gentle return to movement and activity after injury ushers in new phases of healing, it’s important to utilize concepts like the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) to support stabilization, and observe the injury for more severe complications or extreme pain.
Pursue Prompt Treatment
If the athlete’s injury isn’t showing improvement after a day or two, or if there is extreme discomfort at the time of injury, it’s essential to seek professional evaluation and intervention as soon as possible. The body will shift posture and adjust gate and movement to compensate around intense pain, and in a matter of days, additional issues like muscle tension and soft tissue strain can cause pain and distorted mechanics. Insight into the source of injury will also help medical teams to more quickly develop the best treatment plan for effective care.
Manage Pain and Inflammation
Although inflammation initially serves the purpose of triggering a pain response and getting the body’s attention, it can quickly become a hindrance to recovery and the healing process. Effective pain management is important whether injuries and pain are acute or chronic, and non-invasive options will support a healing environment at the injury site without the complication of surgeries:
- Nerve Blocks
- Trigger Point Injections
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
- Joint Facet and Epidural Steroid Injections
- Intra-articular Joint Injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
- ViscoSupplementation for arthritic joints
- Intrathecal Pumps
- Bracing and Support
Get the Right Support
Athletic injuries are typically complex, and can likely require care from a number of providers during rehabilitation. Comprehensive treatment is essential to support healing, with excellent communication among the health care professionals to ensure that all aspects of recovery are managed. Care could include:
- Interventional Pain Medicine
- Responsible Medication Management
- Injection Base Therapy
- Massage Therapies
- Chiropractic alignment and adjustment
From Medical Care to Performance Care
Once the athlete is cleared medically, recovery from the sports injury must also include strengthening and conditioning to rebuild muscle tone, balance, and stability. Recovering pre-injury abilities will take patience, effort, and diligence.
Sports Injury Support with Chicagoland’s Best
When it comes to complete and compassionate care for your sports injury, the teams at MAPS Centers for Pain Control are your best choice for fast relief and long-term treatment options. We lead the field in sports medicine care, and offer cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures to get you back to the game as fast as possible. Contact us today for an individualized treatment and recovery plan!