From little league to professional sporting events, injuries can happen. Some sports injuries are minor like bruising, a pulled muscle, or a sprained finger. Other incidents can lean on the more serious side, and need immediate or long-term medical attention. Specialized sports medicine care is often recommended to ensure bones, muscles, and joints are properly treated to keep athletes and active living in motion.
When deciding whether or not to contact a specialist for an injury, there are a few important factors you should consider. Here’s when you should turn to a sports medicine professional.
Sudden Injury During Sports Activity
We’ve all seen it on the football field, basketball court, or gymnastics floor. A hard hit or missed landing results in an athlete down on the ground, grimacing in pain. Swelling at the site of the injury adds additional pain for limited movement in weight-bearing activities. Broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, or a dislocated bone or joints call for the immediate attention of a primary care physician or sports medicine specialist.
Orthopaedic Surgery Necessary for Recovery
Rounding off the previous topic, a sports medicine team may recommend surgery when an injury is more serious. This can include a torn meniscus, ACL tear, rotator cuff injury, or complex fracture, which all require down time and rehabilitation after surgery. This can be despairing for a competitive athlete, although essential for long-term healing.
Lingering Sports Injury
For some sports-minded individuals, injuries take the long road to recovery. These chronic injuries never seem to heal, leading to repeat therapies and time off for rest. Symptoms can include pain and swelling that worsens during activity as well as pain that continues to ache upon resting. Stress fractures and swollen tendons are common conditions seen by sports medicine professionals.
Rehabilitation for Complete Healing
After surgery or when a chronic sports injury keeps you on the couch instead of on the court, rehabilitation may be prescribed by your sports medicine physician. Using comprehensive treatments, advanced technologies, and personalized therapy regimes, athletes and people who prefer to stay active in life can regain function, mobility, and strength for a return to sporting activities. It’s important to follow through on therapy appointments and homework to make the most of your rehabilitation experience.
Sports Injury Prevention
Perhaps the most sensible way to prevent sports injuries is to avoid them altogether. Although not a guarantee, there are pathways to prevention. Rehabilitation and sports training experts can provide specific exercises that train the body to be strong, agile, balanced, and healthy.
See If Sports Medicine Can Help
If you or a family member have a sports injury that could benefit from an assessment, contact one of our RMC sports medicine professionals.