How Sports Medicine Can Treat Overuse Injuries
Injury to the muscle, bone, tendon, or joint that occurs as a result of repetitive trauma is known as an overuse injury. While overuse injuries are common in athletes who play sports like golf or baseball, they also arise in workers who perform repetitive motions on the job.
Several examples of overuse injuries include strains, sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures, and tennis elbow. These injuries almost always lead to pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and a grinding or creaking sound. They can also cause impaired growth in children.
What is Sports Medicine?
If you’re facing an overuse injury, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with sports medicine. Its primary focus is to help adults and children recover from and prevent future injuries. Sports medicine may also improve performance in athletes or physically active individuals.
With the support of a sports medicine doctor, you can treat your overuse injury safely and effectively. This type of doctor may also educate you on what you can do to avoid your condition down the road.
Ways to Treat Overuse Injuries
There are a number of factors that will play a role in your sports medicine treatment plan. Your injury, its severity, your age, as well as your opinion and individual preferences will all be considered. In most cases, the goal of your treatment will be to relieve your symptoms, promote healing, and reduce the risk of complications.
Initially, a doctor may ask you to take some time off from your sport or job and follow the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) modality. Other treatments will likely include medications, splinting or casting, crutches or a wheelchair, and physical therapy to stretch and strengthen your muscles. Surgery is usually only recommended if conservative measures deem to be ineffective.
Ways to Prevent Overuse Injuries
Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you protect your muscles, bones, joints, and tendons to avoid overuse injuries. Before you engage in physical activity, make sure you warm up. If you experience pain, stop what you’re doing and rest. Seek medical attention if the pain persists.
It’s also wise to mix up your exercise routine. Rather than sticking to one type of exercise, incorporate variety so that your body can use different muscle groups rather than overload a specific group. Additionally, if you’ve started a new sport or physical activity, pace yourself. Work to build up the intensity over time.