Keeping your body on the move through sports is a rewarding activity that is also great for your health. However, it can also lead to injuries. Fortunately, most sports injuries are not dangerous and can easily be treated by an orthopedic or sports medicine doctor, especially when diagnosed and treated early.
Orthopedic and sports medicine doctors can treat most injuries athletes and other physically active people sustain. To find out what the most common sports injuries are and how to treat them, continue reading.
When you fall or suffer an accident, enough force may be applied to your bones to break them, also known as fractures. You can also get a fracture from prolonged pressure on certain bones, which are known as stress fractures.
When you suffer a fracture, you may experience the following:
- Intense pain
- Limb deformity
- Swelling, bruising, or tenderness
- Numbness and tingling
- Difficulty in moving your limb
There are several kinds of fractures and different ways of treating each type. One method is by immobilizing the limb with a splint or a cast. This treatment is used for most fractures that involve broken bones that are still aligned with each other in the right position. This kind of treatment typically takes several weeks.
Another treatment is closed reduction, which involves physically realigning broken bones in the right position that have misaligned a bit. Afterward, a cast or splint is used to immobilize it.
Lastly, surgery is an option for severe bone fractures in which a bone shatters into multiple pieces or gets significantly misaligned.
Dislocations occur when the bones in a joint get knocked out of their position. It causes extreme pain and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to move the affected body part.
Severe cases can result in the straining or tearing of surrounding muscles, nerves, and tendons. Any joint in the body can suffer a dislocation and is considered an emergency requiring immediate medical attention.
Treatments for this condition include:
- Repositioning/manipulation of the bones
The type of treatment used will depend on the dislocated joint and its severity. Once the treatment is over, the joint will usually move normally again within a few weeks.
When tendons, the connective tissues between muscles and bones, become swollen and inflamed, you experience tendinitis or tendonitis.
Tendinitis treatment may include rest and avoiding any activity that can worsen the condition. Applying an ice pack on the affected area will also help. Should the injury refuse to improve in a few weeks, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Physical therapy
A sprain is when a ligament, a band of tissues that connect bones at the joint, is stretched or torn. This injury impacts the movement of the affected body part, preventing you from using it like usual.
The severity of a sprain depends on the number of torn or stretched ligaments. You might also hear an audible pop when you suffer from this condition.
The first and simplest treatment for a sprain is the PRICE method, which stands for protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Protection – immobilizing the sprained joint with a brace or splint or using a crutch to avoid putting weight on it
- Rest – avoiding activities that can make the injury worse
- Ice – applying an ice pack on the sprain
- Compression – putting pressure on the sprain using ACE bandages or compression stockings
- Elevation – raising the injured area above the level of the heart
Another treatment for sprains is physical therapy. Surgery is also a viable treatment, but doctors rarely recommend it unless you suffer from repetitive sprains or have structural damage due to a severe sprain.
A strain is when a tendon or a muscle is stretched or torn. This injury often results from overuse of the affected body part. Another cause is an inadequate warm-up before performing strenuous activities.
Symptoms of strains include:
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty in moving the affected muscle
The treatments for strains are the same as the ones for sprains.
Sports Medicine Doctor In Little Rock, AR
If you are suffering from one of the sports injuries mentioned above, visit us at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics. Our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William Hefley, specializes in sports medicine, is board-certified, and is an athlete himself! That means he fully understands the need to get back in the game as soon as possible.
Our team at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics looks forward to getting you back in the game!