Getting Back on the Field Tips to Deal with Common Sports Injuries

If you are an active sports player, then you put your body through a lot of stress and strain. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that you may suffer from a sports-related injury at some point in your life.

When we have to spend some time away from the sports we love, it is easy to get frustrated and try and rush back without giving your body sufficient time to heal. So, with that in mind, we have put together some tips to deal with common sports injuries.

Sprains and Strains

No matter what sport you play, at some point, you are going to push yourself too hard during a game or while training. When this happens, it is common for players to strain their muscles or sprain ligaments. Examples include hamstring strains, pulled groins, and sprained wrists.

Getting Back on the Field: Tips to Deal with Common Sports Injuries

In most cases, these injuries occur by overstretching, overuse, or by insufficient warm-ups. Therefore, prevention is the best form of treatment in all these cases. Allow for adequate rest periods and make sure you warm up before you start any vigorous activity.

Also, if you notice any niggles or pain in any area, then stop and rest for a few days to see if the discomfort subsides. However, if you have been diagnosed with a strain or sprain, it is essential to give the body a chance to heal and any inflammation to go down.

The treatment will depend on the severity of the strain, but in many cases, rest, ice compresses, and the use of supports will help you get back on the field in no time.

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is an integral part of the human body and gets worked especially hard by people who play basketball, football, soccer, and tennis. The quick movements and changes in direction associated with these sports can cause imbalances between the feet and the calves, which can lead to tears and ruptures.

When the Achilles tendon tears or ruptures, the pain will be intense, and there is likely to be swelling almost instantly. Regardless of the severity of the problem and treatment option selected, a period of rest will be necessary to help the tendon heal properly.

During rehabilitation, you will need to have physical therapy to help build up strength and to promote healing of the tendon. During this period, you may overdo things if you feel strong, but it is vital that you are patient. Pushing yourself too much could lead to complications and an even longer period on the sidelines.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator cuff tears can cause problems in the shoulder joint for people who perform repetitive overhead movements such as throwing a football, swinging a bat or serving in a tennis match.

The pain can vary greatly, but as the condition develops, you will notice stiffness and a limited range of movement. If the tear is a result of trauma, then the pain will come on suddenly and be accompanied by weakness in the joint.

In minor cases, rest and pain relief will help calm things down. If you notice any of the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear, it is crucial that you get evaluated as soon as possible so that further damage doesn’t occur.

As with the other sports injuries mentioned, it is important to be patient and follow the guidance of your doctor. If they say rest, then avoid the temptation to work out; likewise, if they recommend exercises and physical therapy, make sure you do it.

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A Quick Guide to Three of the Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

As we go about our daily lives, we rely on our knees to help us move around and stay active. When our knees are hurting, it can be difficult to do activities such as walking and running, and sitting or standing can be agonizing.

Many people believe that knee pain only occurs in older people or people who play a lot of sports, but the truth is anyone of any age can be affected at some point in their lives. The pain usually occurs because of overuse, but it can occur due to aging or being overweight. In this post, we will take a look at some of the common causes of knee pain and what you can do about them.

The Knee Joint

Before we continue, it is essential to understand a little about the knee joint. Not only is it a complex joint, but it is also vital for the movement of the legs. It also helps the legs to bear the weight of the upper body.

A Quick Guide to Three of the Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

As with all joints, exercise is usually the best way to keep the joint healthy, with a full range of movement. This is especially true of the knee, as it enables us to move in a variety of directions. However, if we overdo it or any imbalances occur, then we may start to notice the pain.

Not all knee pain is the same and can affect different people, different ways. For some people, rest and wearing a knee support will keep them active, while others might not be so lucky.

Sports Injuries

Unsurprisingly, sports players face a high-risk of suffering from knee pain at some point during their life. People who play high impact sports or sports that involve sudden changes of direction and weight placement are particularly at risk.

Common problems include:

  • Strains and Sprains
  • Knee Ligament Injuries
  • Knee Cartilage Tears

In most cases, if any of these injuries have occurred, the pain will come on suddenly and will likely be accompanied by instability, weakness, and swelling around the join. In more severe cases, the pain will be intense, and it will be difficult for the patient to put any weight on the joint.

If the damage is minor, then rest and physical therapy will usually help, but if there is significant trauma, then surgery may be required to fix the problem.

Osteoarthritis

The knee is one of the joints most at risk from osteoarthritis, and if symptoms develop, it can cause significant limitations on daily activities.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint starts to break down, which affects the smooth movement of the joint and can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. As the condition develops, these symptoms can get much worse and will require medical intervention to help the patient maintain a good quality of life.

It is a myth that osteoarthritis only occurs in older people, but it can affect younger people, especially if a previous knee injury didn’t properly heal. Obesity and a family history of arthritis are also risk factors which may cause symptoms to appear in younger people.

Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease

As mentioned above, you don’t have to be an older person to get knee pain, as this painful condition highlights. It usually occurs in teenage males who have a sudden growth spurt, which creates friction between the muscles and bones.

People suffering from Osgood-Schlatter’s will typically feel the pain below the kneecap and may notice a small, bony lump. It can make it difficult to perform regular exercises, but it can usually be easily treated.

The condition will eventually settle down, but it can take up to two years, so it is essential to get regular checkups during this time and rest when the pain is terrible.

Orthopedic Surgery Guide: What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Musculoskeletal problems can have a significant impact on our lives, and if the problems are chronic, surgery is a likely treatment option. The problem with this is that in the past, the surgery was highly invasive resulting in long recovery times.

Luckily over the last couple of decades, there have been many developments in surgical techniques, which have increased the chances of success while also reducing the recovery times. In this blog, we will answer the question, “what is minimally invasive surgery?” and how it can help patients.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Traditionally, if a patient required orthopedic surgery, there would be a long recovery time factored into the treatment plan. This involved more pain, trauma, medicine, and crucially time off work or away from the playing field. It was for this reason that many surgeons started moving over to minimally invasive surgery from the 1980s onwards.

Orthopedic Surgery Guide: What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally Invasive Surgery involves using modern surgical instruments with cameras attached and making much smaller incisions. The surgeon can then use the cameras to get a clearer picture of what is happening inside the joint and make the necessary adjustments.

The benefits of this include:

  • Less damage to surrounding tissues
  • Quicker healing and recovery times
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Smaller scars

We will now introduce you to two techniques which have improved the recovery times and success rates of orthopedic surgery.

Arthroscopy

An arthroscope has revolutionized modern surgery by helping to make many kinds of surgeries much less invasive. It is usually used for surgery of the ankles, elbows, hips, knees, shoulders, and wrists.

Arthroscopy is initially performed to check the extent of damage to problematic joints, and from there the surgeon will determine what surgery is required.  It can be used to remove or repair any damaged tissue, and in most cases, the patient will be able to go home the same day.

Because arthroscopy involves much smaller incisions, patients can be up and moving much more quickly. This is particularly useful for sports players and people who have an active lifestyle. Also, less tissue is affected which reduces the risk of complications such as infections.

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a debilitating condition which makes it hard to carry out daily tasks involving our hands. Initially, your doctor will look at non-surgical options to release the pressure and improve your range of movement. However, there are times when surgery will be the best option.

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release is a minimally invasive technique which involves smaller incisions than the traditional open surgery. By making only one or two small incisions instead of a long one from the wrist to the palm, recovery times can be significantly reduced.

The surgeon will use an endoscope to look inside the wrist and identify the affected area. If needed the surgeon will make an additional incision and make the necessary adjustments.

A lot of research has indicated that recovery times are much shorter than in open surgery, with patients recovering functional mobility and able to resume work much quicker.

A Quick Guide to Common Hand Pain Causes and What To Do about Them

It is hard to underestimate how important our hands are to our everyday lives, with our hands helping us work, cook, clean, eat, drive, and get dressed.  So, when you have hand pain, it can make it challenging to do even the simplest activities.

Our lifestyles can have an impact, but sometimes aging will be the main culprit. Conditions such as Arthritis are often caused due to wear and tear. In this post, we will take a look at common hand pain causes and what you can do about them if you develop symptoms.

First Things First

If your pain is not the direct result of a trip, fall, accident or sports-related injury, then you should be able to treat your pain at home.

A Quick Guide to Common Hand Pain Causes and What To Do about Them

Applying ice, rest, and over-the-counter painkillers should help with any discomfort. If you don’t notice any relief, then visit a pharmacy for some advice about different products on the market. In simple cases, your pain and discomfort should improve after about 48 hours.

However, if you notice that the pain isn’t getting better or is getting worse, then you should pay a visit to your doctor. They will investigate further and decide whether any scans are required. The examination may reveal some of the following causes of hand pain.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

RSI is one of the leading causes of hand pain and employee downtime in the USA. If you spend a lot of time doing the same activity, then you are at risk of developing this painful condition. Office workers, construction workers, checkout staff, and hair stylists are just a few examples of high-risk jobs.

This condition is usually caused by carrying out repetitive tasks for long periods of time without adequate rest or changes in posture. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, tingling, cramping, and weakness in the affected joint.

If you notice the symptoms early, then you can make changes which will stop the pain from developing into a chronic issue. Taking regular rest breaks during the day and having a greater awareness of your posture are excellent starting points.

However, if the pain has developed into a chronic condition, a course of physiotherapy may be required to improve the range of motion in the hand.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A complication of untreated RSI is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which can seriously affect the range of movement in the hand and wrist.

This painful condition is caused by pressure on a nerve in the wrist and can result in tingling, numbness, and difficulty gripping. Pregnant women, overweight people, and people who have previously suffered a wrist injury are at risk, alongside the same group of workers mentioned above.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can take a long time to settle down, so it’s important you see your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms developing. You may need to wear a wrist splint and make significant changes to your daily routine. Unlike RSI, in some cases, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Tendonitis

If you notice pain in one finger or your thumb, then you may be suffering from tendonitis. Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon which can cause pain and a decrease in movement in the affected area.

Overusing or overloading the hand can result in tendonitis, so it is essential to rest the area if you develop symptoms. Tendonitis often affects sports players because they try to do too much or don’t adequately warm up.

Tendonitis will usually clear up by itself if you rest and apply ice packs. Continuing to play sports or doing repetitive activities will make the pain worse and could lead to chronic issues.

Times When Orthopedic Surgery Is the Best Treatment Option

Orthopedic surgery is a specialty that focuses on fixing issues in the musculoskeletal system. With over 300 bones and joints in the human body, orthopedic doctors are never short on patients suffering from pain or instability, or sports players who have sustained an injury. Small changes in this framework can have far-reaching effects on the rest of the body and make even the simplest activities a chore.

Conservative treatment methods such as physical therapy and rest will be tried first, but in the following cases, surgery will most likely be the best available treatment.

Even Getting out of Bed Hurts

As we get older, wear and tear is a regular occurrence as the muscles, tendons, and joints get worn down and lose a little flexibility. For a lot of people, simple adjustments to their daily routines will negate the effects of this, but if you find that climbing stairs or doing household chores is difficult, then this might be the result of some instability in a joint or a degenerative disease such as arthritis.

Times When Orthopedic Surgery Is the Best Treatment Option

Hips and knees are common problem areas, especially for older patients, and there are numerous surgical options available depending on the level of the damage. In all cases, the objective of surgery will be to increase the range of movement in the joint and reduce the level of pain.

Pain That Doesn’t Go Away

Chronic pain is never enjoyable and can prevent us from doing our work efficiently, as well as keeping us from the things we enjoy doing in our free time. Our modern lifestyles certainly don’t help in this situation, with many of us performing repetitive activities and remaining immobile for long periods of time, which can cause compression of the joints.

For people who work with computers or do a lot of manual handling, injuries in the hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders can severely limit their ability to their job, and not just from a physical perspective. Chronic pain can be very distracting and uncomfortable, leading people to lack focus and concentration, so if you are suffering from pain that lasts more than a few days, it is well worth visiting a doctor.

Non-surgical treatments may be an option, but the good news is there are many surgical techniques available which can eliminate or minimize any pain and discomfort without having to take an extended leave of absence.

Performance on the Sports Field

For active sports players, injuries can have a significant impact on their performance. It doesn’t matter if it is a nagging injury or more substantial trauma such as an ACL tear or a broken bone. There are numerous surgical options available to adjust any imbalances or repair tears in the joints.

Recent developments in sports medicine surgery have focused on less invasive procedures, which enable shorter recovery periods. Injuries such as ACL and rotator cuff tears used to mean a significant period on the sidelines due to the tricky nature of the surgery and the long recovery times, but these days, it is possible to be training again within six months.

All You Need To Know about ACL Reconstruction Surgery

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is an integral part of the knee joint, ensuring stability and the smooth back and forth movement of the knee. It can be found in the inside part of the knee connecting the thigh bone to the shin bone.

As the ACL is responsible for back and forth motions, it not surprising that sports players rely heavily on its optimum function during their games. However, sudden and sustained movements can cause a lot of strain on the joint, and many sports players have had the misfortune of hearing the “pop” that signals that the ligament has torn. In the case of complete tears, ACL reconstruction will be recommended to ensure that the knee joint can maintain a full range of movement.

How Does the ACL Get Damaged?

ACL tears occur most frequently in people who play high-impact sports like basketball, football, and soccer. This is because these sports involve a lot of sudden movements and changes of pace, with hard tackles and collisions being other leading culprits.

All You Need To Know about ACL Reconstruction Surgery

Due to the function of the ACL, most people can tell straight away that there is a problem with the overall stability, and range of motion of the knee will be limited. If this initial instability is accompanied by swelling and pain, then a visit to the hospital is highly recommended. Once you are there, you can get a thorough checkup and some scans to find out the extent of the damage.

If a complete or almost complete tear is found then, surgery will be recommended.

ACL Reconstruction Surgery

If the patient is young, physically active, and is in a good state of health, ACL reconstruction surgery will be the best course of action, as without it, further damage may occur if they return to playing.

The surgery is called ACL reconstruction because it is difficult to stitch the tear back together, and the surgeon will have to perform a skin graft to help rebuild the ligament. There are numerous sources for the graft, and the surgeon will advise the patient on the pros and cons of the available options when talking the patient through the procedure.

With developments in surgical techniques, ACL reconstruction surgery is much less invasive than it was in the past. Using a device called an arthroscope, the surgeon will make small incisions in the joint and place the skin graft in the joint, then attach it in place with screws or staples. The advantages of this are that recovery time and post-op pain is significantly reduced.

Recovery Times

Most patients are looking at a recovery period of between six months and a year and will involve a period of rest and physical therapy. It is important that the patient follows the doctor’s instructions and doesn’t try to do too much too soon. The initial rest period is likely to be a source of frustration for active sports players, but it is crucial that the patient allows ample time to rest so that the joint can start healing as quickly as possible.

After a couple of weeks, once any bruising, swelling, or pain has reduced, the patient will meet with a physical therapist to put together a rehabilitation plan. During the following weeks, they will suggest some exercises and stretches which are designed to build up the range of movement in the joint.

If all goes well, the patient will then be able to start doing light exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling, as these exercises are not high impact and can help to improve the range of motion. No matter how good the patient feels at this stage, they should not start playing sports yet, as the knee joint will need time to build strength.

Depending on the progress of the patient, after about six months, they should be ready to start training again.

 

A Quick Guide on How Orthopedic Care Can Get You Back Up and Running

Orthopedic care is a type of treatment which focuses on problems with the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is extremely complex, compromised of many bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilage which work together to keep us moving.

A Quick Guide on How Orthopedic Care Can Get You Back Up and Running

Due to our busy lives, the musculoskeletal system is obviously put under a lot of stress, which when everything is aligned correctly, will not result in anything more severe than some aches and pains. However, when there are imbalances or some trauma, you may start suffering from more constant pain, which in some cases can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Why Am I in Pain?

Everyday activities can lead to problems if we don’t pay attention to our posture and what we are doing. As we are continually using our bones and muscles, it is no surprise that at some point we will all suffer from aches and pains. Sometimes, these pains can be a result of stress, but if there are any mechanical issues, then they can have a knock-on effect and cause problems in other parts of the body.

Common causes of musculoskeletal issues are:

  • Wear and tear
  • Sports injuries
  • Trips and falls
  • Overuse
  • Repetitive strain injuries

How Orthopedic Care Can Help

No matter whether you are suffering from a sports injury or chronic pain, orthopedic doctors and surgeons are trained to get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible. Any treatment will be designed to try and eliminate pain and improve the range of movement. In some cases, it may not be possible to eliminate pain completely, so in that case, the goal of treatment will be to reduce the level of pain to a more manageable level.

The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the injury, your age, and your overall health. But every treatment will begin with a further examination of the problem area. Some problems can be quickly diagnosed, while others may need to use more advanced diagnostic tools to make an accurate diagnosis.

Your doctor might order some scans such as a CT or MRI if they suspect that there is a fracture or issue in the spine. Once they have all the data they need, they will decide on the most appropriate treatment.

Treatments

The goal of any orthopedic treatment is to reduce pains, increase the range of movement in the affected area, and improve your overall quality of life. For sports players, the goal is slightly different and will aim to get you back on the field as quickly as possible.

Wherever possible, the doctor will try and treat the problem without using surgery, but if you do need surgery, the good news is that due to developments in the field, recovery times are much quicker than they used to be.

Physical therapy is a great way to improve movement and reduce pain in patients that are suffering from issues such as slipped disks and repetitive strain injuries. It can also help with a patient’s rehabilitation after an operation. The goal of this kind of treatment is to help remove any imbalances and provide the patient with a range of exercises they can do to reduce any stiffness or nerve pain.