Whether you participate in a competitive team sport regularly or play a pick-up game of basketball once in awhile, you have a risk of sports injuries. Injuries are most likely in people who are using poor form, over-stressing muscles or tendons or exercising in an area with uneven footing. The injuries below are the most common sports injuries we see in patients and the best non-surgical ways to treat them:
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Injuries to the rotator cuff, the group of tendons that stabilize your shoulder, are among the most common shoulder injuries. In some cases, a direct fall onto the shoulder leads to the injury. In others, repetitive stress leads to chronic inflammation and pain.
People with rotator cuff injuries feel pain and weakness right away when the tear is a traumatic injury. Difficulty lifting objects and reaching away from the body, pain that keeps you awake and night and weakness or stiffness are common symptoms.
While some rotator cuff injuries sometimes require surgery, they can also typically be treated with pain relief medications, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy that focuses on strengthening the shoulder and increasing the range of pain-free motion.
Of all the joints in the body, the knee is the one most at risk for injuries. Your knees are vulnerable to both overuse injuries that build up over time and acute injuries that are the result of trauma.
Common knee injuries that can lead to chronic pain include:
- Bursitis, irritation or inflammation of the bursa sacs that lubricate the joint in the knee.
- Patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper’s knee, which is a degeneration or weakness of the tendon that can occur when jumping, running, squatting or engaging in any other movement that involves rapidly straightening the knee.
- Meniscus tears, a tearing of the cartilage behind the knee.
- Osteoarthritis, which can occur after years of strain on the knees through athletic activities.
The best treatment for your chronic knee pain will depend on the nature of your injury. We work to manage pain and help reduce stiffness and restore full movement through a customized regimen of pain medication and physical therapy.
Sacroiliac Joint Injuries
Your sacroiliac joints connect your hips to your spine. Injuries or strain in this area are one of the most common causes of lower back pain.
SI joint injuries can occur when there is extreme stress to the joint. Football tackles, for instance, can cause injuries to this joint if they are intense enough. In other cases, people develop SI joint pain gradually through excess stress on the area.
A diagnostic injection can help identify the source of your pain and help us determine the right treatment path. In some cases, these injuries resolve on their own with rest. In others, a special brace may be called for to support the area during regular activity. Physical therapy exercises can ease pain and help you heal from your injury.