For a highly-trained athlete or a weekend warrior, there is always a possibility of getting injured. Most sports injuries result in immediate pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, milder joint injuries are often neglected and progress into more serious conditions from overuse of the injured joint. Acute sports injuries need immediate medical attention at a professional healthcare center. In fact, sports injuries treatment in Brooklyn healthcare centers involves the use of a wide range of nonsurgical options to help athletes better manage acute pain and regain strength and function.
The most common sports injuries in children are sprains and strains. According to a 2016 study, lower body injuries make up 42 percent and the upper extremities comprise 30.3 percent of injuries. About 16.4 percent of sports injuries are head and neck injuries.
Injuries that commonly occur while participating sports are as follows:
- Hip Flexor Strain: The hip flexors are the muscles found on the upper-front side of the thigh. The hip flexor muscles include iliacus and psoas major muscles. The main functions of the hip flexor muscles are to lift the knee towards the trunk, as well as assist in moving the leg towards and away from the other leg. Treatment for hip flexor strain:
- Rest and ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for the first 48 to 72 hours.
- After the first three recovery days, apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes and lie down performing gentle heel slides and hip flexor stretches.
- If the pain and symptoms does not improve after two weeks with limited activity, the individual should seek out physical therapy for pain and swelling control.
- ACL Tear or Strain: The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major stabilizing ligaments of the knee. It attaches the front of the tibia with the back of the femur and functions especially to prevent hyperextension of the knee. In an ACL injury, the ligaments on the inside of the knee get torn. Symptoms include instability when walking or turning corners and swelling in the joint. Treatment for anterior cruciate ligament:
- ACL strain or tear can be healed without surgery using rest and ice.
- A complete ACL tear would require surgery and a few months of recovery time plus aggressive physical therapy.
- Concussion: A concussion is an injury to the brain, where the brain is jarred or shaken. The blow to the head can cause temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussion is a serious injury that should not be taken lightly. An athlete who experiences concussion should seek out medical attention by a certified athletic trainer or a physician with experience in treating concussions. The common symptoms of concussion include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, slurred speech, sensitivity to light, and delayed response to questions.
Treatment methods for concussion:
- Take rest or sleep
- Reduce activities requiring mental or physical stress
- Vestibular physical therapy treatment can also help
Physical activities can be increased slowly as long as the symptoms do not return.
- Groin Pull: A groin pull or a groin strain is an injury or tear to any of the adductor muscles of the thigh. The groin muscles run from the upper-inner thigh to the inner-thigh right above the knee. Continuous pushing of these muscles in a side-to-side motion causes strain at the inner thigh muscles or groin. The groin muscles are often injured with quick side-to-side movements resulting in lack of flexibility. Therefore an injured athlete might notice difficulty with lateral movements like getting in and out of cars, and tenderness or bruising in the groin or inner thigh. Treatment methods include:
- Rest and icing for the area for about 15 to 20 minutes periodically during the first 72 hours.
- After first three days, apply mild heat for 15 to 20 minutes periodically, followed by gentle, proper groin stretching and good range of motion exercises.
- Shin Splints: Athletes with shin splints complain of pain in the lower leg bone, or the tibia. This occurs mostly in athletes who participate in activities with a great deal of running, such as soccer. Treatment procedures:
- Rest, icing, and gradually increasing running activities.
- Using shoes with good arch support can reduce pain.
- Sciatica:Sciatica is back pain that radiates down to the back of the leg or even to the feet, numbness, burning, and tingling sensations down the leg. This condition usually occurs in athletes who engage in sports like golf, tennis or cyclists, who perform a great deal of trunk rotation in a flexed forward posture. The radiating back pain can be caused by a disc bulging or a pinched nerve. The aim of treatment is to restore function and mobility of the back:
- Taking rest, stretching the back and hamstrings, and lying on stomach can help alleviate the symptoms.
- If pain, numbness or tingling persists for more than two weeks, seek out a medical professional.
- Hamstring Strain: The hamstring muscles are located on the back of the thigh.A hamstring injury can result during exercise or sporting activity due to the strain or pull on the muscle when the muscle is stretched beyond its limit. Poor stretching techniques or lack of stretching can be the cause of a hamstring tear/strain. Often, a hamstring tear will cause bruising in the back of the thigh or the knee. Treatment options for hamstring strain:
- Rest and icing, followed by gentle stretching and strengthening to prevent another injury
- If the pain persists for more than two weeks, physical therapy, ultrasound or other methods may be recommended to promote the healing of the pulled muscle
- Tennis / Golfer’s Elbow: Tennis / golfer’s elbow is usually seen in athletes who engage in a lot of gripping activities. Repetitive action or overuse causes the tendons of the forearm to become inflamed and makes any wrist or hand motions extremely painful. Often, athletes will complain of a lack of grip strength. Early treatment options for tennis elbow include:
- Rest and icing of the inflamed area
- Doctors will often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or a brace to try to take pressure off the area to prevent further elbow injuries
- Stretching and strengthening exercises under the supervision of an occupational or physical therapist can help to break down the stiffness
- Patellofemoral Syndrome: Lower body injuries are common in all kind of sports. Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition that describes pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. The condition is also called “jumper’s knee” or “runner’s knee.” It can be caused by a slip or a fall onto the knees, swelling of the knee joint or imbalance of the two major muscles that aid in proper tracking of the kneecap in the groove. The muscle imbalance can create more swelling, making the tracking problem even worse.Treatment methods:
- Rest and ice can help with knee swelling and pain
- Knee taping or bracing techniques can aid with proper tracking of the patella
- Gentle isometric or static strengthening exercises for the inner thigh muscle and gently stretching muscles for the outer or lateral thigh muscles can help in correcting the muscle imbalance
- If knee pain or dysfunction continues for more than two weeks, physical therapy exercises could help.
Sports injury rehabilitation services in NYC can help athletes manage pain, improve strength, recover effectively and achieve optimal performance.