Athletes commonly experience overuse injuries. Examples include tennis elbow; pitcher’s elbow; stress fractures; and strains of the foot, ankle, or legs in runners; ligament strains; tendonitis; and other damage that occurs over time. A sport (or specific position on a team) often focuses on one or more motions or actions. Normally, if there is any sort of stress or damage to the body from an action, time is all that it needs to heal. However, athletes can develop overuse injuries because they do not give their bodies time to heal before the action is repeated.
Sports medicine specialists are the best type of doctor to see for the treatment of overuse injuries.
A physician who specialized in sports medicine has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries. Even if you are not an athlete, a sports medicine doctor can help your body recover as quickly as possible and with a minimal amount of discomfort. Sports medicine is all about preventing injury, optimizing performance, and educating patients on the best way to safely strengthen the body.
A specialization in sports medicine usually means the doctor is a current or former athlete familiar with the rigors demanded by sports and the beauty and capacity of the human body to challenge its limits. The body becomes stronger through practice and resistance, which is a type of damage in itself.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
- Sports medicine physicians recommend increasing your level of activity or intensity by no more than 10 percent per week. More than that can lead to injury, either acute (sudden) or gradually, due to overuse.
- Children who play sports need to be diverse in their activities. Concentrating and training hard at one sport year-round often results in an overuse injury.
- Before engaging in an activity, take some time to stretch the muscles and tendons. Stretching helps increase blood flow and decrease stress from repetitive motion.
- Rest between activities. The body will recover quickly if given a chance to renew and heal.
Treating Overuse Injuries
A sports medicine physician has seen all kinds of overuse injuries and is familiar with what works. Fortunately, this means that 80 – 90 percent of the time, surgery is not needed to fully recover from an overuse injury. However, a sports medicine doctor can assess the severity of your injury and recommend surgery when intervention is necessary. This can save you time and needless pain when the treatment is appropriate for the injury.
One size and one treatment plan does not fit all. Athletes and other active patients may have different requirements and expectations for their bodies’ performance, either on the field or in recovery after an injury. A sports medicine doctor will take your unique needs into account when developing a strategy to treat your overuse injury.
If you live in the area of Clinton Township, Michigan, and suffer from an overuse injury, trust the sports medicine expertise of Dr. Jeffrey Carroll. Dr. Carroll and the team at Movement Orthopedics can help get you back in the game as quickly as possible and optimize your performance through strengthening and education. Call Movement Orthopedics for an examination. Our friendly office staff is ready to assist at (586) 436-3785.