Sports Medicine Treatment Approaches
Sports Medicine aids athletes and the physically active in faster recovery from injuries and enables them to return to the activities they love. Whether its joint or trigger point injections, our doctors are fully prepared and willing to help those who seek relief from pain. Sports Medicine also places a strong emphasis on the prevention of added injuries.
Platelet Injections (PRP)
PRP injections can play a key role in the recovery process for wounds and damaged tissue. Athletes, who are not allowed to use performance enhancing drugs, have recently started using PRP to help them heal more quickly and return full force to the playing field faster. Many famous athletes such as Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal, have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. In the past, these types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have begun to credit PRP with enabling them to return more quickly to the playing field.
Blood from the patient is extracted (similar in amount to a test lab sample) and the platelet is separated. The platelet cells are then injected into the damaged area where the growth hormones begin to repair what is damaged. There are no side effects to this procedure as it is only the patient’s own blood being redistributed inside the body. The healing process typically takes up to 4-6 weeks. Common areas of treatment are knees and shoulders. Platelet injections are often preformed following or preceding a surgery. It can also prevent the need for surgery if it is preformed early on. Many prefer this treatment because it utilizes the natural resources of the body instead of using foreign substances. After the procedure normal activities may be resumed.
The sacroiliac joints are located in the lower back at the point where the spine meets the pelvis. While hip, shoulder and knee joints can stretch minimally without damage, the sacroiliac joints are fixed in place. If the joints are forced open, inflammatory materials may leak through the tissue and into the body. This may cause major back pain that shoots down the legs and into the knees. If one experiences numbness then an opened sacroiliac joint is likely not the culprit; shooting pain is the most common of symptoms. With a sacroilliac injection patients may feel relief that very same day.
Hyalauronic Acid Injections
Hyalauronic acid is available as either a pill or an injection. It creates a soft, gel-like cushion around the joints, acting as a shock absorber. Hyalauronic acid exists naturally in the body; those with osteoarthritis tend to have below-average levels and injections can prove to be quite beneficial. Typically these injections are used to treat osteoarthritis in the knees, ankles and shoulders.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are inflamed areas of muscle that are often described as feeling like ‘knot-like’. They are referred to as trigger points as pressure applied to these areas can trigger pain in other areas.
Inflammation is caused when fibers in the muscle tangle together. This is often caused by too much stress being placed on the muscle, or by spinal and/or postural issues. A slip or fall could also be the cause of trigger points; in such cases they may be accompanied by muscle spasms. Trigger point injections, using lidocaine, provide immediate relief.