Sports medicine is a unique subset of healthcare focused on helping athletes optimize and maintain their performance. When an athlete is injured, a sports medicine specialist uses a wide range of therapeutic approaches to relieve pain and restore function.
Dr. Philip Regala’s orthopedic offices are located in Naples, Florida. He brings his experience as an orthopaedic and sports medicine specialist to bear on athletic injuries of all types. If you’re in pain after a sports-related injury, Dr. Regala can help.
Types of sports medicine doctors
Many different types of medical professionals choose to enter the field of sports medicine. For example, Dr. Regala is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports injuries. Other types of doctors and healthcare experts who work in sports medicine include:
- Family care physicians
- Physical therapists
- Musculoskeletal radiologists
Conditions sports medicine doctors commonly treat
Sports medicine doctors can treat many different types of injuries, including the following:
Muscle strains are common sports injuries. If you pull or tear a muscle, you’ll need expert treatment and careful rehabilitation to get you back on the field. Fortunately, you should be able to recover fully with correct care.
Tendon or ligament tears
The fibrous tissues that connect bone to muscle (tendons) and bone to bone (ligaments) are susceptible to damage. If you’re playing a sport with a lot of fast changes in direction, rotation of your joints, or impact, you’re at risk for a tendon or ligament tear. A sports medicine doctor will help you recover from these types of injuries.
Complex joint injuries
Hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists are all vulnerable body parts. You can pop a joint out of socket (sublaxation or dislocation) or tear a joint apart (like a rotator cuff injury). Repeated or severe injuries may require surgery to correct.
Sports can require repetitive movements, which can slowly wear down joints. Many athletes suffer from arthritis, even when they’re comparatively young. You can develop arthritis pain in any joint, including your back.
Sports medicine treatments
Dr. Regala will evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment. One or more of the following therapies may be right for you:
Many sports injuries will respond to non-invasive treatments. Dr. Regala may be able to treat your condition without injections or surgery. Common ways to address minor sports-related injuries include:
- Immobilization of an injured joint to allow it to heal
- Anti-inflammatory medications to address swelling and pain
- Heat and cold to relax tense muscles
- Adjustments to your exercises to improve balance and flexibility
- Reductions in repetitive motion
- Physical therapy
If conservative treatment isn’t sufficient, there are additional methods for treating sports injuries.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
PRP therapy can promote healing and reduce inflammation and pain. Dr. Regala creates PRP by centrifuging a small amount of your own blood and injecting it into the site of your injury or pain. Growth factors and hormones help heal and rebuild tissues.
Dr. Regala uses tiny incisions and tools guided by a camera to perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery inside of joints. Arthroscopic surgery can be used for many sports injuries to provide a shorter recovery time. This method can get you into physical rehabilitation and then swiftly back on the team.
To learn more about sports medicine, contact our office at 239-325-1131, or book an appointment online.