Sports injuries can be due to overuse, improper techniques, and failing to warm up your body before putting it to the test. However, they can also be completely random, caused by unfortunate accidents that put you on the bench for weeks — or even months. With proper treatment, you can shorten your recovery time and get back in the game faster.
Dr. Philip Regala practices orthopedic medicine in Naples, Florida. His sports medicine specialty helps athletes and sports participants recover from injuries swiftly and return triumphantly to the field or court.
Common sports injuries
There are two general types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries are often caused by an accident, resulting in a sudden trauma to your joint, muscle, or bone. Chronic injuries occur slowly over time, usually due to overuse and general wear-and-tear.
If you play sports long enough, you’ll likely experience one, the other, or both types of injuries at some point. Keep in mind that damage caused by acute injuries can later contribute to chronic pain in the same area. Common sports injuries include:
- Sprains, when the ligaments connecting your bones are stretched or torn
- Strains, when the tendons connecting your muscles are stretched or torn
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, which can destabilize the entire knee
- Tendonitis, which is inflammation of the tendons
- Shoulder dislocations, when the ball of your humerus comes out of the socket
- Rotator cuff tears, which weaken the muscles that support the shoulder
- Meniscus tears, or damage to the shock absorbers in your knees
- Achilles tendon injuries, which affect the tendon at the back of your heel
- Patella injuries, which are slippage of or damage to your kneecap
There are many overuse injuries named after the athletes that experience them, such as runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, and tennis elbow.
Building a treatment and prevention plan
Injuries should always be treated promptly. Make sure to follow the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) until you can schedule an appointment with a sports medicine doctor.
While your regular physician can help with basic treatment for acute injuries, athletes should try to consult with a sports medicine doctor when possible. A specialist can diagnose injuries more precisely and help build a recovery plan that works for you. Treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Hot/cold therapy
- Balance and technique training
- Limiting movement and repetitive exercises
- Corticosteroid injections
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
If surgery is necessary, Dr. Regala can intervene before the damage gets much worse. He uses arthroscopy (minimally invasive procedures) to perform most of his surgeries, which reduces the invasiveness and recovery time.
Suffering from a sports injury? Whether it’s acute or chronic, Dr. Regala can help. To schedule a consultation, call 239-325-1131, or book online.