Sports injuries are common and no doubt you’ve heard the saying in competitive sports, “no pain, no gain”. As pain specialists, however, we wouldn’t recommend subscribing to this theory.
As with any pain there are acute and chronic injuries. According to the National Institute of Health [NIH.gov] signs of an acute injury may include:
- Sudden, severe pain
- Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
- An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
- Not being able to move a joint as normal
- Extreme leg or arm weakness
- A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.
Many acute injuries can easily be treated using home remedies beginning with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). But, if pain symptoms get worse or do not improve you could be at risk of developing a chronic injury.
Chronic injuries will continue to cause pain after you’ve played a sport or participated in exercise for a long time. The signs of a chronic injury may include:
- Pain when you play
- Pain when you exercise
- A dull ache when you rest
Interventional procedures are well suited to aide recovery from many chronic and acute sports injuries. Since they are outpatient procedures they require little recovery time and often result in immediate pain relief or at the least moderation of pain.
Procedures range to treat shoulder injuries, tennis elbow (bursitis), knee pain, back injuries and neck injuries. The best course of treatment for sports injuries is often a multi-disciplinary approach.
Interventional procedures coupled with rehabilitation exercises, such as physical therapy will help patients recover faster, regain range of motion and strength.
A few of the procedures commonly used to treat sport related injuries include:
- Steroid injections help reduce inflammation,
- Trigger point injections to relax especially tight muscles,
- Epidural injections help back pain,
- Nerve blocks help block pain originating at a nerve,
- In cases where a spinal fracture has occurred and there is instability in the spine Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty are viable options.