Sports Injuries Clinic
You don’t have to be a pro to be an athlete. If you run, you’re a runner. If you swim, you’re a swimmer. Whether you train to compete or simply train to be strong, there is nothing more devastating than an injury. Fortunately, our physical therapy team understands your unique needs and can help you recover from your sports injuries as soon as possible. Call The Training Room Sports & Orthopaedic Physical Therapy to find out how.
What is a sports injury?
“Sports injury” is an all-encompassing term for an injury that happens during an athletic activity. You don’t have to be a professional or even a competitive athlete to develop a sports injury. Lifting heavy weights, running on ill-fitting shoes for too long, swinging a racket or golf club for years on end, or rolling your ankle on a soccer field can all lead to injury. The key to proper recovery is receiving appropriate treatment as soon as possible. The type and duration of your treatment will vary with how severe the injury is, your current health, and whether surgical intervention is required.
Types of sports injuries
While the type, location, severity, and cause of sports injuries are as varied as the sports themselves, a few common injuries are:
- Sprain – A sprain happens when the ligaments that attach one bone to another are stretched beyond their capacity. While a mild ankle sprain tends to heal well on its own, once you have stretched those ligaments, you are more likely to re-injure your ankle a second or third time.
- Strain or “Pulled Muscle” – Unlike a sprain that happens when one or more ligaments is stretched too far, a strain or “pull” happens when a muscle is stressed beyond its limits. It commonly occurs in the hamstrings, calf, quadriceps or biceps. Once the this type of injury occurs, you are more likely to reinjure that area if not fully rehabilitated.
- Shin splints – Pain in your shin bones is also known as “medial tibial stress syndrome” or shin splints. Usually caused by stress on your shinbone and the connective tissue that attaches there, shin splints are painful and often debilitating. Wearing proper footwear, warming up before exercise, and strengthening your core and leg muscles can often prevent this type of sports injury.
- Knee injuries – Your knee is the most complex joint in your body. Whether you tear your ACL, develop a repetitive use injury in your kneecap or have a dull ache that runs from your hip to your knee, knee injuries are some of the most common sports injuries that can happen.
- Stress Fractures -A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone from chronic overuse. Most stress fractures occur in the lower leg and foot. They can also occur in the hip and other areas. Physical therapy helps patients not only recover from the stress fracture, but also fix the underlying causes the led the the stress fracture in the first place. Weakness, imbalance, tightness, overuse are some of the reasons for stress fractures to occur.
- Scapular Dyskinesia -this refers to the abnormal mobility or function of the scapula (shoulder blade). This is often a very subtle abnormality and it typically is not a primary complaint by the patient. However, it can be the underlying cause of the presenting shoulder pain. The numerous muscles that attach to the shoulder blade (scapula) are responsible for the complex motions of the scapula, and any deviation from the normal can lead pain, inflammation and structural damage. These muscles can become weak from underuse or overuse, muscle imbalance, or from an injury.
How physical therapy helps recovery after a sports injury
Think of a physical therapist as a movement specialist. These highly trained medical professionals can look at how you are moving your body and prescribe manual therapy, strengthening exercises, and mobility work to help recover after or even prevent a sports injury. First, our physical therapist will take a detailed medical history including any prior surgeries, your current activity level, and any conditions that may have contributed to your injury. Next, they will do a thorough examination to determine your specific deficits or areas of imbalance. Once our physical therapist has developed a treatment plan that is right for your injury, your physical fitness, your lifestyle, and your ability level, you will begin physical therapy.
Your treatment plan may include manual therapy to reduce scar tissue and increase range of motion, strengthening exercises to enhance not only the area that was injured but also the areas around your injury, stretches to improve mobility and balance, and pain management techniques. While physical therapy often begins and ends in our office, you will be given exercises, stretches, and exercises to do at home to enhance your recovery. In addition, we have developed a specific program (Return 2 Play) for post-rehabilitation to continue to improve on the progress you’ve made in therapy. Curious about whether or not physical therapy is right for your sports injury? Contact The Training Room Sports & Orthopaedic Physical Therapy in Cherry Hill, Sewell, and Haddonfield, NJ today to speak with our physical therapists and start on the road to recovery as soon as possible.