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How Sports Medicine Can Help Treat 5 Common Injuries

Sports medicine helps athletes manage and overcome temporary as well as chronic injuries and pain. Treatments are often ongoing and may even require lifestyle changes for optimal results.

Athletes put their bodies under a great amount of stress every day, which is why sports medicine techniques are crucial not only for immediate pain relief, but for long-term solutions to injuries. Icing and massage may help a bruise, but when you've torn a muscle, destroyed cartilage, or suffered from a knock on the head, you'll need a more comprehensive treatment plan. Here are five of some of the most common injuries and the treatment methods that can help athletes get back on their feet.

1. Pulled Muscles
Although it isn't only athletes who can pull a muscle, those involved with vigorous activities are far more likely to develop the condition. When the muscle is overworked or stretched too far, it can become sore, tighten, or even tear slightly. In mild cases the pain will dissipate in a day or two. However, if there is difficulty using the affected muscle, bruising, swelling, or prolonged symptoms, you may wish to seek assistance. In sports medicine, treatment for pulled muscles includes icing, elevation, rest and light stretching.

1. Charley Horse
Otherwise known simply as leg and foot muscle cramps, athletes often experience this painful condition after being knocked in the leg by the knee of an opponent or other player. The muscles in the body contract suddenly and painfully, resulting in sometimes violent spasms that can occur in a small location or up and down the leg or foot. Massage is the best treatment and walking can be helpful. However, many people mistakenly try to stretch out the muscle. Do not stretch immediately following a cramp unless under the supervision of a sports medicine doctor. It may cause more damage.

2. Concussion
The brain is surrounded by a protective fluid, which is why when you repeatedly bang your head on that cabinet you can still remember your name (hopefully). Harder impacts, such as those experienced by athletes in heavy contact games, can result in bypassing this fluid. The brain may then be moved, causing trauma. Concussions may not always be evident immediately, which is why it is important to seek medical assistance for all head injuries, even if minor. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

3. Frozen Shoulder
Athletes that primarily use their arms such as baseball, tennis, and football players cause great stress to their rotator cuff muscles. These are located near the shoulder, and over time the repetitive movements of playing can cause intense pain. Anti-inflammatory injections may be prescribed to reduce the pain. For more permanent solutions, physical therapy and muscle strengthening is helpful.

4. Runner's Knee
Running and jogging put great stress on the joints, so much so that the kneecap can shift out of place. Rather than moving up and down, it can begin to move side to side, and eventually wear down the cartilage. Once this happens, fluid can build up inside the area, resulting in pain and swelling. For immediate treatment, rest is the best solution. However, long-term management requires muscle training, supervised stretchingFind Article, and physical therapy.

Article Tags: Sports Medicine, Common Injuries

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