By: Coco Ang, PT
Playing a sport often requires you to potentially put your body to the test and pushing your physical limits. The intense physical activity involved in sports may often lead to painful injuries, which may not require extensive medical procedures but are still rather a nuisance if not handled swiftly and correctly.
An essential part of sports medicine is to help patients overcome their injuries, but another important part is to help patients manage the symptoms of their conditions. This usually involves pain management through a variety of pharmaceutical, physical or orthotic methods.
Depending upon the severity of your condition and the accompanying treatment, your doctor will advise on the best possible ways to manage the pain that comes with the injury. Common sports injuries and the prescribed pain management techniques are:
Ankle sprains are the most frequently occurring sports injury. Sprains occur due to a sudden movement of the foot that cause tendons in the ankle to twist and become inflamed. These rarely ever require surgery but may require some physiotherapy to completely heal.
Your doctor may ask you to rest the ankle, ice it, compress and elevate it. This is the treatment method for most ankle sprains.
The pain management techniques prescribed by doctors include; anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin. On occasion doctors may also prescribe a topical cream that would reduce the pain, in addition to keeping any pressure off the ankle.
Hamstring strains develop in athletes as a result of high speed running and overuse that causes an inflammation of the tendon or muscles in the thigh. The treatment method of a hamstring strain also involves following the R.I.C.E protocol (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) your leg. Doctors prescribe exercise and stretching to allow the hamstring to become less inflamed and capable of exertion.
In order to manage the pain, you experience from the strain, the doctor may suggest decreased activity of the injured leg, electroshock therapy, physiotherapy and massage therapy.
Anterior Knee Pain
Anterior knee pain is not a specific sports related injury. However, it is far more likely that athletes would develop it than non-athletes. Anterior Knee pain is often a symptom of the patellofemoral syndrome, where ‘poor’ tracking of the patella on the femur in the knee causes painful sensations and irritation to the front of the knee.
This condition may require surgery, but that is rarely ever the case. In addition to physiotherapy, your doctor may prescribe orthotics such as knee braces to offer support to the knee or anti-inflammatory medication to relieve the pain.
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute clinics are greater Toronto area based sports medicine, physiotherapy and massage therapy clinics that offer a wide range of services including diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries with our sports doctors and exercise aids and bracing.