What is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine, which is sometimes referred to as as sport and exercise medicine (SEM), is a relatively new branch of medicine that deals with the treatment and prevention of injuries related to exercise and sports. The primary focus of a sports medicine physician, is to diagnose, treat, and help to further prevent injuries that occur during sports and other physical activity. Most modern professional sports teams understand the importance of sports medicine and are continually building their teams around a solid program.
Most recently, the Dallas Cowboys partnered with Dallas’ largest health care system to build a state of the art facility. This facility is specifically designed to treat their athletes for football related injuries. Football, however, isn’t the only sport making headlines.
Sporting KC, Kansas City’s professional MLS team, partnered with Children’s Mercy Hospital. Together they developed a sports medicine program for both professional and youth athletes. While the professional athletes are benefiting from having a strong staff of medical professionals, the partnership is just as important to young athletes. According to a 2016 report by the American College of Sports Medicine, male and female high school athletes are more likely to sustain lower extremity injuries compared to their older, professional counterparts.
The physical rigors of sports often leave athletes, of all ages, with muscle, ligament, tendon and bone problems. There is the misconception that athletes suffering from one of these conditions need to undergo invasive surgery to alleviate their symptoms. However, when it is an option, it is generally best if patients avoid invasive surgery. Here at Metropolitan Pain Consultants, we focus on non-surgical orthopedics to help our patients recuperate.
Why Non-Surgical Orthopedics?
On occasion, researchers will review case studies related to orthopedic surgery. This one in Health Magazine shows doctors finding surgery actually has little effect on the root problem. This report in particular recommended against having knee surgery for chronic knee pain. Medical professionals and athletes alike are implementing nonsurgical alternatives for this exact reason.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapies are growing in sports medicine because they are autologous. Physicians are now utilizing a patient’s own blood to heal an injured site. Moreover, PRP and BMC can be the difference between an athlete missing the rest of a season from surgery or getting back on the field or court.
Both treatments require a doctor to extract blood from the patient. This is fairly simple and similar to a routine blood drawing. Next, the physician places the sample in a centrifuge to separate the various blood layers (white blood cells, red blood cells, plasma, and platelets). Once the doctor has extracted the stem cells or platelet-rich plasma, they will inject the sample into the injured site. These forms of regenerative therapy are proven non-surgical alternatives for a variety of injuries and patients.
Make sure you read our article on platelet-rich plasma in orthopedic sports medicine to get a more in depth look.
Who Should Try Non-Surgical Treatments?
While there are a variety of sports related conditions that can be treated via non-surgical methods, we specialize in the following:
- ACL Tear
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Back Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Upper Back Pain
These pain conditions are quite common in athletics and could be relieved by either PRP or BMC injections. Once evaluated, the doctor will decide which is the correct course of action to take and discuss the potential benefits associated with these treatments. While invasive surgery generally requires a prolonged recovery time followed by physical therapy, both of our non-surgical treatments have a fairly quick recovery time and little or no physical therapy required.
Contact us at 201-729-0001 for an evaluation of your injury and what non-surgical alternatives may be right for you. Our conveniently located clinics are in West Orange, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst. We offer weekday and weekend appointments.