Whether you’re a high-performance athlete, an occasional exerciser or the busy parent of an active toddler, you want to feel your best and attain your goals. If injury or pain has taken you out of action, a sports medicine provider can help you return to the sports and activities you love.
What it is
Sports medicine employs non-surgical means to prevent and treat pain and injury to the musculoskeletal system—your bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue.
Injuries to the musculoskeletal system are commonly categorized as either acute or chronic. An acute injury occurs suddenly, and usually during an activity—for example, an awkward landing or an unexpected collision. Chronic injuries build over time, by repeated use or misuse of a joint or muscle group.
Although the specialty is called “sports medicine,” you don’t have to be an athlete or have been injured playing a sport to benefit from seeing a sports medicine provider. Allina Health sports medicine providers can help just about anyone, no matter how your injury happened.
Good for treating
Playing sports and being active are generally beneficial to your health, but occasionally injuries happen. Some of the conditions we treat are:
- sprains and strains, two of the most common sports injuries. A sprain happens when a ligament—a band of connective tissue that connects one bone to another—tears or overstretches. A strain is a pulled muscle, which occurs when muscle or tendon fibers stretch too far.
- “overuse” injuries involving tendons, muscles or joints
- runner’s knee, jumpers knee, patellofemoral syndrome, initial evaluation and management of ligament and meniscus injuries
- shoulder dislocation, shoulder impingement syndrome, AC joint separation
- tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
- broken bones and stress fractures
- injuries to the hand and wrist, trigger finger, carpal tunnel and gamekeepers thumb
- hip bursitis and tendonitis
- ankle and foot sprains and strains, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis.
What to expect
Your visit with a sports medicine provider is a collaboration. We know it’s important to understand how your condition happened and how it affects the quality of your life, so we take the time to really listen.
After evaluating your injury, your sports medicine provider will talk with you about your treatment options. Options are many, and can range from new and innovative healing therapies and techniques such as regenerative medicine, to traditional treatments, including:
- physical therapy
- prescription medications
- ultrasound-guided injections
- sports nutrition and supplementation.
Our sports medicine and non-surgical orthopedic physicians work closely with our specialized orthopedic surgeons. If your condition indicates the possibility of surgery, your sports medicine team can directly facilitate a consultation with a surgeon who has expertise managing your specific condition.
Good to know
If you’re an athlete, we get you. Allina Health physicians, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers spend thousands of hours each year providing medical sports coverage and athletic training services at school and community events. Many are athletes themselves. All have extensive training in the musculoskeletal system, and all are committed to delivering the highest level of sports medicine expertise to each athlete.
Along with providing expertise at scores of community events, schools and athletic clubs, Allina Health is the Official Orthopedic Partner of Minnesota United FC. Whether it’s mending a sprain, fixing a fracture or treating chronic joint pain, athletes of all abilities can access these same top-notch orthopedic specialists.
If you don’t think of yourself as an athlete, you still deserve to feel and function your best. Together, we’ll find the solution that best fits you.
Good for preventing
It’s best, of course, to avoid injury altogether. Talk with a sports medicine provider if:
- you’ve been injured in the past and want to know if there is something you can do to avoid getting injured again
- you’re recovering from injury and want to know if you are cleared to resume activity
- you haven’t been injured, but have concerns about playing a sport or participating in a physical activity.
Reviewed by: Robby Bershow, MD; G. Budd Renier, MD; Brent Millikin, ATC, MEd
First published: 5/4/2018
Last reviewed: 5/2/2018