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Sports medicine

Orthopedic sports medicine and non-surgical orthopedics

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, the team at Allina Health provides sports medicine care to help you get back in the game. 

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 physician. The skilled, compassionate caregivers at Allina Health Orthopedics can help just about anyone with their musculoskeletal health, whether there was an injury or not.

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What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine uses 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.

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 (when a ligament tears or overstretches) 
  • strains (when muscle or tendon fibers stretch too far, also known as pulled muscles)  
  • overuse injuries involving tendons, muscles or joints  
  • arthritis 
  • Runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, patellofemoral syndrome, ligament and meniscus injuries 
  • shoulder dislocation, shoulder impingement syndrome, AC joint separation   
  • tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow 
  • broken bones and stress fractures 
  • concussion 
  • injuries to the hand and wrist, trigger finger, carpal tunnel and gamekeeper’s thumb  
  • hip bursitis and tendonitis 
  • ankle and foot sprains and strains, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis  
  • injuries benefiting from regenerative medicine.

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.  

After listening to your concerns and evaluating your injury, your sports medicine provider will talk with you about treatment options. These 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 surgery is the best option for your condition, your sports medicine team will facilitate a consultation with a surgeon who has expertise in managing your specific injury.

A team effort

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.  

Even 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 fits you best.

Meet your team

Our team of sports medicine and orthopedics experts will design a personalized playbook to fit your life. They work together to support your unique needs and answer any questions from your first appointment through recovery.  

Your care team may include:

  • Sports medicine physicians, who perform tests to diagnose injuries and create customized recovery plans. They’ll monitor your progress and work with our physician assistants and athletic trainers to keep your recovery on track. They may recommend an orthopedic surgeon for breaks and tears or when other treatments don’t offer relief. 
  • Advanced practice providers (APPs), including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, who evaluate injuries, order labs and tests to inform your diagnosis, prescribe medications and help you manage pain. They also give injections, fit splints, and, when necessary, help you understand your orthopedic surgery options. Some of our APPs also assist surgeons in the operating room and hold athletic trainer certifications.
  • Athletic trainers (ATs), who are licensed health care professionals specializing in orthopedics. They help prevent injuries, apply casts and braces, and support you from start to finish during a visit. Athletic trainers with an orthopedic technology certification assist orthopedic surgeons during and after surgery. You may also see our ATs on the sidelines giving medical care at high school, club and collegiate sporting events.

Good for preventing

It’s best, of course, to avoid injury altogether. Talk with a sports medicine provider if: 

  • you’ve been injured before and want to know how to avoid another injury
  • you’ve recovered from an injury and want to know if you can resume activity 
  • you haven’t been injured but have concerns about playing a sport or participating in physical activity.

Proud partner of Minnesota United FC

Allina Health is also the Official Orthopedic Partner of Minnesota United FC. Whether it’s mending a sprain, fixing a fracture or treating chronic joint pain, you can access the same level of top-notch orthopedic care.

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First published: 10/26/2020
Last reviewed: 7/29/2022