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How Does a Sports Injury Differ from Other Injuries?

How Does a Sports Injury Differ from Other Injuries?

If you’re an athlete who has just suffered an injury, you likely have  one dominant thought running through your mind: “How soon can I get back on the field?”

One step that will help you recover more quickly is seeing a sports medicine specialist for treatment rather than a general practitioner. While many injuries occur in daily life that your family doctor can treat, sports medicine physicians approach the treatment of your injury from a different perspective.

Steven E. Nolan, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. Here, he explains how and why sports injuries and their treatment differ from other injuries.

What is a sports injury?

A sports injury is any injury that occurs when you’re playing sports or exercising. Common sports injuries include:

Within these categories, some injuries can be acute (they happen suddenly, one time) or chronic (they occur gradually over an extended period, usually from overuse). 

How you receive treatment for a sports injury can make or break your career in sports, whether you’re a professional athlete or a novice. Sports medicine physicians like Dr. Nolan are explicitly trained to assess and treat sports injuries to get athletes back into competitive condition as soon as possible.

Dr. Nolan is a specialist in the areas of your body that are most often injured in sports, so he knows exactly what to do when you come to his office with a sprained ankle, for instance. 

Treatment and recovery

While Dr. Nolan usually begins his treatment of a sports injury with the standard RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation), he also stays abreast of developing treatments and technologies, such as regenerative treatments that use your body’s own healing capabilities to speed along the healing process (PRP therapy is just one example).

Again, Dr. Nolan’s goal is to see you back in games soon, so he develops a treatment and rehabilitation program to prepare your body to withstand the stress and impact of athletic competition. This plan often includes specialized physical therapy that doesn’t just restore normal function as an office worker would need but takes you beyond that to a more intense level of strength and performance ideal for athletes.

His holistic plan can also include nutrition counseling, a specific training regimen, and a recommendation for psychological counseling to ensure you’re fully confident when you step back on the field. If you’re hesitant or timid in any way, you risk reinjuring yourself.

Surgery is a more invasive procedure that extends recovery time, so unless surgery is indicated (as with a torn ACL, for instance), Dr. Nolan exhausts the less invasive treatment methods first, including physical therapy, injections, and medications.

If you have a sports injury that needs treatment, our team at Steven E. Nolan M.D. is ready to help. Call our Sugar Land office at 281-720-6909 or request an appointment with our convenient online scheduler anytime!

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