Treating Sports Injuries – Now and Later
A sports injury to the foot or ankle can be one of the most frustrating problems for active people to face. It’s an obstacle holding you back from what you love to do, and you just want to be rid of it as soon as possible!
We want to help patients get back to action as quickly as possible too, but there’s another element we’re invested in, helping patients avoid further injuries and setbacks in the future.
Our approach to sports injury treatment will always keep both factors in mind. We want speedy recovery, but we’re not going to take shortcuts that increase your risk of complications. And when you are fully recovered, we still want to identify and address any remaining matters that could increase your chances of a returning injury, bringing you back to us quickly.
(It’s not that we don’t like to see you; we’d just rather see you being happy and pain-free out there!)
Fortunately, we have a variety of treatments, ranging from traditional methods to advanced technologies, to meet each of our patients’ sports injury needs.
Here are just a few techniques we may use as part of an overall treatment plan for sports injuries such as Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, turf toe, plantar fasciitis, and more.
Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy
When it comes to accelerating recovery from soft tissue injuries, we’re proud to provide MLS laser therapy as an option to our patients.
The main highlight of MLS laser is that it’s a form of regenerative medicine. That means it works by stimulating and aiding the body’s natural healing and recovery processes. You don’t have to worry about any drugs or foreign materials as part of the process: the only thing going into your body here is specialized wavelengths of light energy.
When introduced to the sight of an injury, the MLS laser system causes a minor and virtually painless disruption that the body responds to by increasing blood flow, accelerating cellular activity, and turning down local pain signals.
MLS laser is typically scheduled over several sessions, and the results tend to stack with each visit. We may recommend this for patients who want to get back to activity faster, but will still closely monitor progress before clearing you for full action again.
Steroid injections are an effective way to provide temporary relief for painful symptoms and are often included as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.
In some circumstances, injection therapy may help you to get moving again without pain. However, they are not a permanent measure and you can still further injure yourself if you don’t keep your activity within recommended bounds. It is extremely likely that you can’t return to 100% intensity after an injection.
Injection therapy is something we will only recommend under specific instructions and guidelines, and it is very important that you follow them precisely.
When sports injuries can be attributed partly or fully to abnormalities in foot structure, custom orthotics can be an excellent tool for finding long-term relief and reducing future injury risk.
Custom orthotics provide exact amounts of cushioning and corrective support where needed. This helps properly redistribute weight over the feet as you move, instead of it becoming concentrated in areas that may become overstrained.
We have helped many patients find long-term relief through custom orthotics. And yes, they can be designed to specifically fit different types of athletic shoes as well. They are a long-term form of treatment, meaning that problems can return if you stop wearing them. The results tend to be so effective that most patients don’t want to do that, though.
Conditioning Stretches and Exercises
Not all elements of a treatment plan involve special instruments or medications. Simpler actions can have significant effects as well.
For certain sports injuries – especially those caused by overuse – we may recommend a regimen of exercises and stretches meant to condition more vulnerable areas. These plans can help build strength, flexibility, and endurance not only in specific parts but also in the tissues connected to them.
In treating plantar fasciitis, for example, we might recommend stretches that focus on the arch and plantar fascia. However, we also may want you to focus on your calf muscles and Achilles tendon as well, as those tissues can cause stress on the plantar fascia when they’re too tight.
Footwear, Environment, and Activity Choices
Another simple but essential form of treatment is adjusting other factors that may affect your injury recovery and future risks.
Are your shoes unsupportive or inappropriate for your activities? If yes, they need to change.
Are you working out with too high of an intensity, or not giving your body enough time to rest? If yes, your schedule needs to be adjusted.
Are you playing on too hard of surfaces, or spending too much time running up inclines or on uneven terrain that aggravates your condition? If yes, it’s time for a change of scenery.
Our goal with these adjustments is not to keep you from what you love, whenever we can help it. But by making small and effective changes, we can help you stay comfortable and uninjured for much longer.
Find the Sports Injury Treatment You Need
The options above are only a cross-section of all we provide at our clinic. Whenever a patient comes to us for sports injury care, we’ll always take the time to properly evaluate the problem and how it’s affecting their life before we make the best recommendations to suit their needs. Every case is different and deserves the right attention.
Schedule an appointment with us by calling (620) 241-3313 or by filling out our online contact form.
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