Orthopaedic Treatment : Sports Injury Treatment
Orthopaedic treatment is a specialised branch of physical therapy which focuses on injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and includes rehabilitation after orthopaedic surgery. Orthopaedic treatment is geared towards athletes and people with an active lifestyle, so it is well-suited to treating sports injuries.
What Injuries can Orthopaedic Treatments Help?
In sport the most common types of orthopaedic injury are fractures, along with joint and muscle pain, overuse injuries and damaged soft tissue. Some examples of injuries that can be helped by orthopaedic treatment include fractured bones, damaged ligaments, dislocated joints, strained muscles and tennis elbow.
What Treatments are Available?
There is a wide range of orthopaedic treatments available, some of which work quicker than others. For sports people, generally the fastest working option is the best which means a lot of athletes opt for surgery. However, there are lots of other treatments as well. Below is a selection of the most popular.
Surgery is used to treat a whole range of orthopaedic injuries, but is rarely the doctor’s first choice of treatment. Most doctors will advise you to try other treatments before having surgery, but many athletes require a fast recovery. The most common surgical treatments used on sports people are arthroscopic, usually on the shoulder or knee. Arthroscopic surgery involves putting a camera into the affected joint while the surgeon uses pressurised water to ‘inflate’ the joint allowing more manoeuvrability with the surgical tools and removing any debris. The surgery is suitable for most knee and shoulder injuries.
Braces and Supports
These are used to compensate for an injured joint and can help strengthen weak muscles. The most common braces are for the elbow and knee. Knee braces are controversial in medicine, as to whether or not they actually work, but studies have shown that athletes who wear a prophylactic knee brace are less likely to sustain a knee injury than those who don’t (though the difference is small). Obviously the effect varies between sports, and knee braces are most useful to athletes who put a lot of pressure on their knees such as footballers. Elbow clasps are very effective for treating tennis elbow. Ice and heat wraps are very commonly used to treat sporting injuries, especially ones which involve painful swelling such as sprains.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications, such as ibuprofen, are the most common drugs used to treat orthopaedic complaints. They are available over the counter and work by blocking the body’s production of the enzyme that causes swelling and pain. However, NSAIDs have been associated with stomach ulcers, and can have serious side effects. Other pain control drugs might include Tylenol, anticonvulsants and corticosteroids, but none of these are as suitable for athletes as NSAIDs.
Cortisone injections are commonly used to treat orthopaedic complaints because they are a powerful anti-inflammatory. Cortisone is a steroid that your body produces naturally, and injected cortisone is a synthetic version of this which is injected directly into the area of inflammation. Side effects can include an increase in pain which should be treated with an ice pack.
- Sports Injury Treatment
- Cold, Heat & Compression treatment
- Pain Relief & Immobilisation
- Sports Creams
- Sports Massage
- Orthopaedic Treatment
- Post-Operative Rehabilitation