While not all of us are professional athletes, many of us lead active lifestyles that involve the kinds of exertion and potential for injury that we see on television and read about online.
Sports injuries are in fact one of the most common injuries today, with tens of millions of people suffering damage that not only halt participation in the sports they love, but also cause them debilitating pain and immobility that affect the quality of their lives.
What are the most common sports injuries?
Most sports injuries can be divided into two categories: acute and chronic injuries. Acute injuries are sudden, and often involve impact or another unanticipated event or accident. Chronic sports injuries happen over time, as the bones and tissues are put through repetitive stressful exertion.
Some of the most common sports injuries include the following:
- Bone fracture or dislocation: fractures can be acute, such as those following a blow or a fall, or can be stress fractures, caused by repetitive force and overuse of the extremity, especially the bones in the legs of athletes who run. Bones can also become dislocated as a result of impact or trauma, most commonly in the shoulder, elbow, and hip.
- Tendonitis: The inflammation and pain of damaged tendons can be felt after repetitive stress or strain on the connective tissue. Tennis and golfer’s elbow, pitcher’s shoulder and runner’s knee and Achilles tendonitis are some of the most common types of sports-related injuries involving tendonitis.
- Ligament and tendon tears, sprains, and strains: Tears in the ligaments of the knee are very common in high-impact sports such as football, basketball and soccer, but can result from any high-velocity, high-impact activity involving rapid movement and the knee.
- Back and joint pain: the connective tissue between the vertebrae and within the joints we use the most, such as the knee, can gradually wear away, causing tremendous pain. The repetitive stress of many sports, especially running and high-impact sports, can lead to tremendous pain in the joints as they become inflamed, or can lead to herniated discs in the spine, which cause a number of neuropathic issues such as sciatica.
How can regenerative medicine help with sports-related injuries?
Regenerative practices such as the injection of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) harness the healing and growth factors within the patient’s body to address the pain at its source rather than simply masking the pain with medication or having invasive surgical procedures.
In PRP therapy, the patient’s blood is withdrawn and spun in a centrifuge, creating a concentrated solution that is then injected at the site of the tissue damage causing the pain. The platelets send messages at the cellular level to begin the process of growth and renewal, allowing the body to replace the damaged cells and tissues. This allows the actual issue of the injury to be addressed, easing the pain without invasive surgery or medication.
If you have suffered a sports-related injury and are interested in harnessing the power of your own body to heal itself, PRP therapy may be what you have been searching for.