Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For some of us, that means engaging in regular sports related activity. But with all types of exercise, the risk of injury is ever present. So is the risk of experiencing sports-related pain, whether caused by soft tissue injuries, trauma, or something else.
The term ‘sports injury’ denotes many different things depending on who is using it. The NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases offers one of the simplest definitions in healthcare. The Institute defines sports injuries as “the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise.” They go on to explain that such injuries “are not limited to athletes.”
Sports pain is pain associated with exercise or athletic activity. The interesting thing about sports pain is that it does not have to be the result of a traumatic injury. People who regularly exercise can experience pain simply due to overuse.
In addition, some sports pain that presents as a soft tissue injury or disease could be related to a condition other than the physical activity itself. For example, osteoarthritis patients may suffer increased joint pain as a result of certain types of exercise. One doctor might classify this as sports pain while another considers it arthritis pain.
The fact that multiple clinicians might classify sports pain differently illustrates why treatment is so important. Consider that sports injuries can be either acute or chronic. They can be caused by trauma or overuse. One way or another, treatment is essential to preventing an acute injury from becoming a chronic problem. Early treatment is almost always the most effective means of managing sports injuries and pain.
Pain specialists have a long list of treatments to choose from when patients complain of sports injuries and pain. When trauma doesn’t create an emergency situation, like a broken bone for example, a first line treatment might include rest and medication (anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, etc.). Physical therapy might also be recommended.
If first-line treatments do not help, clinicians have other options:
A number of other treatment options exist for more specific types of pain. It is up to patients and doctors to talk things out in order to come up with the best options.
If you are experiencing any type of pain related to exercise or a sports injury, it is important that you seek treatment as early as possible. We invite you to make an appointment here at our Weatherford, Texas clinic. As pain medicine specialists, we are fully prepared to consult with you to find the root cause of your pain and treat it accordingly.