Non-Operative Treatments in Sports Injuries: What You Need to Know
People often equate sports injuries with surgical procedures. But, if you ask any reliable sports medicine physician, they’ll tell you that surgeries aren’t your only option! Depending on what kind of injury you’ve incurred, you might be able to take advantage of non-operative treatments.
When Are Non-Operative Treatments Ideal?
Non-surgical treatments provide the support that your body needs to heal itself, allowing you to return to your normal activity levels without being exposed to the risks that surgeries bring. They can be prescribed if the injury directly results from overuse (e.g., tennis elbow and swimmer’s shoulder). They can also be used to treat acute injuries that don’t cause severe damage.
What Do They Involve?
The types of non-operative treatments that will be prescribed to you depend on the level of your injuries. For minor sports injuries, you might be prescribed splints, cold compresses, pain medication, and plenty of rest. However, for more serious injuries, your doctor might suggest Tenex (also known as percutaneous needle tenotomy), platelet-rich plasma injections, regenerative stem cell therapy, and other treatments.
Are They Effective?
If they’re performed by a licensed and experienced sports medicine physician, non-surgical treatments can be incredibly effective. One study has shown that athletes who have undergone these treatments are mostly able to do sports-specific training in around two months and return to competitive sports in less than four months. Many of these athletes are also able to continue playing at the same (or even higher) level even when several years have passed. This means that the treatments are effective in healing their injuries, allowing them to maintain the same level of performance and even make improvements to it.
When it comes to treating sports injuries, athletes and their support team should always inquire if non-operative treatments are an option. To learn more about these treatments, reach out to 417 Sports Medicine and Orthopedics: Eric M Gifford, MD! We are based in Springfield, MO, and we specialize in treating sports injuries with regenerative medicine and other non-surgical methods. Call us today at (417) 771-3147!