Sports Injuries Specialist

417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Specialists located in Springfield, MO

Sports injuries can stop you from playing sports at any level, whether you’re a junior high player, a college athlete, a weekend warrior, you play professionally or you’re an endurance athlete. At 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics in Springfield, Missouri, sports medicine physician Eric Gifford, MD, provides comprehensive care for all types of sports injuries. Whether you have a fresh injury or long-term pain, Dr. Gifford can help diagnose and treat your sports injury. Call 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, or book an appointment online. You can also visit the orthopedic walk-in clinic today for your urgent care needs.

Sports Injuries Q&A

What are sports injuries?

Sports injuries occur during physical activities, such as playing sports or exercising. You don’t have to be an athlete to develop a sports injury, but those who regularly play sports or are highly active are at a greater risk of damage. The sooner you seek treatment for a sports injury, the better your chances of a full recovery.

What are the most common sports injuries?

Some of the most common sports injuries include:


A sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect your bones are pulled or torn. While sprains can heal on their own with proper rest and recovery, lack of conditioning can increase your vulnerability in the future. Many athletes even develop chronic ankle sprains.


Fractures are breaks or cracks in the bone. Many athletes are susceptible to stress fractures, which result from repetitive motions, such as running, jumping, and quick movements.

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow affect the outer and inner ligaments in the elbow, respectively. Overuse of the elbow is the most common cause of these disorders.

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that stretches from your toes to your heel. When this tissue becomes inflamed from overuse, it can cause chronic heel pain. Many runners, soccer players, and basketball players are vulnerable to plantar fasciitis.

What causes sports injuries?

While anybody can develop a sports injury during exercise, you’re more likely to experience lasting symptoms because of:

  • Poor conditioning
  • Overuse
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Inadequate training
  • Previous injuries

Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, and limiting your alcohol consumption can also help reduce your risk of sports injuries.

How are sports injuries diagnosed?

When you arrive at 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, Dr. Gifford performs a comprehensive physical exam and review of your medical history. He asks questions regarding your symptoms, tests your physical function, and more.

Depending on your initial evaluation, Dr. Gifford may use a diagnostic ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to settle on the proper diagnosis.

What are the treatments for sports injuries?

How Dr. Gifford treats your sports injury depends on its location and severity. Most sports injuries require a combination of treatments, which may include:

  • Bracing
  • Splinting
  • Casting
  • Rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE)
  • Hyaluronic acid injections
  • Surgery

To learn more about sports injuries, call 417 Sports Medicine & Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online. You can always visit the orthopedic walk-in clinic for your urgent care needs.