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Education

Alternative Treatments in Sports Medicine

Legacy Medical Centers
sports-medicine

You’ve done everything right, from showing up to every practice to giving your all at every game. Unfortunately, you can still be sidelined by an injury. If this happens, it is essential to seek out the right sports medicine professional and treatment — even if you hate the idea of missing time on the field, on the court, or in the pool.

Thankfully, when you sustain a minor sports injury (either while playing or in another circumstance), you can often get back to your normal routine swiftly and without a lot of intervention. Your recovery depends on rest and quality care, and learning more about the alternative care options for a sports injury ensures you are able to make the best possible decision for your goals and needs.

What Is Alternative Medicine?

Many common sports injuries — from simple aches and pains to more significant conditions like tennis elbow — can be treated with more than just medication. When you take an alternative approach, you supplement the traditional course of treatment with yoga, various ancient techniques, and chiropractic care.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, medication, or the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, elevation). And supplementing these sports medicine treatments with other options can help you recover swiftly without additional medication or intervention. Some common sports injuries are detailed below, along with some alternative treatments to consider.

Shoulder Strain

Overuse or hyperextension of your shoulder joint can cause pain and swelling, which can restrict your range of motion (ROM). Whether you need to power through some laps in the pool, show off your backhand for a visiting coach, or lead your team to victory on the football field, you need to be at full strength and have full ROM.

Yoga is surprisingly effective at relieving the discomfort of a shoulder strain and helping you regain your full ROM. Regularly practicing yoga allows you to be more flexible, which can help prevent injury recurrence. Best of all, the focus and concentration afforded by yoga may help boost your mental performance on the field and off.

Tennis Elbow

You may have never picked up a racket, but you can still sustain this injury. Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive gripping — so golf, hockey, lacrosse, and other sports can trigger this uncomfortable condition. An approach that includes chiropractic methods ranging from electrical muscle stimulation to therapeutic sports massage can help alleviate symptoms without medication.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is a common condition for cyclists and track and field athletes. It is an overuse injury to the thigh, with pain at the upper portion of the leg from the knee to the hip. Dry needling can help alleviate the pain by increasing blood flow to the affected area and encouraging healing and restoration. While needles are used, it is a relatively pain-free process and can alleviate discomfort very quickly.

Calf Strain

This injury is common to anyone who overtrains, particularly those in track and field and contact sports. The pain is triggered by overuse and repetitive movement when the player pushes off the ground to jump, tackle, or push. Dry needling can help stimulate restoration and healing, while targeted laser treatments can help speed recovery by enhancing cell regrowth.

Alternative Methods for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh

Before trying any alternative sports medicine treatment, you should see a doctor for a complete examination of your injury. If you have a broken bone instead of a muscle strain, all the stretching in the world won't help. Taking the proper precautions before returning to play is vital.

Our team at Legacy Medical Centers offers a comprehensive lineup of proven alternative treatments to help ease your discomfort and prevent injury recurrence. If you have been injured or are concerned about a chronic sports injury, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about your options so that you can get back on the playing field as soon as possible.