Sports Injuries

Sports-related injuries can affect anyone who’s physically active, from the professional athlete to the personal fitness enthusiast to the weekend warrior.

Fortunately, most sports injuries can be successfully treated. Our sports medicine team has the training and experience to effectively diagnose and treat these injuries. Let’s get you back to what you love doing most.

Types of sports injuries

The most common types of injuries that occur during sports or exercise affect the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones and associated tissues like cartilage:

  • Sprains (a stretch or tear of a ligament)
  • Strains (a twist, pull or tear of a muscle or tendon)
  • Knee injuries
  • Compartment syndrome (a painful condition that develops when swelling occurs inside a confined body space or “compartment”)
  • Shin splints (pain along the shin bone, primarily seen in runners)
  • Achilles tendon injuries (a stretch, tear or irritation to the tendon connecting the calf muscle to the back of the heel)
  • Fractures (a break in the bone that can occur from an acute injury or from repeated stress to the bone over time)
  • Dislocations (most frequently affecting hand joints and the shoulder)

How are sports injuries treated?

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury, and may include:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)—For relatively minor injuries, follow these four steps immediately after injury and continue for at least 48 hours
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)—To reduce inflammation and pain
  • Immobilization—Reducing moving in the injured area to prevent further damage. Some devices used for immobilization include:
    • Slings
    • Splints and casts
    • Leg immobilizers to keep the knee from bending after injury or surgery
  • Surgery—In severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair torn connective tissues or to realign bones with compound fractures.
  • Physical rehabilitation—A graduated exercise program (physical therapy) designed to return the injured body part to a normal level of function
  • Other therapies—Additional therapies that may be used to help you recover from a sports injury may include:
    • Electrostimulation—Mild electrical current provides pain relief by preventing nerve cells from sending pain signals to the brain
    • Cold/cryotherapy—Ice packs reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels and limiting blood flow to the injured tissues, reducing pain
    • Heat/thermotherapy—Heat, in the form of hot compresses, heat lamps or heating pads, causes blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow to the injury site, adding the healing process
    • Ultrasound—High-frequency sound waves produce deep heat applied to the injured area, stimulating blood flow to promote healing
    • Massage—Manual manipulation to sooth tense muscles and increase blood flow to the injured area

Want to learn more about treatments for sports injuries at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic?

Simply call us to schedule an appointment at the location that’s most convenient for you at Portland: (503) 261-6961.