Sports Medicine

Let us relieve the pain from the game.

The sacrifice we make for our love of sports can take its toll. After all the wins and losses, sometimes damage remains to be repaired. Let our sports medicine doctors in West Palm Beach, FL, treat your sports or exercise-related injuries. Whether you have sprained an ankle, torn your ACL or suffered a fracture, our team specializing in sports medicine across West Palm Beach is always here to help.

St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Doctors

Our sports medicine doctors in West Palm Beach, FL, specialize in treating and preventing sports and exercise-related injuries. They are also called sports medicine physicians, sports injury doctors and sports medicine specialists. Although sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgery specialists treat musculoskeletal conditions, sports medicine doctors focus on the nonsurgical treatment of these conditions and orthopedic surgery specialists, on the other hand, are trained in surgical treatments.

Most Common Sports Injuries

Living an active lifestyle with exercise or sports has many health benefits, but sometimes, we can’t prevent accidents and athletic injuries from happening. Almost any body part can be injured, but the ankles and knees are more prone to injury. Sports injuries can be caused by:

  • Accident (e.g., fall or heavy blow)
  • Not having a proper warmup before exercise
  • Poor technique while exercising
  • Using inappropriate equipment while exercising
  • Pushing yourself too hard

The most common sports injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains- both sprains and strains involve stretching and tearing. When a sprain occurs, one or more ligaments are stretched or torn, while muscle tissues or fibers are stretched or torn when a strain occurs.

  • Back pain- usually caused by a sprain or strain in the back.

  • Bone injuries- caused by heavy activities or heavy impact
    • Stress fractures- small cracks in the bone cause bone pain due to repeated stress.
    • Shin splints- inflammation causes pain in the tissues around the shin bone.
    • Broken ankle, arm, wrist, leg, toe or finger- can cause pain due to swelling, bruising and tenderness around the injured area. It may also bleed if the bone has broken the skin, called an open fracture.
  • Hamstring injuries- common in athletes and recreational exercisers that involve a tear to tendons or large muscles at the back of the thighs.

  • Head injuries- we recommend seeing a sports medicine doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms accompany a head injury:
    • Unconsciousness
    • Difficulty staying awake or being sleepy after the injury
    • Seizures
    • Slurred speech
    • Blurred or double vision
    • Difficulty understanding what people say
    • Vomiting
  • Heel pain- occurs when there is inflammation on the thick band of tissue under the sole of the foot.

  • Swollen joints
    • Bursitis- swollen bursa, fluid-filled sacs underneath the skin
    • Tendonitis- swollen tendon
    • Tennis elbow- occurs when the muscles and tendon around the elbow joint are inflamed
  • Knee pain- usually caused by sprain, strain or tendonitis and is common in contact sports.
    • Runner’s knee- occurs when the knee is overused. Symptoms of a runner’s knee include soreness and discomfort on the kneecap and may also cause a grating sensation in the knee
    • Cartilage damage- may feel like there is locking on the joints; damage is caused by broken cartilage
  • Knee ligament damage- there are four knee ligaments: lateral collateral ligament, medial collateral ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL can tear if there is a sudden stop or change in direction. It can also be caused if you land awkwardly from a jump.
    • ACL tear- you may feel a pop or crack when you tear your ACL. Other symptoms include severe knee pain, knee instability, knee swelling and reduced range of movement.
  • Shoulder pain- common in sports that involve bowling or throwing. It occurs when the shoulder tendons are inflamed or torn.
    • Dislocated shoulder- may be caused by a heavy fall or sudden impact
  • Skin injuries- caused by poor-fitted shoes or clothes rubbing and chafing the skin

Sports Injury Treatment and Prevention

Minor injuries can be treated at home by:

  • Resting the affected part for 48-72 hours
  • Regularly applying an ice pack to the affected area during the first 48-72 hours to reduce swelling
  • Using over-the-counter pain killers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain

To prevent athletic injuries, we suggest:

  • Properly warm up before exercise
  • Not pushing your limit
  • Use the right equipment
  • Receive coaching for correct techniques

Sports Rehabilitation

“When can I play again?” may be the question patients ask right after an injury, and the answer varies depending on the injury and the course of treatment your sports injury doctor recommends. Sports medicine rehabilitation helps patients stay fit while recovering. Our sports medicine rehabilitation in West Palm Beach may include physical therapy, manual therapy and other ways to relieve pain and promote healing.

Walk it Off Or Visit a Hospital?

Admitting you need to see a sports injury doctor takes guts. As an athlete, you take pride in “walking it off.” But sometimes, athletic injuries are so painful that they require medical attention. We recommend you visit St. Mary’s Medical Center and let our sports medicine doctors in West Palm Beach, FL, take a look. It’s better to be safe and in the game than sorry and warming the bench.
It’s easy to visit one of our doctors. You can schedule an appointment with a quick phone call or use our Find a Physician finder.

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