Sports injuries that draw the most attention are those that are sudden and dramatic, resulting in a player being assisted or carried off the field or court. Nonetheless, sports-related repetitive stress injuries are also common and often temporarily disabling. If you are suffering a repetitive sports injury or a sports injury of unknown cause, Long Island Sports Rehabilitation Medicine is the place to come. Our capable physiatrists are not only fine diagnosticians but have a broad range of nonsurgical treatments to help you get back in the game.
Reasons for Sports-Related Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries happen over a period of time during which the same movements are repeated over and over, causing damage to a bone, tendon, or joint. Although these injuries can happen to anyone, the risk is greater for players who:
- Do not use the correct techniques
- Overtrain (too often, too frequently, or for too long)
- Play the same sport year-round.
- Run or jump on inflexible, hard surfaces.
- Wear insufficiently supportive footwear
- Do not wear proper protective gear
- Have had a prior injury to the area
- Have abnormal weakness or inflexibility
- Take certain medications (e.g. certain antibiotics that weaken tendons)
Our doctors treat athletes and sports enthusiasts for musculoskeletal stress injuries, no matter why they occur. We are a holistic practice and so offer both traditional treatments like corticosteroid injections and complementary treatments like acupuncture. You will find our experienced professionals empathic as well as highly knowledgeable about all kinds of sports-related repetitive stress injuries, including stress fractures which can occur in any overused or weakened bone or:
- Rotator cuff injuries are the most common shoulder injuries. They often occur when adjacent tendons or bursae become inflamed due to overuse, but can also happen due to sudden injuries. Athletes who routinely reach up, such as tennis players and swimmers, have an increased risk of injuring the muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint.
- Impingement injuries occur when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the soft tissues beneath. Like rotator cuff injuries, impingement injuries occur when the arm is raised repeatedly, e.g. during swimming or tennis. These injuries often cause tendonitis and/or bursitis.
- Shoulder instability occurs when the rounded bone of the upper arm, the humerus, moves partially or completely out of the concave shoulder bone of the scapula so that the ball and socket connection is no longer in place. This dislocation, or subluxation, can involve tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is typically caused by racket sports like tennis in which the forearm is overused until small tears in the elbow tendons develop. These tears result in inflammation and pain on the outside of the elbow joint.
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), conversely, is due to repeated stress on the tendons on the inner part of the elbow. The tight grip of a golf club and repeated use of the wrist can cause pain in the forearm and wrist as well as inside the elbow joint.
- Pitcher’s elbow frequently occurs in young baseball players since it is a growth plate injury. Though most common in pitchers, it can manifest as inner elbow pain due to tendonitis in any player who often throws a ball.
- Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury can also be caused by repeated throwing, causing tears to the UCL that result in pain in the inner part of the elbow.
- Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome), causes pain or tenderness close to or under the kneecap (patella). Common in runners, it also affects those who bicycle or hike long distances.
- Meniscal tears do not always occur because of a single sudden twist or awkward pivot during a sport like basketball. Often, a number of such moves weaken the meniscal cartilage that serves as a shock absorber in the knee, until eventually, a tear occurs.
- Tendon tears around the knee happen in the same way during sports that involve running and jumping. These tears are more common in middle-aged plays since their tendons are more likely to show greater wear.
- Groin pulls can occur due to a quick side-to-side motion that strains the muscles of the inner thigh, but can also develop over time after a number of such movements have occurred. Groin pulls are common in sports like hockey, soccer, football, and baseball.
- Hamstring strains, like groin pulls, can occur in sports that involve a great deal of running, jumping, and sudden starts and stops. They involve pain at the back of the thigh and are common among basketball, football, and soccer players.
- Shin splints are caused by inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue along the shinbone (tibia), the large bone in the front of the lower leg. The pain of a shin splint may be felt on the inside or front of the lower leg and is most common in runners or hikers, especially those who just started a particularly tough regimen of exercise.
- Achilles tendonitis can be the result of cumulative stress. It affects the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, used during walking, running, jumping, and standing on the tips of your toes. Achilles tendonitis can be caused by repetitive irritation caused by stretching the tendon through repeated use until it tears. Players of sports that involve a lot of running, e.g. soccer or football, often precipitate Achilles tendonitis.
Contact Our Experienced Repetitive Stress Injury Doctors Today
As noted earlier, our physiatrists have a broad range of treatments that can help you heal quickly from sports-related repetitive stress injuries. Don’t suffer unnecessary pain or restricted mobility. Contact us now for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment by doctors who will treat you as a whole person, not an isolated body part.
We treat patients with repetitive stress injuries and other musculoskeletal problems at 5 locations throughout Long Island – Great Neck, East Meadow, Huntington, Lindenhurst, and Lawrence.