During the summertime, people flock to golf courses and tennis courts to exercise and enjoy the warm weather. But with this uptick in activity, comes an increase in sports injuries.
There are two common types of injuries athletes experience
According to Jeffrey LaVallee, MD, sports medicine director at the Hartford HealthCare Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, there are two common types of injuries that athletes experience:
- Acute injuries, generally happen suddenly, and result in lots of swelling and inflammation (e.g. ankle sprains or ACL tears).
- Chronic injuries, which develop over time, often due to overuse (e.g. golfers or tennis elbow).
Treatment for acute injuries
If you experience an acute injury, Dr. LaVallee recommends RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to reduce swelling and inflammation.
“If you’re having significant bruising or swelling, it is important to get evaluated at a clinic or have imaging to make sure that the injury isn’t severe,” Dr. LaVallee said.
Treatment for chronic injuries
For those with chronic overuse injuries, a variety of at-home treatments can help including non-steroid anti-inflammatories like Tylenol or the use of supportive braces.
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatories like Tylenol
Dr. Lavallee also recommended physical therapy, offered by the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, which uses methods such as manual therapy, heat treatment and individualized exercise plans. Physical therapy patients also have access to state-of-the-art treatments, such as musculoskeletal ultrasound.
“The advantage is the ability to access the tendon or ligament injury, often within the first visit, leading to better outcomes,” Dr. LaVallee said.