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Sports Medicine Vs. Physical Therapy

Sports Medicine vs. Physical Therapy

What exactly is a sports medicine specialist, and how is one different from a physical therapist?

Sports Medicine

Sports medicine’s goal is to treat and prevent injuries, within the context of sports. A sports medicine specialist understands the movements and physical demands that each sport requires. For example, if you play volleyball, a sports medicine doctor will have a better understanding of the cause of your injury than another doctor, because he or she knows the required physical motions of volleyball.

When it comes to treatment, a sports medicine doctor will recommend the treatment best for recovering and returning to the same motions as before in volleyball (or soccer, football, etc.) Additionally, a sports medicine specialist will work with you and teach you the proper body mechanics to use in your sport, with the goal of preventing further injury.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work with anyone – regardless of age or sports involvement – to aid in recovering from an injury. Oftentimes sports medicine specialists will send their patients to a physical therapist – and vice versa. Aside from the sports focus, the main difference between the two fields is that a sports medicine specialist offers a variety of treatments, including surgery. Physical therapy, on the other hand, uses only stretching and strengthening exercises and tools to help foster orthopedic recovery.

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Injections

Trigger Point Injections vs. Epidural Steroid Injections

Dealing with persistent muscle pain is never easy, especially when over-the-counter pain medication, relaxation techniques, or even physical therapy don’t seem to relieve the pain for long. Cortisone injections for pain relief are a solid course of action after prior methods have failed, and an ideal non-invasive treatment option before considering surgery. Two common pain relief injections include Trigger point and epidural steroid injections.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger points, small knots found in muscles or fascia tissue, can often lead to sensations of chronic pain or tenderness. Trigger point injections are delivered directly into the trigger point in order to relieve various musculoskeletal disorders. Patients undergoing symptoms of fibromyalgia, tension headaches, or myofascial pain may find trigger point injections to be highly helpful.

Epidural Steroid injections

Epidural Steroid injections (ESI) are used to reduce swelling and inflammation in order to relieve muscle pain. This anti-inflammatory medicine is injected into the area surrounding the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Epidural steroid injections are useful in treating many conditions including but not limited to, sciatica, arthritis, degenerative disc disorders, and lumbar spinal stenosis.

Both trigger point injections and epidural steroid injections offer relief for muscle pain and inflammation. If you are experiencing chronic muscle pain please visit your doctor to see if cortisone injections are a viable option for you.

OSC offers cortisone injections for various muscle pains, including lower back pain and arthritis.

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