Sports medicine deals with injuries and chronic conditions related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. If you have a knee, elbow, shoulder, or similar joint injury, you can see a Southwest sports medicine doctor, whether you are an athlete or not. At Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ, we are happy to treat patients of all ages.
We can offer you a wide variety of treatments. When you first come in, we will diagnose your condition and help you adjust your lifestyle, so you can recover as quickly as possible. We might also suggest regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma injections. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to regain mobility and prevent long-term conditions.
Is “Sports Medicine” Only for Athletes?
The goal of sports medicine is to help people recover from accidents or overuse injuries that happened while the patient was physically active. It isn’t a specialty in itself. Instead, most sports medicine doctors are trained in family medicine, internal medicine, or a similar specialty. They work with professional athletes, but also with regular people who work out in their spare time, children who play sports, and people who have physically demanding jobs.
At Mattalino Orthopaedic, we accept patients from a wide variety of backgrounds. We can treat you if you have a problem with your elbow, shoulder, knee, or another joint. Dr. Mattalino will always try minimally invasive techniques first, so you don’t have to undergo surgery. However, he will operate on you if this is necessary to restore the function of your joint and help you get back to your regular activity.
You Hurt Yourself While at Work
Almost anyone can suffer from an orthopedic condition related to their work. Overuse injuries are most common in people whose work is very physical. Employees in the construction industry, nurses and other healthcare workers, farm workers, car mechanics, gardeners, and cleaners often have to do a lot of lifting, bending, and twisting as part of their jobs, so they are particularly at risk.
But even people who work desk jobs can develop conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or shoulder pain, usually due to bad posture, too much time spent sitting, or repetitive movements. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a sports medicine doctor if you feel that your job is causing you problems. Your physician can recommend lifestyle changes, such as switching chairs or improving your posture, that can reduce your risk of further injury.
You Got Injured During a Workout
Working out is good for you because it keeps your body in shape and prevents many chronic conditions like heart disease. In fact, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly can expect to live 3.4 years longer than those who lead a more sedentary life. However, moving your body can be risky because it increases your chance of an injury, especially if you are trying something new or using gym equipment without the help of a personal trainer.
The most common gym injuries include pulled and strained muscles, sprained ankles, shoulder or knee injuries, shin splints, and tendinitis. Your sports medicine doctor in Phoenix, AZ will be happy to help you recover from your injury and discuss how to prevent a recurrence.
You Got Injured in an Accident
Millions of people are injured in road accidents, slip and fall accidents, and accidents in the home every year. Often, the injuries are mild, and they can be treated at home. But if your pain doesn’t go away within a few days, reach out to a doctor. You might have sprained a ligament or even broken a bone. Your Southwest sports medicine doctor can let you know whether your condition will heal on its own or whether you need additional support.
What Can a Southwest Sports Medicine Doctor Do for You?
The best sports medicine doctors will help you to recover from your injury faster, and they will try to prevent long-term damage. To get started, they will speak to you about what happened and diagnose your condition. Then, they might ask you to make some changes, such as resting your leg or changing the way you move throughout the day. If they believe that you have a postural issue, they might refer you to a physio.
Many injuries don’t get better with rest and ice alone, so you might need to be treated. At Mattalino Orthopaedics, we always try to use minimally invasive methods like injections, since these don’t require a lengthy recovery time. We also perform keyhole surgery, called arthroscopy.
Diagnose Your Condition
The first step towards recovery is finding out exactly what the problem is. Your doctor will start by asking you about what happened, how long you’ve been in pain, and what movements make your symptoms worse. They will also want to see your medical records and a list of medications you take, so be sure to bring the necessary documentation to the clinic.
Once you’ve told us about your symptoms, we will do an x-ray, MRI, or similar imaging study to check what is going on inside your joint. We might also palpate your injury to see whether it is swollen and where exactly the pain is located.
Help You Adjust Your Lifestyle
Often, injuries can be healed with simple lifestyle adjustments. If you’re experiencing pain due to repetitive strain, we might ask you to temporarily stop performing the activities that are causing the issue. You might also have to see a physio, who can analyze your posture and gait and then teach you better movement patterns.
People with an acute injury will need to rest for several weeks and months before resuming physical activity. They could also benefit from icing their joint, elevating it, and wearing a compression garment. Over-the-counter painkillers can be used temporarily, but they shouldn’t be taken for more than ten days at a time.
Prescribe Minimally Invasive Treatments
Regenerative treatments, which are usually administered in the form of an injection, aim to support and speed up your body’s natural healing mechanism. In the beginning, they were used to treat professional athletes’ injuries, so they could get back to their sport more quickly. But nowadays, everyone can benefit from regenerative medicine.
One of the most common regenerative injections is based on platelet-rich plasma, a substance derived from the patient’s own body. Platelets are powerful healing agents because they release growth factors that prompt the formation of new cells. When a large concentration of them is delivered to the site of your injury, your body will have a much easier time healing your tissues.
Sometimes, minimally invasive treatments aren’t enough, especially after an acute or traumatic injury. We will always use the most gentle method possible, so you don’t have to spend more time recovering than absolutely necessary. A particularly popular form of surgery is arthroscopy, which involves making a small incision in your skin and inserting a small device into your joint.
This can be used as a diagnostic tool, to find out what exactly is going on in the joint, or as a way to accurately repair your tissues without having to perform a major operation. A wide range of injuries can be treated with arthroscopy, including rotator cuff problems, damaged ACLs, and knee microfractures.
How Can I Find a Good Sports Medicine Doctor in Phoenix, AZ?
To find a highly qualified sports medicine doctor, check the websites of clinics in your area. The best physicians will have a good educational background and several years of experience in sports medicine. They might also be members of professional organizations such as the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and they might have worked with professional sports teams like USA Baseball.
Once you’ve found someone suitable, you can reach out to them either by phone or via the online contact form and book an initial consultation. Come early to your appointment, so you have time to fill out the necessary paperwork. Depending on your condition, you might only need to come in once, or you might need to have several appointments.
Get Your Injury Diagnosed and Treated Now
Sports medicine is for everyone, from top athletes to construction workers who got injured on the job. If you have a joint injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Southwest sports medicine doctor. Call us at Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ to book your initial consultation. Dr. Mattalino will perform imaging studies to find out what injury you have and then come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.