Signs and Symptoms of a Sports Injury

Signs and Symptoms of a Sports Injury

Two Types of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are injuries that happen when playing sports. Anyone is liable to find themselves injured from sports; there is no age limit for sports-related injuries. People may not know that there are two types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly and are instantly recognizable, such as a sprained ankle. Chronic injuries are injuries that occur from playing sports for an extended period of time or overuse, such as tendinosis or other inflammatory conditions. 

Signs of a Sports Injury

Some of the most common symptoms of a sports-related injury include…

  • Sudden and/or severe pain
  • Swelling 
  • Joint or bone that is visibly out of place
  • Inability to put weight on knee, ankle, foot, or leg
  • Extreme tenderness at injury site
  • Inability to move joint normally
  • Pain while playing
  • Dull, ongoing ache even while resting 

The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains. Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the bands that connect the bones in a joint. Suddenly overstretching ligaments can deform or tear them, resulting in a sprain. Strains are injuries to the actual muscle fibers or tendons that anchor the muscle to the bone. Strains are also called pulled muscles and the name is fitting. Similarly to sprains, strains are also caused by overstretching or overusing a muscle which results in tearing the muscle fibers. 

Treatment and Prevention of a Sports Injury

Most sport-related injuries are treated with the RICE method…

  • Rest – decrease regular activity and rest the injury
  • Ice – apply an ice pack to the injury for 20 minutes up to eight times per day
  • Compression – apply even pressure on the injured area to reduce swelling
  • Elevation – put a pillow under the injury site to raise it at a level above the heart if possible

Doctors may also recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, to help relieve pain and decrease swelling. An immobilizer such as a sling, splint, or cast may also be given to the patient to promote faster healing and prevent more damage from being done to the injured area. For more serious injuries, such as ACL tears, rehabilitation therapy and/or surgery may be required. 

Not all sports injuries are preventable, but surprisingly, many of them are. Individuals can be at higher risk of injuries by participating in activities they are not conditioned for. Skipping out on warm-ups can also result in injuries. Even a gentle warm-up will increase blood flow to the muscles, give your body more flexibility, and can help decrease injuries. 

Avoiding overuse is another easy way to avoid injury. For example, if you havent played baseball in several years, avoid going to a batting cage for two hours. Recognize when you are fatigued and stop at that point. Dont feel the need to push your body past its limit. Light training or daily exercise leading up to your sports activities can help prevent sprains, strains, and dislocations. 

Sports injuries are common and treatable. If you find yourself injured from a sports-related accident, follow the RICE method and your doctors orders to achieve a quick recovery. 

SDOMG specializes in sport rehabilitation and helping patients get back to the activities they love most. Fill out the form below to get started today: 

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7 Facts About Chronic Back Pain

7 Facts About Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is common. So common that many of us just grin and bear it. We write it off as old age or bad posture.

Lower back pain reveals itself in many ways. It can be a deep, dull ache in your lower back. Or it can feel like tightness and spasms in and around that area. It can also be a stinging pain or accompanied by numbness or tingling in your legs or feet. No matter how it feels for you, lower back pain hurts. 

7 Facts About Chronic Back Pain

1) There are several causes…

There are several causes of back pain. Some are minor and temporary, but others show a more serious, long-term problem. Causes can include:

  • Muscle and ligament strain
  • Bulging disks 
  • Arthritis 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sacroiliac joint inflammation
  • Infection
  • Tumors

If you’re unsure of the cause of your back pain, it’s important to find the right diagnosis. This will let you and your care team know which treatment will work best for you.

2) … and a lot of risk factors

While many of us can, and will, develop lower back pain, there are some risk factors we can avoid to lessen the likelihood or severity of the disorder. These risk factors include:

  • Lifting objects incorrectly can cause strain on your lower back
  • Lack of exercise weakens the muscles in your abdomen and back
  • Being overweight adds extra stress to your back
  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are linked to a higher risk for lower back pain
  • Smoking can decrease blood flow to the spine as well as increase coughing, which strains the lower back

3) You can avoid little triggers

We can make several slight changes to ease the strain on our lower backs. They may seem like minor changes, but their benefits add up.

  • Use a chair with good lower back support
  • Arrange your monitor, keyboard, and other office equipment directly in front of you so you’re not twisting or sitting at an angle
  • Take a 20 second break to stand up and stretch every 10 minutes to loosen up your joints and muscles
  • Avoid tight clothing such as jeans that are too tight which can get in the way of moving, sitting, and bending normally
  • Ditch those high heels for a heel that’s an inch or less. This keeps your center of gravity where it should be and avoids your body from compensating

4) You’re not alone

The Mayo Clinic reports that within the past three months, 1 out of 4 adults have reported experiencing back pain. More than that, over 80% of us will experience lower back pain in our lives. It’s also the second most common reason people have for visiting their doctor.

That’s a lot of people struggling with pain. Suffering from lower back pain can feel isolating, so it’s worth remembering that you’re not alone. Reach out to your doctor or look for support groups in your area to find that bit of extra support from those who understand your pain.

5) Be careful of opioids

It’s all too easy to rely on medication to treat lower back pain. However, pain relief pills, especially opioids, only treat the symptom and not the cause. Opioids include oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, and morphine. Using and abusing opioids often leads to addiction problems and sometimes even fatal overdoses. 

If you find yourself struggling to manage your opioid medications or feel that you depend on them, reach out to your doctor or other health care professional for more information and advice.

6) There are a range of treatments available

There are several treatment options available besides medications which include:

  • Physical therapy and conditioning exercise programs
  • Weight loss
  • Proper footwear 
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Sacroiliac joint Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections 
  • Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) injections
  • Prolotherapy injections

7) SDOMG can help

At San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group, we offer a range of treatments, including the procedures listed above. We also offer medication management and education. Our focus is on interventional pain procedures as well as medication support to help control and relieve pain. Get in touch today, using the form below:

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Treating Achilles Tendonitis

Treating Achilles Tendonitis

If you have been feeling tenderness, pain, or discomfort around your ankle, you may be suffering from Achilles tendinitis.

What is Achilles Tendinitis?

The body’s largest tendon is the Achilles tendon. It joins your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when walking, climbing stairs, standing on your tiptoes, running and jumping. The Achilles tendon can endure plenty of stress from jumping and running, but it is also prone to tendinitis, which is a condition that results from overuse.

Achilles tendinitis refers to the irritation and inflammation of this large tendon. This condition exists in two forms:

  • Insertional Achilles tendinitis is when the lower section of your tendon, which connects to the heel bone, is affected. 
  • Noninsertional Achilles tendinitis is common among active adults; this condition involves inflammation and possibly small tears in the fibers of the central region of your tendon. 


The most common symptoms associated with Achilles tendinitis are:

  • Pain along the tendon or back of the heel that intensifies with movement
  • Morning stiffness and pain along the Achilles tendon 
  • Localized swelling that gets worse as the day progresses
  • Severe discomfort experienced the next day after exercising

If you feel a sudden “pop” in the back of your leg or heel, you may have torn (ruptured) your Achilles tendon. In this case, visit your doctor right away.

What Causes Achilles Tendinitis?

Repetitive stress on the tendon causes Achilles tendinitis. However, other factors can increase the risk of developing tendinitis. They include: 

  • Increased volume or intensity of workouts without providing your body time to adjust. 
  • Tight calf muscles –The Achilles tendon might be overworked if your calf muscles are tight and you start an intense training routine all of a sudden.
  • Bone spurs where the Achilles tendon joins the heel bone; extra bone growth might rub against the tendon, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Abnormal biomechanics such as having high or low foot arches (“flat feet”) can affect the load on the tendon.
  • Obesity can also cause increased load on the tendon.

Treatment Options

Once diagnosed with Achilles tendinitis, there are several treatment options to consider with your doctor. They range from simple rest and anti-inflammatory prescriptions to more invasive procedures such as injections or surgery.

Common conservative treatments for Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Applying ice to the affected region when in pain or after exercising
  • Elevating your foot to reduce swelling
  • Resting and minimizing physical activity
  • Using a walking boot or brace to avoid heel movement 
  • Using oral or topical anti-inflammatory medicines such as NSAIDs 
  • Shifting to low-impact workouts, like swimming
  • Doing gentle stretches followed by calf muscle strengthening exercises
  • Going to physical therapy
  • Kinesio-taping can help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Wearing orthotics (heel lifts) designed with a built-up heel to help relieve tension on the Achilles tendon
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

Ultrasound-guided injection therapies:

  • Steroid injections – in some occasions a low dose of steroids may be considered to treat acute inflammation around the tendon, however, it is not recommended to treat tendinosis or tendinopathy (which is a chronic degeneration of the tendon). Steroids should not be injected into the tendon.
  • Cell therapies including Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections in which a high concentration of platelets, derived from the patient’s own blood, release growth factors and proteins that promote healing, inhibit inflammation and promote collagen and blood vessel formation. These injections can also be used to treat tendinosis and tendon tears.

Depending on the condition’s location and severity, you may have to undergo Achilles tendon surgery. The surgery may involve:

  • Gastrocnemius recession (lengthening of the calf muscles)
  • Tendon repair
  • Moving another tendon to the heel bone to strengthen the region
  • Removing the damaged tendon tissue, bone spurs, or both

Seek Help

After proper home treatment and some rest, the acute symptoms of Achilles tendinitis tend to go away after a few days. However, if the pain lingers for weeks, or you suspect that you have a torn tendon, contact us immediately. 

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Dr. Rogers and Dr. Ambach provided an educational presentation to Fellow Physicians on the use of Orthobiologics for Osteoarthritis and Tendinopathy

Dr. Rogers and Dr. Ambach provided an educational presentation to Fellow Physicians on the use of Orthobiologics for Osteoarthritis and Tendinopathy

Dr. Rogers and Dr. Ambach educated Other Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialists in San Diego on the use of PRP and Cell-Based Therapies derived from Bone Marrow Concentrate and Adipose Tissue. The physicians at San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group are passionate in advancing the field of Regenerative medicine through physician training, research, and technology innovations. They enjoy educating their colleagues and patients alike on these state-of-the-art treatments.

Stem Cell Research Presentation

Ask the Docs: Achilles Tendon Injuries

Ask the Docs: Achilles Tendon Injuries

Ask the Docs

Facebook Live Series

Live Question and Answer session with Regenerative Experts

Topic: Achilles Tendon Injuries

Date and Time: August 11, 2021. 12:30 PT

Join us on our Free Facebook Live Series called Ask the Docs. In this session, San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group physician will answer your questions on Achilles tendon injuries including tendinitis, tendinopathy and tendon tear.

If you missed our Facebook Live Event, you can watch it here:


Using Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds

Using Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds

Orthopedic specialists often rely on imaging studies to get an “inside look” at the source of their patients’ pain. These studies include X-ray, MRI and CT scan imaging. Another imaging modality that has been instrumental in Regenerative medicine is Musculoskeletal ultrasound. 

Ultrasounds capture images of the body’s tissues by using harmless high-frequency sound waves. It offers several distinct advantages to practitioners who treat orthopedic injuries.

How Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Is Different

  • Muscle, tendon, ligament and joint movements can be assessed in real time.
  • Tendon and ligament tears that are often missed with MRIs can be accurately diagnosed.
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound provides guidance which provides for greater accuracy, safety and comfort when performing joint, tendon and nerve injections.
  • The healing effects of regenerative Platelet Rich Plasma or Cell-based therapeutic injections can be monitored and confirmed.

Not all orthopedic specialists are trained to perform musculoskeletal ultrasound. Dr. Chris Rogers and Dr. Mary Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group are specially trained in using musculoskeletal ultrasound to accurately diagnose and treat orthopedic conditions. They have a collective experience of more than 20 years in the use of this modality in the treatment of thousands of patients. Dr Rogers has the RMSK musculoskeletal ultrasonography certification and both physicians have mentored and trained physicians all over the world in the use of ultrasound in the practice of Regenerative medicine.

Why Don’t All Orthopedic Practices Use MSK?

It takes time, training and skills to learn the practice of musculoskeletal ultrasound. Once proficient, practitioners can take it one step further and get registered in musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging. To get the certification, practitioners must complete a rigorous exam and provide documentation of their clinical musculoskeletal ultrasound experience.[i] 

The technology is expensive. San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group has made a significant investment in the most advanced ultrasound equipment available. Our diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound lab provides the most detailed visualization possible of joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. Combined with our medical expertise, this means SDOMG patients receive precise diagnoses and targeted treatments that deliver the powerful healing properties of orthobiologics right to the source of their pain and injury.


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