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. 

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Common Regenerative Treatments for Sports Injuries

Common Regenerative Treatments for Sports Injuries

The old adage among athletes is “No pain, no gain.”  Sure, sore muscles after a hard workout are to be expected, but according to the National Safety Council, sports-related exercise accounted for nearly 800,000 injuries among adults in 2017.

These included injuries sustained from:

  • Cycling
  • Exercise with equipment
  • Racket sports
  • Recreational basketball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming

Post-exercise soreness can occur up to 1-2 days after an exercise. However, if severe pain occurs during the exercise or immediately after, and if it progressively worsens and limits daily activities, you should seek consultation for a possible injury.

Breakthrough Options for Treating Sports Injuries

Regenerative medicine specialists can offer a number of options to treat sports-related injuries such as:

  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tendinitis, Tendon tears, such as rotator cuff tears
  • Hip and shoulder labral tears
  • Ligament tears
  • Meniscus tears
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciiosis
  • Repetitive stress injuries

How Regenerative Medicine Treats Sports Injuries

Regenerative medicine uses state-of-the-art technology to maximize your body’s innate healing capacity. It uses your own cells to treat injuries in the joint cartilage, tendons or ligaments.

  • Cell based treatments use cells derived from your own bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue. These tissues contain adult stem cells and many other healing cells. When they are reinjected into an injured area they initiate healing. These cells produce molecules that direct cells to form new blood vessels, reduce inflammation, stimulate stem cells and encourage the formation of healthy tissue.


  • Platelet Rich Plasma puts the healing properties of your own blood to work to heal damaged joints, tendons and muscles. Platelet cells from the blood release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair.  The plasma carries hormones, electrolytes, proteins and nutrients that nourish cells during the healing process.  PRP is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.  To be effective, these treatments are customized to your specific medical condition. When performed correctly, PRP can bring pain relief and healing of injuries such as tennis elbow, tendon tears and osteoarthritis within weeks.


  • Prolotherapy also known as Proliferative Therapy uses dextrose solutions and other natural substances to stimulate a healing response in chronically injured ligament, tendon or joints. The treatment can strengthen ligaments, improve stability and relieve pain. Scientific studies have demonstrated prolotherapy can be effective in treating tendinopathy, ligament sprains, tennis elbow, joint laxity, plantar fasciitis and osteoarthritis.

The “X” Factors

Great athletes are often said to possess the “X” factor, that special variable that influences successful outcomes. The same can be said of regenerative medicine treatments. The most successful regenerative treatments have the following “X” factors:

  • Autologous source: Regenerative products that come from your own body (autologous) have been proven to be safe and effective in peer-reviewed research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently does not allow the use of donor stem cell products derived from amniotic fluid or other fetal tissues to treat orthopedic conditions. These products pose a risk of disease transmission or immune reaction. Moreover, these donor tissues do not to contain living stem cells, as opposed to what is claimed by the companies that market these products.
  • Customized treatment: The best outcomes occur when your own cells and platelet rich plasma are prepared using the most advanced protocols to create a treatment that is customized to your specific injury.
  • Targeted delivery: To maximize effectiveness, these regenerative treatments should be delivered under image guidance with fluoroscopy (x-ray) or ultrasound to ensure precise delivery to the injured area.  Only physicians with fellowship training in advanced image guided procedures are certified to perform these procedures.
  • Expert physicians: If you are considering regenerative medicine for the treatment of your spine or joint condition, seek a board certified physician who specializes in treating orthopedic injuries and has advanced training in regenerative medicine.  These physicians are best suited to obtain the best results employing the latest research, technology and safety protocols.

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group together have successfully treated thousands of patients with PRP and cell-based therapies for more than three decades. They are published authors and stem cell researchers.  Their facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest level of safety and efficacy.,players%20have%20generated%20national%20headlines.


Top 10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Top 10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Runners, joggers, baseball players, golfers, dancers, and gymnasts are all prone to sports injuries; however, sports injuries are not limited to athletes – anyone may obtain a sports injury. But, for those who frequently participate in physically demanding activities, it can be very frustrating to get injured.

Sports injuries are often a combination of cartilage, ligament, tendon, and muscle damage – whether it be a ligament tear or partial tear or a sprain. Don’t let the pain from the injury persist; the longer you wait to receive help, the more damage you may cause to the injured area and the longer it will take for you to get back to the sport you love. Here are the top ten tips for preventing sports injuries.

Always Warm Up

A warm-up routine prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and warming up your muscles.

Always Cool Down

It is just as important to cool down after a game and get plenty of rest.  Rest helps to avoid fatigue and also increase mental and physical alertness. Lack of sleep may predispose you to injury.

Make Sure to Stretch

Stretching is important before any sport or physical activity.  A combination of both static and dynamic stretches during warm ups will help loosen the muscles. It can be detrimental to stretch cold muscles.  Make sure you do a light warm up before stretching before and after exercise. This can be as simple as jogging in place.

Use Proper Technique

Consult with coaches or other experienced players to ensure you are using proper technique in your sport or exercise of choice.

Use Proper Sports Equipment

Wear and use properly fitting/sized sports equipment. This includes everything from your shoes, to your baseball glove, to your safety helmet.

Don’t Overtrain

Increase your activity level gradually over time. If you are learning a new technique today, don’t overwork yourself trying to become an expert in a day. Instead of pushing yourself too hard in one day, train for shorter periods of time over multiple days.

Balanced Training

Make sure you include cardio, strength training and stretching exercises in your weekly training routine. Changing up your routine can help minimize overuse injuries. You want to make sure to avoid continuously putting stress on the same joints

Good Nutrition

Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet. You want to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.  Having a well-nourished body is important during physical activity.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

Drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity. Hydration is even more important on hot and humid days.  If exercising strenuously, liquids with electrolytes can be beneficial.  However, carbonated, sugary and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Get a Pre-Season Exam

A pre-season exam is a great preventative measure to take before the start of your season.


If you are suffering from a sports injury, we can help! Call us at 760-909-2355 today!

Problems Young Athletes Need to Be Aware Of

Problems Young Athletes Need to Be Aware Of

Participating in sports has a number of benefits for young athletes, but it also has its hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that over 2.6 million children 19 and under end up being treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports injuries. A sports injury can affect males and females of all ages and athletic levels. It can keep you on the sidelines for weeks or months on end, and that’s simply not acceptable for most athletes. Here are a few problems young athletes need to be aware of.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are a very common type of sports injury. A sprain is an injury to a ligament—a band of tissue that connects bones to a joint—while a strain involves muscles and/or tendons. A strain involving a muscle is sometimes called a “pulled muscle.” Sprains and strains are common injuries in almost any sport.

Elbow Injuries

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are extremely common overuse sports injuries. They cause pain around the elbow joint and are generally seen in athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive wrist extension and twisting, such as tennis, golf and baseball. Symptoms of elbow injuries are pain, stiffness, tingling or numbness, and pain when gripping or lifting.

Shoulder Injuries

If your sport requires repetitive overhead movements—such as swimming, tennis and baseball—your shoulder is at risk There are many different treatment methods available for shoulder pain, most of which offer helpful yet short-term solutions. If you are looking for a long-term solution that will help heal your shoulder, our regenerative medicine therapies may be the right choice for you.

ACL Injuries

An ACL injury is a type of sprain, affecting the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. A torn ACL of any grade is caused by sudden twisting of the knee. Sudden changes in direction while running or falling on one’s knee can also cause a torn ACL. The ACL injury has three grades:

  • Grade I is the least severe. The ligament is stretched but not torn, and there is only a little tenderness and swelling. The knee does not feel unstable or give out when being used.
  • In Grade II, the ligament is partially torn, and there is moderate swelling and tenderness. The knee may give out when being used.
  • A Grade III injury is the most severe. The ligament is completely torn or ruptured, but there is surprisingly little pain. The amount of swelling can vary from a little to a lot. The ligament cannot control the knee, so it will feel unstable and give out.

Girls are more susceptible to torn ACLs than boys. Basketball players, soccer players and football players are particularly vulnerable.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

A young athlete can also be prone to repetitive motion injuries like stress fractures or tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon). This type of sports injury is caused by overuse of the affected muscle, bone and/or tendon. About 50 percent of all sports injuries treated by doctors are repetitive motion injuries. Tendinitis and bursitis (inflammation of a bursa) are the most common types. Repetitive motion injuries are most common in the knees, elbows, shoulders and heels. 

We are dedicated to providing excellent pain relief and complete, natural healing.  We do not simply focus on your symptoms, because only comprehensive care will produce long-lasting results. Our team of physicians, therapists and educators will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that results in quicker recovery and enhanced physical performance.  Once you have recovered from your spine or joint injury, we will provide education, exercise training and nutritional support to help you become stronger and healthier than ever before. Call us today to schedule an appointment. 760-483-9060

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