Foot and Ankle Sports injuries can present quite a dilemma for our more ambitious patients. They know the injury is inhibiting their performance (and could become even worse!), but the thought of having to spend so much downtime healing certainly doesn’t appeal to them, either.
We understand this feeling quite well. As podiatrists, we hate to see our patients forced to be less active. Exercise not only strengthens and helps maintain healthy circulation to the feet, but it’s just plain good for your spirits and mental health as well!
That is why, whenever a patient comes to us with a foot and ankle sports injury, we always do our best to treat it faster and better.
What does this mean?
Treating a Sports Injury FASTER
This means optimizing the short-term results. We want you to get back to full strength and full activity as soon as possible. That often means utilizing techniques that can accelerate the healing process and relieve pain faster.
Treating a Sports Injury BETTER
This means optimizing the long-term results. We want to ensure that recovery is optimal and the chances of a similar injury in the future are as low as possible.
The elements of “faster” and “better” should be well balanced to provide the best treatment for a patient. What good is a speedy recovery if a patient is just as likely (or even more likely) to suffer the same type of injury again?
Also, the more that an injury does reoccur, the more likely it is to result in worse or more chronic consequences. Eventually, surgery might become the only effective means of finding relief – and that can have its own repercussions on performance.
Fortunately, our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois have a wealth of experience in treating sports injuries – as well as a range of advanced treatments you may not find at other practices. Athletes have placed their trust into us getting them back to action with fewer delays and less risk, and we never intend to let them down.
The Ways We Treat Faster and Better
There is no one sports injury treatment plan that is best for everybody. Every patient has different conditions and different needs that must be properly addressed for best results.
So, before ever making any recommendations for treatment, our first step is to fully evaluate the situation and learn more about how it is affecting your life. The more we understand at the start, the better a path to treatment we can lay out. It’s not only good practice, but it often saves us plenty of time later on as well.
A treatment plan can consist of many different elements, ranging from simple rest and stretching to more advanced treatments and techniques. When we want to emphasize faster recovery and/or lower chances of reinjury, we might recommend one or more of the following:
Pro sports teams have employed Aquaroll therapy to help their players recover from injuries quicker, and we are proud to offer this treatment to our patients as well.
Aquaroll therapy sessions consist of submerging an injured foot or ankle into a basin of warm water filled with 30,000 glass beads. These beads then roll and vibrate around the foot, relieving pain and inflammation while stimulating increased blood flow to cells that need to conduct repairs.
Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy
MLS laser therapy has similar goals to EPAT in terms of stimulating positive natural healing and recovery responses within the body. But instead of using pressure waves, MLS uses specific wavelengths of light energy to cause a response.
MLS is also most effective on soft tissue injuries, including those to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
Also known as “shockwave therapy,” EPAT uses high-energy pressure waves to stimulate natural recovery responses in the area of an injury. It does not involve an electric current passing through you.
When the pressure waves hit within the area of an injury, it creates a mild inflammatory disruption. This signals the body to respond in several beneficial ways, increasing blood flow and sometimes even creating new capillaries so cells have more efficient access to the nutrients, growth factors, and other elements they need in the blood.
EPAT tends to be most effective for soft tissue injuries, including Achilles tendinitis, neuromas, and muscle strains.
As part of a soundly structured recovery plan, StaminaPro patches can aid in relieving inflammation as a patient builds back to full strength.
Each patch contains elements from multiple remedies known to reduce inflammation, including amino acids, magnesium, and Vitamin D. A single patch can provide results for up to 24 hours once applied and is water-resistant, meaning you can wear it in the shower and while swimming.
A pair of custom orthotic inserts can redistribute weight across the feet and ankles as you move. This can not only provide vulnerable areas a better opportunity to recover, but long-term use can also reduce the chances of an injury occurring in the same area.
A Sports Injury Treatment Plan for Now and the Future
Being faster and better at sports injury treatment means having an effective plan and following it through properly.
While we have described some of the advanced treatments we use above, remember that they will not always be part of every treatment plan. What we recommend, and how long such treatments should be used, can differ from patient to patient based on their individual needs.
But you can be assured that we will do all we can to get you back into the game quickly, and with less risk of reinjury or complications. Taking care of sports injuries promptly is always a good investment in your future performance!
Schedule an appointment by calling our area locations, or click our “Same Day Appointment” button to reach us electronically.