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Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - Dispelling The Myths About Sports Medicine Therapy

Dispelling the myths about sports medicine therapy

By Dhimant Balar, D.O.

As a sports medicine physician, my job is to take a total body approach to treat athletes and the general population in order to diagnose the root cause of musculoskeletal injuries. For example, a runner with back pain may come in for treatment of that area of the body. Often, however, the origin of the back pain is the result of an injury in another part of the body. I don’t just treat injuries resulting from sports ─ I also help athletes understand how to prevent injuries. A significant part of my practice is devoted to helping patients who have sustained injuries through repetitive movements or suffer from an acute muscle or joint injury that is not healing properly. The vast majority of sports-related injuries do not require surgery.

Sports Medicine Treatment Specialties

The most common conditions sports medicine specialists treat include injuries to the joints (knees, shoulders, hips and feet), lower-back pain, stress fractures, and soft-tissue injuries (anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, rotator cuff, tendonitis). They also provide concussion management as well as general disease prevention. 

How Do We Treat Your Injury?

Today, there are several high-quality treatments to help patients recover from musculoskeletal injuries more safely and faster than ever. Most importantly, every patient’s pain must be treated individually, based upon their age, physical condition and medical history. Some treatments may include exercise and activity programs; others may incorporate other specialized therapies such as customized bracing; injection therapy; and osteopathic manipulation therapy (using the hands to diagnose and treat illness and injury). People suffering from chronic conditions may wish to explore complementary and alternative therapies as well. Some patients, however, might require surgical intervention.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Torn tendons, muscles and ligaments plague athletes in most sports. A newer treatment that has proven very successful to heal damaged tissues is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. I continue to be very pleased with positive patient outcomes, as a result. To perform this treatment, I take a small vial of a patient’s blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from other components. This refined plasma is then injected at the patient’s injury site so that the growth factors contained in these platelets secrete into the damaged tissue and help to speed tissue recovery.

When you sustain a musculoskeletal injury, don’t delay seeking medical care. When left untreated, these conditions are often worsened by re-injury. Best of all, in most cases, your injury and pain might be successfully treated without any need for surgery.

The Spine Institute of Central NJ is one of only 15 certified spine centers in the U.S. and one of only two in New Jersey certified by the world renowned McKenzie Institute International. Specially-trained, board-certified physicians specialize in the treatment and relief of several types of acute and chronic pain. They take a team approach to each patient’s care by partnering with primary care physicians, specialists and clinicians to offer a customized treatment plan. CentraState Sports Performance and Physical Therapy offers specially trained sports medicine physical therapists that specialize in performance training and injury prevention. For more information, call (732) 637-6316 or visit centrastate.com/spine.

       Dr. Dhimant Balar is a board-certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine physician specializing in non-surgical orthopedic medicine. He is associate director of the Spine Institute of Central NJ located at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold. He can be reached at DBNJ Sports Medicine Specialists, with offices in Freehold and Iselin, by calling (732) 677-3733.