Opening day of the baseball season is today, Thursday, March 28. I noted this morning on the sports pages how many players will not be available for the start of the race owing to injuries sustained in Spring training. In the basketball coverage, from the get go of March Madness to now, most teams have been playing at times without a star owing to injury. Then there are the final weeks of hockey, will Chicago make the playoffs? Certainly, injury could play a major role. Next in line are the joggers, cyclists, tennis players, so on and so forth who will soon be unable to meet their recreational goals owing to tendon, muscle and ligament injury. With spring comes strains and sprains.

The term strain applies to the over stretching or tearing of muscles and tendons; while a sprain is the overstretching or tearing of a ligament. The most common location for a muscle strain is the hamstring; while the most common location for a sprain is at the ankle joint. Stretching muscle and tendon groups is the best prevention for strain. At this time of the year, especially for the weekend warriors, stretching strengthening and hydration are paramount for minimizing injury.

In spite of the best of fitness preparation and compliance, you feel that stabbing pain in your calf, in the back of the thigh, in your low back in the area of the shoulder. You may choose to take advantage of direct access to the physical therapist. Should you have a greater concern regarding the nature and severity of an injury, call for an orthopedic assessment. After a physical examination, the X-ray, Ultrasound or MRI may be ordered for a most accurate diagnosis or to grade the severity of injury. If and when, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, or a cortisone injection do not provide relatively short-term relief, it may be time to consider a regenerative medicine intervention. For sports injuries, Platelet Rich Plasma is increasingly proving effective in promoting healing, minimizing impairment, and allowing for the quickest return to highest levels of performance. The major determinant of success is the quality of the PRP as measured by either ratios of protein, platelet and cellular content; or by the actual platelet content of the plasma itself.

While in some clinics, Platelet Rich Plasma is produced by a blood draw and centrifuging, there is no standardization or quality control. In my practice, we create a known and standardized PRP. At the beginning, a finger stick is leads to a platelet count of the patient’s circulating blood. Next, the number is entered into a computer algorithm taking into account the proprietary kit being used as well as the ultimate platelet concentration and plasma volume following the centrifuging process.  A repeat platelet count is done prior to injection making sure that desired numbers have been reached. if not, we are able to adjust numbers and concentration to the sought-after target. In this way we can customize the platelet Rich Plasma for each patient’s needs. Once prepared, an ultrasound unit is employed to assist targeting and making sure the PRP is injected into the desired location; that is the site of injury. The procedure is standardized in our office but customized for the shoulder, elbow, hamstring or calf. On occasion, the process may have to be repeated in three to six weeks for maximum benefit. Don’t let an injury ruin your season; if usual and customary is not effective, call for an appointment.

For more information, visit https://sheinkopmd.com or call  (847) 390-7666 to schedule a consultation. 

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