What is the “return to play” phase in the rehabilitation of an athlete?

What is the “return to play” phase in the rehabilitation of an athlete?

The rehabilitation of an athlete includes a readjustment to practice, which is a personalized and multidisciplinary process to prepare the competitor to return with the same level of performance after an injury.

First, the athlete is evaluated in detail according to the mechanism and area of injury, questioning what the risk factors were, what the treatment possibilities are (time, cost, place), and even if it is necessary to consult with other professionals such as nutritionists or sport psychologists. Subsequently, a treatment plan is carried out, which is divided into phases for the optimization of results.

  • Phase 1: It consists of a basic training that begins after healing of the injury or after surgery to maintain the movement of the body and physical condition.
  • Phase 2: At the end of the first phase, training for basic general strength and proprioception follows. This also helps reinforce the area of injury.
  • Phase 3: In this phase the exercise becomes more specific and is based on including coordination and more resistance in the training, this only done once the objectives of the previous phases have been completed.
  • Phase 4: Finally, the last phase is the athlete’s return to normal and routine practice.

This plan of action is known as ¨Return to play¨, the main concept is to be able to return the athlete to their practice or competition without putting their health at risk. This within rehabilitation brings several benefits such as comprehensive and monitored care, damage reduction, timely recovery, and care for the athlete’s career. This is essential, especially in young athletes.

Although this management includes different health professionals, it is always important to go to your sports medicine doctor for evaluation and planning, since they will supervise this process and will know the necessary parameters to evaluate and treatment depending on the sport you do, the intensity with which you exercise, and your requirements to improve your performance.

Conservative management to treat pain, avoiding surgery.

Conservative management to treat pain, avoiding surgery.

Pain is a localized and unpleasant sensory perception in the body, activated by sensory nerve endings. It can be classified according to its intensity, origin, and duration (acute and chronic). Pain can be caused by diseases or trauma, these being the main cause of musculoskeletal pain. Other causes include degenerative or inflammatory arthropathies.

Traditionally, most conditions have been treated with surgery to treat chronic pain or repair an injury. In some cases, surgical treatment is the one of choice, depending on the severity and situation of the injury.

However, nowadays conservative therapies are used more and more, which include non-invasive and comprehensive care, with the purpose of relieving pain, healing the injury and/or reducing the risk of progression and complications. Examples of conservative treatment in musculoskeletal injuries include:

  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Immobilizations
  • Repose
  • Infiltrations

It is advisable to use this as first-line management, especially when it can prevent the progression of the damage of the lesion and thus avoiding surgery. An example is prolotherapy, which favors the rapid and natural recovery of the tissue, helping to avoid surgery just to eliminate pain. As mentioned above, surgical treatments may be unavoidable, so you should always see a specialist who handles conservative therapies (such as a sports medicine doctor) for a second opinion.

What is a musculoskeletal ultrasound used for?

What is a musculoskeletal ultrasound used for?

An ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a safe, non-invasive medical test that produces images of the inside of the body using sound waves, using a probe (transducer) with gel on the skin.

It is mostly used as a diagnostic tool in various branches of medicine. Its use in specialties of the musculoskeletal system has been increasing, especially since it can be applied to all joints and the spine. Ultrasound in these cases can help diagnose alterations such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendon tears
  • Hematomas
  • Shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Sprains
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Soft tissue masses
  • Cysts

The benefits of this exam are that it is painless, widely accessible, and inexpensive compared to other imaging studies, and does not use radiation. It also has the advantage of being able to be performed in the doctor’s office and show the image in real time, which favors an accurate diagnosis and information on the inflammatory process or injury. Also, the ultrasound is used as a guide for more invasive treatments such as infiltrations, regenerative therapies, among other interventions.

When requiring a medical assessment for a musculoskeletal injury or discomfort, it is preferable to see a doctor with experience and knowledge in ultrasound for a complete and accurate care.

Treatment for calcium attachment

Treatment for calcium attachment

Treatment for calcium attachment, its advantages, and frequency of use.

IV or intravenous treatments are liquid substance therapies administered directly into the bloodstream through a vein using a catheter. This may include vitamins, minerals, or certain medications.

This type of treatment can be used to treat diseases with calcium alterations, such as osteoporosis, fractures, bone metastases, or hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood). Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and it mainly takes an important part in our skeleton and teeth. In addition to its skeletal function, it also helps in the structural maintenance of cells. Calcium intakes and needs vary according to the gender and age of each person, likewise, a poor intake, certain medications, or diseases such as those already mentioned, can cause a decrease in calcium levels in the body.

Calcium attachment refers to the administration of medicines, such as zoledronic acid, which belongs to the bisphosphonate class, it slows down bone degradation and thus increases its thickness, also decreasing the amount of calcium that is released to the bloodstream. The presentation of zoledronic acid is in solution, so its administration is intravenous.

Its application must always be under the supervision of a professional. For patients with osteoporosis, it can be administered once a year since the medication stays active during that period, this being one of its great advantages, compared to oral administration.

Before its application, it is important to be well hydrated and the doctor should be informed if you are taking any other medication or supplements, as well as if you have any type of kidney disease. The most common side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Inflammation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Other more aggressive, but less common adverse effects include pain in the mouth and teeth, allergic reactions, renal alteration, or osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is extremely rare, but it is the reason why a dental evaluation is required prior to treatment.

Before starting with this medication, it’s important to attend to a medical consultation with a specialist who has experience in this type of therapy for a complete evaluation and its safe application.