Your treatment and recovery options
Whether you're a competitive athlete or just want to enjoy healthy activities, Novant Health can help. Our sports medicine physicians, providers and specialists are experts in nonsurgical treatments, surgical procedures and physical and occupational therapy.
Common Sports-Related Injuries
According to the CDC, approximately 3.8 million people sustain a concussion each year. If you're an athlete participating in contact sports, you're particularly at risk. Trauma occurs when a blow to the head causes your brain to hit the inside of your skull. This produces bruising and can lead to concussion symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
If you think you have a concussion, see one of our head injury specialists to assess the severity of your injury. Concussion treatment typically involves rest and over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen. While healing, you should limit activities that require mental concentration.
Symptoms of a concussion headache usually improve within 5-7 days. You can resume nonstrenuous activities once you start feeling better. However, overexerting yourself could slow your recovery.
A sprain occurs when you stretch or tear ligaments. Ankle sprains are the most common, but you can suffer a sprain in various parts of your body. You may experience swelling, bruising and difficulty moving the injured area.
A strain usually involves muscles or tendons. In this case, the affected area tends to be sore, swollen, discolored, weak and painful to move.
If you move certain muscles and joints in a repetitive motion, you can end up with what's called an overuse injury. Areas typically prone to injury are your elbow, wrist, knee, ankle or your shoulder's rotator cuff.
Fractures are among the most common sports injuries. Issues range from stress fractures caused by overuse to severe compound fractures. Your orthopedic surgeon at Novant Health will determine the severity of the fracture and discuss your treatment options. They may take X-rays or do an MRI to assess the damage.
If you have a stress fracture, meaning there's a crack in the bone, you may be able to avoid surgery through rest and pain medication. But if the injury is more serious, like a bone separation, you'll most likely need surgery to repair the damage.
Our orthopedic specialists are specifically trained to handle all types of bone injuries and will set you up with a rehabilitation plan to get you back to your life.
An injury to your shoulder, hip, knee or elbow joint can occur during intense exercise or from an unexpected twist or fall. If you have persistent pain, this could be a sign you're overusing the joint.
Treating mild joint injuries usually involves the RICE method — rest, ice, compression and elevation. A support brace or cast can also stabilize the affected area. If the damage is more severe, your provider may recommend surgery. A Novant Health sports medicine physician or specialist will evaluate your condition and work with you to develop a treatment plan that's right for you.
Why Choose Novant Health
What if I suffer an injury?
If you're not in a lot of pain, don't assume your injury is minor and will simply disappear. You should get checked out to rule out an underlying issue. Minor injuries can usually be treated at home. Self-management techniques include over-the-counter pain medications, heat or ice, support braces and rest.
When should I see a specialist?
Always seek medical care if you suspect you have a concussion or a painful injury like a fracture or torn ligaments. If your condition doesn't improve within several days or the pain intensifies, talk to our sports medicine specialists. They'll give you an assessment and help you plan a course of action.
What is nonoperative sports medicine?
Nonoperative sports medicine refers to any orthopedic treatment that doesn't involve surgery. Nonsurgical sports medicine providers treat a wide range of sports and exercise-related injuries such as concussions, tendonitis, fractures, sprains and nerve compression.
When to see a nonoperative specialist
You'll find a number of sports medicine specialists at Novant Health who can diagnose and treat your sports or exercise-related injury. If sudden or chronic pain keeps you from your everyday lifestyle, schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic experts and get back to doing what you love.
Explore Our Sports Medicine Guide.
Our guide to sports medicine is an invaluable resource for athletes of all levels. Find common questions about sports injuries, treatment options, recovery methods and reinjury prevention.