Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Sports Injuries

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Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Sports Injuries (1327 words)

Sports is a wonderful way to exercise and enjoy the company of friends. However, according to the National Health Statistics Reports for 2016, an average estimate of 8.6 million sports and recreation related injuries are reported annually, with young males between the ages of 5 to 24 being the most at risk. 

Of those injuries, half resulted in an emergency room or hospital visit. Even those injuries that don’t lead to the ER can bring severe pain and discomfort, but surgery isn’t always required. At In2it Medical, Dr. Craig Chappell specializes in sports injury treatment without the need for expensive surgery. As the team physician for Ohio University, Dr. Chappell provided care for athletes and performing artists. His experience includes injuries related to swimming, track, cross country, endurance events, football, basketball, soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, baseball, and softball. He also served with the Justin Sports Medicine Team, covering the PRCA rodeo.

Common Sports Injuries

During his time working with athletes and performing artists, Dr. Chappell developed several non-surgical approaches to common treatments for sports injuries such as the following:


Sprains are the most common sports injuries, and can cause severe pain and swelling. They occur when the ligament, or tough bands connecting bones to bones, are pushed beyond their limits, causing tears and deformity. With all the running that takes place in sports, ankles are the most susceptible to this type of injury, though other ligaments in the wrist or arm can also be prone to sprains. 

Like sprains, strains or “pulled muscles” are also very common. A strain is an injury to the muscle fibers or tendons that connect the muscle to the bone. This type of injury occurs due to the overuse of the muscle.

While sprains and strains are often mild and can easily be treated with immobilization of the injured ligament and application of ice, in cases where severe trauma has occurred, a sprain can become a chronic issue, resulting in weakness, instability, re-injury, and even pain. If this is the case, it is important to consult a trained physician for treatment options.


Knee injuries are another common injury in sports, especially those requiring extra pressure to knees, such as skiing, football or basketball. This can become one of the more debilitating sports injuries. Many professionals and recreationists have been permanently sidelined due to knee injuries. There are three main classifications of knee injury: patellofemoral syndrome, meniscus tears, and collateral ligament injuries.


Runners are especially susceptible to shin splints, an injury of tissue, tendons or muscle surrounding the tibia, or shin bone. Shin splints develop due to repetitive trauma or overuse, and can cause pain where the muscle attaches along the inner border of the shin. They can also develop in those who are returning to high physical activity.


Overuse of the muscles and tendons in the elbow can lead to what is commonly known as “tennis elbow,” caused by an injury of the muscles and tendons of the forearm that attach to the elbow. It can produce severe pain or burning sensation to the outside of the elbow. In extreme cases, tennis elbow may result in the weakening of grip strength. 


Too much stress on the muscles of the groin and thigh region can overstretch and tear muscle fibers, resulting in what is commonly called a groin pull or groin strain. This injury can cause pain and tenderness in the region while doing routine motions like bringing the legs together or raising the knee. Similar to knee injuries, this type of injury is common in sports that require sudden changes in direction, such as football or basketball.

Non-Surgical Treatments
In severe cases these sports injuries may result in surgery, especially if the injuries are recurring. These surgeries are often expensive and can prevent the patient from returning to their beloved sport activities. However, Dr. Chappell provides many treatment options that do not require surgery. The following are some examples of the non-surgical sports injury treatments offered:


Unlike surgeries that can often weaken the injured area, Dr. Chappell focuses on strengthening the affected area to prevent the injury from reoccurring. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, certain movements may be restricted. But there are still many exercises that can help stabilize those areas that are already strong and strengthen those that are weak. Through physical therapy tailored to your specific injury, you will be able to return to your former activities with the confidence that your performance will not be impacted.


Some injuries may be corrected with proper lifestyle modifications, typically diet and physical activity. By maintaining these behaviors for months and even years, many diseases that lead to injury can be resolved, such as fatigue and obesity. Also, severe pain due to former injuries or arthritis can be reasonably managed. Dr. Chappell utilizes the latest research in modern treatment to recommend not only an effective routine of diet and exercise, but also behavioral and cognitive strategies as part of the therapy. Where necessary, these recommendations may include appropriate referrals for effective treatment.


Stem cells are the raw materials that the body uses to produce the variety of cells required for life. During this process the stem cell splits, creating daughter cells that are specialized for a particular function, such as heart tissue or bone tissue. Under the right conditions, stem cells can be used to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue. This means that damaged muscle, cartilage and ligaments often found in sports injuries can be rejuvenated, providing stability and pain relief without going under the knife. 


Dr. Chappell, a trained osteopathic physician at In2it Medical is trained in the musculoskeletal system. He understands how that system influences the condition of all other body systems. He is trained to identify and correct structural problems caused by sports injuries and can assist your body's natural tendency toward health and self-healing. Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment (OMT) involves using the hands to diagnose and treat injuries. Using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance, Dr. Chappell can provide relief from the instability and pain associated with recurring sports injuries.



Platelets are small blood cells that clot the blood when open wound injuries occur, such as a cut or scrape. Researchers have found that platelets not only clot the blood, but contain a mixture of proteins that aid in the healing process. By drawing a patient’s blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the plasma, physicians can extract enough platelets to inject back into an injured area of the patient. Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment has been known to increase the healing rate of various injuries and reduce chronic pain without the need for surgery.

If you are suffering from pain or discomfort related to sports injuries and are looking for sports injury treatment in Utah, contact In2it Medical and schedule your appointment with our trained staff. Located in Pleasant Grove, In2it Medical takes patients Monday through Friday. Dr. Chappell will be able to determine what treatment is best for you. Contact us now at 801-610-7321 or through our website