The Most Common Types of Muscle Pain in Athletes

All types of athletes rely on the muscles of their bodies to perform. Whether they are running down the field, swinging a tennis racket, or dribbling a basketball, muscles are what allow you to move with the desired control and intensity. Strength, flexibility, and endurance training help keep muscles in good shape and give athletes better resistance to injuries. In spite of their best efforts, many athletes experience muscle injuries that may be mild to debilitating. Many of these injuries result in the need for pain management, in addition to medical treatment.

Athletes also share some common injuries, in spite of participating in different sports. According to Live Well with Unity Point Health, these are the five most common injuries athletes across a wide range of sports endure:

  1. Knee Injuries
  2. Shoulder Injuries
  3. Tennis or Golf Elbow
  4. Hamstring Strains
  5. Sciatica

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries, or patellofemoral syndrome, account for approximately 55% of sports-related injuries, making them the leading reason that athletes go to the pain management doctor. It often takes weeks for the athlete to heal, during which time the athlete will often be advised to continue low impact exercise to prevent muscles from weakening. Knee injuries can occur in almost any sport, but are most common in basketball, where the athlete is constantly running and pivoting, along with cycling, volleyball, football, and other sports that require running.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries account for about 1/5th of all sports-related injuries and occur most frequently among athletes in basketball, weightlifting, tennis, and other sports that rely on overhead movement. This type of injury is typically treated with anti-inflammatories and ice packs to eliminate swelling.

Tennis or Golf Elbow

Both of these terms refer to the same condition of epicondylitis: inflammation of the ligaments in the elbow due to repetitive use. The associated pain is most often on the outside of the elbow. Since the cause of the injury is from tiny tears in the ligaments of the elbow joint, rest and reducing inflammation are the best ways to treat this type of injury.

Hamstring Strain

The hamstring is made up of three muscles behind the knee. A strain occurs when the athlete either over-stretches the muscles or over uses them. This results in tears of the tendons or muscles. Sports in which the athlete moves forward, such as skiing, can cause these injuries.


Sciatica is pain which comes from the sciatic nerve that runs down the lower back and into the backs of the legs. Bulging discs often occur, along with sciatica, and may be the cause of pain. If spasms occur from an injury, ice and anti-inflammatories can be used for relief. For sciatica pain and herniated disc, the athlete should seek immediate treatment from a medical specialist. Immediate and ongoing pain from these conditions will often require additional treatment from a pain management doctor.

In many cases, these and other sports-related injuries can be prevented with proper training, warmups, use of safety equipment, and applying the proper techniques. When every precaution fails to prevent injury, call us at 212-757-0222 for an evaluation of your injury and the most modern solutions in pain management.

Hamstring Strain



Most painful injuries in sports

What Is Pain Management?

There are different types of pain, and different people have different tolerance levels. Pain may originate in the joints, muscles, or nerves. It may occur due to an injury, illness, or condition, and may be either acute or chronic. These are just some of the factors we take into consideration when determining the best type of pain management treatment for the individual. Our goal is to eliminate pain entirely whenever possible and reduce the pain whenever that is the only option. Thanks to modern treatments that are minimally invasive and which can be used for a wide range of pain conditions, most pain conditions can be solved.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is long-term, usually lasting for more than six months. Some types of chronic pain are continuous, while others may occur in episodes. This type of pain can also be mild or excruciating. This type of pain may be a minor, occasional nuisance which has little real impact on the person, or it may be totally debilitating.

Acute Pain

Acute pain is that which is temporary, typically lasting no more than six months, such as you might experience with a broken bone or sprained ankle. Acute pain can be experienced on a variety of levels. Some people can manage by taking over-the-counter NSAIDS, while others will require prescription pain medicine to alleviate their symptoms. As the injury or condition heals, the pain will usually diminish until it no longer affects the person.

We believe in using an individualized approach and implementing the most advanced treatments to provide individuals with the permanent solutions they need to live life to the fullest. These are some of the types of treatment we offer for treating different types and degrees of pain caused by a number of injuries, diseases, or conditions:

  1. Oral Medications – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often the first approach to pain management. This group includes a wide range of medications, including everything from over-the-counter aspirin and ibuprofen to prescription-strength narcotics. NSAIDs are enough on their own for some people, but they may be used in combination with other drugs or other types of pain treatment for more severe cases.
  2. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – Minimally invasive techniques allow us to do surgery without causing the degree of trauma that occurs with surgical procedures. This reduces the recovery time and the risk for complications. It also means it takes less time to recover and less pain.
  3. Intra-Articular Laser Therapy – This is the first medical-grade laser with the ability to penetrate skin and reach spinal discs and the joints throughout the body. This allows irradiation of the joint, and stimulates anti-inflammation and healing of tissues and joints using a treatment that causes no pain.
  4. Platelet Rich Plasma Injections – These are injections using the person’s own cells to reduce inflammation and repair injury. This treatment speeds healing and treats the underlying cause of pain.
  5. Iovera° – This system uses incorporates the benefits of cold to block pain by targeting nerves.

Pain does not have to be the end of enjoying your favorite activities. Call us at 212-757-0222 to schedule your appointment and finally get the relief you need to lead a normal life.

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

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