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The Stem Cell Miami CFO Ingrid Machado and her marketing team had the pleasure this past week to meet with professional soccer player David Beckham on his recent visit to Miami promoting his new Miami Soccer Stadium endeavor. In addition, Mr. Beckham hosted numerous events around our community during the Fifa World Cup Finals and met with several city officials, key community leaders, as well as some of Miami’s elite business owners, all looking to support his sought-after stadium proposition.

At Stem Cell Miami we have treated many top-tier injured athletes from around the globe, all searching for an alternative to having surgery and ultimately hoping to recover quickly from their injury and “get back in the game ASAP” since just as the famous saying goes: “Time Is Money!”

An important concept that causes confusion in the mind of every athlete is ‘When does one return to play after an injury?’ The answer is simultaneously simple and complex. There’s a myriad of injuries athletes suffer, and that is taking into account musculoskeletal injuries. In order to simplify this matter, we can divide injuries grossly into: Acute injuries and Overuse injuries:

  • Acute Injury: usually the result of a simple, traumatic event that does not necessarily have to be accompanied by violent force. A sudden shift in weight or change in direction can be traumatic enough to cause an acute injury.
  • Overuse Injury: it is caused by cumulative, small trauma resulting from repetitive demand of the body or environment. Overuse injuries are typically more common, and more preventable than acute ones.

Deconditioning is also widely feared by athletes, and it is easy to understand ‘why’, since it can take just two weeks for our cardio fitness to start declining…ONLY TWO WEEKS! Now, it is important to remember that while we might be out of the sport for longer than that, there are activities we can still participate on, in order to keep our athletic performance as close we can to our previous performance level. Regardless of the type of injury, these are very frustrating for all of us who exercise, especially if we are training for an athletic competition, where time is of the essence. This is, however, a perfect time for us to sit and think on the following:

What was the cause of my injury?

  1. How can I recover properly from it?
  2. How can I prevent it in the future?

Instead of simply focusing on ‘how long will it take me to come back’? Of course, it is not an unimportant question, however it should not be the focus of our recovery process. As a general idea, these are things we should all keep in mind to help guide our return to activity:

  • If the injury occurred on one side, how does it range of motion compare to the other (normal) side? Is it close enough?
  • With that in mind, how does the strength compare to the other side?
  • How is the pain level?
  • Is there any swelling? If so, how does it compare to the initial swelling?
  • How is our balance?
  • How is our coordination?
  • How are our reflexes?
  • Can we walk, jog or run without limping (for lower extremity injuries)?
  • Can we throw or catch with proper mechanics (for upper extremity injuries)?

Now, every athlete wants to have knowledge of treatment options they have, especially those who can help ease or improve their recovery. There’s many options, and fortunately for us, many times we don’t even need just one option. A combination of them could work better for our particular case.

Recovery Options include:

-Conservative Therapy: rest, ice, compression, protection, elevation, etc.

-Physical Therapy: proper exercise guidance and training can help us not only recover from the injury, but to be as close as we can to proper fitness level at the moment of the return to activity.

-Medications: Sometimes medication is needed, but that largely depends on the type of injury and the severity of the same.

-Immobilization (full or partial): Occasionally, a brace, splint or even a cast might be needed to approximate the tissues while they recover.

Regenerative Medicine: Medical science keeps advancing every year, and we have seen great leaps in this field of medicine. The use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Autologous Stem Cells, and other biologic (umbilical cord & placenta) derived products have shown great improvement in the overall injury recovery process and at quickly controlling the pain. As a matter of fact, the British Journal of Sports Medicine just published a study in favor of the use of Stem Cell Injections in the knees in 2017 (posted on the Stem Cell Miami Facebook Page) https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/03/bjsports-2016-096793, where studies found improvement in images of the joint, patient’s discomfort and even activity levels. These innovative treatments are being heralded around the globe as “the future of modern medicine” and at our Stem Cell Miami Institute we have over 10 years of experience and possess a proven track record with almost 6000 successful Regenerative Medicine Procedures conducted to date and with no adverse effects reported!

-Surgery: This most invasive option, even though it is not the option we want to hear about many times, it is a realistic option for certain injuries. Sometimes, it is even (unfortunately) the only option recommended.

So, which one of them could be an option for me? The answer is simple, any and all of them, but you should consult your Sports Medicine doctor to help you decide what your course of action should be.

Now, when should an athlete return to play? Simply stated, as soon as possible!!!

For more information on the wide array of amazing Regenerative Medicine procedures that we offer at Stem Cell Miami (with offices in Miami & Beverly Hills), please call us 1-855-598-CELL or (305) 598-7777 to schedule your complimentary evaluation. You can also visit us at www.stemcellmia.com follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter or watch amazing testimonial videos on our YouTube channel.