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2 Your Well-being: Don’t let the name fool you! Sports medicine primary care doctors treat all sorts of injuries

Injuries from exercise or common chores can be just as serious as a sports injury. Cone Health Primary Care Sports Medicine doctors can treat them both.

MEBANE, N.C. — We have all done it!  Lifted something too heavy or pushed a massive box out of the way!  We usually don’t think of it as a problem until something starts to hurt.

Karey Loftis, 28, severely injured her shoulder when she tried to move a giant box delivered to her home.  She said she couldn’t wait to get the so-called bed in a box inside and decided to move it herself. 

“I was excited because I was sleeping on an air mattress at my parent’s house for 6 months, so I was ready for the bed,” Loftis said.

The big blue bed in a box weighed 87 pounds.  Ring video caught her struggling to pull the box up the stairs.

“I was pulling in the queen-sized mattress by myself.  I was like, ‘I got this!  I don’t need a man,’” Loftis said.

At first, everything seemed alright, but the pain settled two days later.

Loftis said her regular physician referred her to a primary care sports medicine practice inside the Cone Health MedCenter in Mebane.  By the name only, Loftis said she was unsure of the treatment, thinking the Mebane Medical Clinic was only a place for athletes.

“With sports medicine, I think about high school!  Honestly, I think about personal trainers in high school taping up ankles for the football team and things like that,” admitted Loftis.

It’s a common misconception that Dr. Jason Matthews said he hears from patients all the time.

“I get a lot of patients who qualify for sports medicine but they’re not necessarily athletes or sometimes it gets linked to being young, but this is something we treat for all ages,” Dr. Mathews said.

Dr. Matthews has treated hundreds of injuries caused by simple house household chores. 

“At home, anything can happen.  We’re talking about some spring cleaning and a little slip on the stairs.  It’s that sudden force and load on a shoulder that wasn’t ready for it.  But anybody’s shoulder could experience the same injury,” Dr. Matthews said.

Injuries from exercise or everyday chores can be just as serious as sports injuries.  Dr. Matthews says he has the tools in his office to treat them both.

“We have the tools such as the ultrasound to where we can aid in that clinical evaluation.  We can look at structures in real-time and show the patient to help us diagnose and treat injuries,” Dr. Matthews said.

“The Labium, the rotator cuff and the bicep tendon were all inflamed,” Loftis explained.

Dr. Matthews used the ultrasound to find the source of Karey’s pain and then administered cortisone injections to manage the pain.

The busy mom said the procedure is better than following the 10-pound limit on lifting, especially with a 2-year-old at home.

“My daughter is like hold me, and I can’t because it hurts," Loftis said.  

Loftis has 4 to 6 weeks of physical therapy left under her treatment plan before she can move on with her routine within weeks.

I want to get back to where I can physically play with my daughter without an hour going by and having to ice my shoulder.  I also don’t want to have surgery,” Loftis said.

Surgery is not required, but it’s a good reminder that thinking outside of the box could bring the best results.

“Don’t let the name fool you,” said Dr. Matthews.  “When in doubt, just come on in!”

Your wallet also benefits from seeing a Primary Care Sports Medicine doctor.   Each visit will pay a primary copay rather than a specialist copay, a savings of around $100.

Dr. Matthews said sports medicine can benefit anyone with some sort of activity level. He said providers get trained how to care for anyone who walks in the door.

Dr. Matthews said it goes beyond getting treated when something doesn't feel right. He said preventing the next injury is just as important to his role as treating a current one. He said people can even visit before becoming more active.

"We can really stack the deck in your favor. We try to assess how your body's moving, what kind of risk factors we have and come together with a good game plan that we can keep you injury free, happy and achieving all your goals," Dr. Matthews said.

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