Relief from Common Sports Injuries

In the Bleachers - bl_c070714.jpgFrom all-star athletes to weekend warriors, one thing they all have in common is athletic pain.  Sports injuries and athletic pain are as common to sports and exercise as scoring and sweating.  But you don’t have to be a pro-athlete or weekend warrior to suffer.  In fact, I experience some of this same pain myself after standing all day  in the pharmacy.

Certain parts of the body take the brunt of all sports–related injuries. The good news is, we all can take preventative measures; there’s no need to skip your workouts and live life as a couch potato.   And if you forget your pre-game warm-up?  A compounding pharmacist can help with a customized pain management prescription.

Lower Back Pain :   While there are different types of lower back pain – bulging discs, back spasms, sciatica (pain traveling down the leg from the lower back) – the most common reason for sports-related back pain is simply improper stretching.

Although some lower-back injuries cannot be prevented, proper warm-up before exercising will significantly reduce your risk of injury.  If you’re currently trying to rehabilitate your back, Yoga and Pilates have long been considered excellent practices for spinal mobility strengthening.   Core exercises like planks and proper techniques when lifting are all helpful to avoid further back problems.

Pulled Muscles:   You can pull many different muscles, depending on the sport, but hamstrings, the muscles behind your thighs, are the most commonly injured. This is especially common in sports involving running, like basketball, football and soccer.

Pulling hamstrings is quite painful and can even cause bruising.  The best way to prevent pulling them, and other muscles, is to stretch properly before and after exercising and avoid working out while fatigued and weak.

Ankle Sprain:  Ankle sprains are almost inevitable in sports that involve jumping, running and turning quickly. Therefore, sprains are very common among soccer, hockey, basketball and volleyball players.

Strengthening your ankles by doing ankle lifts, taping them, or wearing a lace-up brace can help avoid injury or lessen the pain of a bad sprain. To help your ankle heal faster, try to move it gently to get the circulation going and reduce the swelling.

Shoulder Injury:   About 20% of sports injuries involve the shoulder, including dislocations, sprains and strains. Shoulder injuries are most common in sports that involve a lot of overhead movement; like tennis, swimming, weightlifting, baseball, and volleyball.  Repeat and overuse of the rotator cuff — the group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder – will lead to pain, stiffness, and weakness in the shoulder.

To prevent shoulder injuries — which often occur when you haven’t been using your shoulder muscles for a while, such as during your league’s off-season — be sure to strengthen your muscles through weight training before the season begins.

Runners Knee:  Knee injuries account for over 50% of all sports injuries. Although torn ligaments and cartilage are the most common injuries, many knee problems are grouped into the category of “runner’s knee,” which includes a variety of aches and pains related to the kneecap.

Replace shoes and insoles regularly; avid runners and athletes should purchase new running shoes every six months.  Choose softer running surfaces; if given the option, opt for an indoor track rather than hard pavement.  You should also strengthen your quadriceps through weight training, and cross train to prevent overuse. If you injure your knee, don’t exercise for at least two days and take an anti-inflammatory medication. When you resume your workout, make sure to warm up properly and apply ice to your knee for about 20 minutes afterward.

If you got a little overzealous on the field, or the non-pharmaceutical relief methods described here aren’t enough, a compounding pharmacy can help.  Over-the-counter medications and anti-inflammatory drugs may have unexpected side effects.  VH Pharmacy offers customized transdermal gels and topically-applied creams that provide relief on the spot.  These formulations can be used for:


Pain in muscles and/or joints

Damage to nerves


Mild Stress Fractures

Don’t be a hero!  Even I use these compounded medications when aches and pains from a long week of standing behind the pharmacy counter have me down.  You may also find that your insurance policy covers the cost of the prescription.

ABOUT VH PHARMACY:  VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy.  In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years.  With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility.  To learn more about our services, please visit our website at, or call us today at 305.324.8777. 


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