A person on a track kneeling and holding their leg in pain in Bethesda.

For athletes, injuries are inherent. One challenging, though rare, condition that can affect athletes is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  CRPS is a disorder marked by chronic pain that is disproportional to the initial injury and projected healing timeframes.  Athletes with CRPS are typically frustrated by their inability to return to sport.  Often, the affected region is swollen, discolored, and hypersensitive beyond the expected recovery time.  In the realm of sports injury physical therapy, addressing CRPS requires a specialized and comprehensive approach.

That’s where our physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare come into play. Our team is well-versed in sports-related injuries and CRPS.  The combination is unique as many clinics specialize in one or the other.  We have worked with world-class athletes in professional sports teams and special forces in the United States military, and now we can help you. Contact us online or call (301) 656-5613 to learn more.

Understanding Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

CRPS is a neurovascular disorder characterized by severe and chronic pain, often accompanied by changes in skin color, temperature, and swelling.  For athletes, CRPS can be particularly daunting, threatening not only their physical abilities but their mental resilience as well. Sports injury physical therapy in Bethesda has emerged as a crucial component in the multidisciplinary approach to CRPS management.

Targeted Pain Management Techniques

Sports injury physical therapists employ targeted pain management techniques to alleviate the chronic discomfort associated with CRPS. Modalities such as dry needling, pain neuroscience techniques, and manual therapy are integrated into the treatment plan, aiming to reduce pain and improve the athlete’s overall comfort.

Gradual and Customized Exercise Programs

Recovery from CRPS demands a careful and gradual approach to exercise. Sports injury physical therapists create customized exercise programs that consider the specific needs and limitations of those dealing with CRPS. These programs can focus on improving joint mobility, muscle strength, and endurance, as well as overall function, while minimizing the risk of exacerbating symptoms.  We incorporate our state-of-the-art technology, including the Proteus and Trazer, to gradually reintroduce sport-specific movements. 

Desensitization Techniques

CRPS often leads to heightened sensitivity in the affected areas. Sports injury physical therapy includes desensitization techniques to gradually reintroduce touch and pressure, helping athletes regain tolerance and reduce hypersensitivity.  Early stages of recovery incorporate mirror therapy and virtual reality to help remap areas of the brain that are stuck in hypersensitized states. 

Pain Neuroscience Education 

One of the critical components of successful physical therapy is education. Education is a powerful tool that can provide athletes with a deeper understanding of their condition, empowering them to actively participate in their recovery. This can include guidance on cortical remapping, graded exposure, graded activity, and eventual return to sport.

World-renowned Sports Injury Physical Therapy in Bethesda

At Bethesda Physiocare, we believe in providing our patients with individualized, one-on-one care so they can see the results they dream of. We believe sports injury physical therapy doesn’t only mean treating pain; it means providing our patients with the proper education, pain management, and training. If you’re looking to find relief from your sports-related injury, look no further than our skilled physical therapists. Contact us online or call (301) 656-5613 to get started today!