Monthly Archives: July 2019

Are PRP Injections right for me?

Are PRP Injections right for me

At Jersey Shore Sports Medicine, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections are offered to treat chronic pain, which many individuals deal with on a daily basis. Whether pain originates from their job, exercise routine, strains, sprains, tendonitis or anything in between, it is certain that no one enjoys living with ongoing discomfort. Traditionally, these injuries are treated with oral medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen or physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. However, these types of treatments do not always completely resolve the pain. At this point, it is common for patients to be told that their only remaining option is surgery, which may not be the best option for everyone as it carries a number of significant risks and extended recovery time.

Enter PRP Injections, a treatment developed to help the body regenerate healthy tissue to heal chronic injuries, surgery-free. PRP has been around for quite some time, but became better known in 2006 when Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers chose PRP Injections to help heal a knee injury, later being named Super Bowl MVP for his outstanding efforts. Since then, it has moved into the mainstream as other well-known athletes, such as Kobe Bryant, have travelled to Germany to have a similar treatment performed.

So, what are PRP Injections exactly?

PRP is a procedure in which the patient’s blood is drawn and spun down in a centrifuge, concentrating the platelets and creating plasma that is rich with platelets. This platelet rich plasma is then injected into and around the affected area. Platelets have granules of growth factors within their structure, which the body utilizes as essential building blocks in healing. By injecting platelet rich plasma into the damaged area, the body is tricked into believing that the chronic injury is new and a fresh wave of healing begins.

Why would I choose PRP Injections over another treatment?

Benefits of PRP Injections include no side effects to the treatment; there is no increased risk of infection compared to other injections since we are using the patient’s own blood; there is minimal down time for recovery after the procedure, so there is no concern for extended time out of work; and athletes, dedicated exercisers and gym lovers can stay active during the healing process.

Are PRP Injections right for me?

Any injury that includes chronic damage to a tendon or ligament is potentially a candidate for this treatment. At Jersey Shore Sports Medicine, we have successfully treated partial rotator cuff tears, tennis and golfer’s elbow, chronic trochanteric bursitis, chronic MCL sprains in the knee, Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis with Platelet Rich Plasma Injections.

If you think you are a candidate, or would like more information about PRP Injections, please call our office at 609-904-2565 to make an appointment. As always, feel free to join the conversation with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Concussion Awareness

Concussion Awareness

When you hear the term ‘concussion,’ what do you think of? With talk of head injuries dominating the world of professional sports, especially in football, you may imagine a cringe-worthy collision between powerful opposing forces. Recent research has exposed the potentially detrimental effects of head injuries, even with the supposedly protective headgear worn by football players.

Considering the fact that professional athletes wearing specifically designed headgear still suffer from head injuries, it is particularly important to assess the risks that young athletes face. Any athlete can suffer from a concussion, and because we may not associate concussions with sports such as baseball or cheerleading, we could miss the warning signs of these devastating head injuries.

The people on the front lines of youth, high school, or collegiate sports—coaches, trainers, parents, and school officials—should be extra vigilant. You’re usually the first one to evaluate an athlete, regardless of age, who gets hit in the head during practice or takes a hard fall during a game. Therefore, it is important to remember a few universal key points in the event of a head injury.

  • Know the signs: A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by trauma directly to the head or body that results in the brain being shaken or jolted inside the skull. The initial diagnosis of a concussion is made by the presence of signs and symptoms. There are over twenty signs and symptoms, but some of the most common ones that initially present are headache, dizziness, fogginess and nausea. If any of these symptoms are present, the athlete should be immediately removed from the game or practice even if the athlete claims to feel okay. It is common for an athlete’s drive to continue that may overpower what is really best, which is playing it safe and sitting out.
  • What’s next? Concussions can cause serious difficulties and limitations for student athletes. They may have difficulty focusing in class, working on computers for extended periods of time, difficulty taking notes from the board, and even reading a textbook. Steps should be taken to remove them from aggravating tasks until evaluation by their pediatrician or family doctor, or a concussion specialist. Once evaluated, proper accommodations such as reduced workloads and extra time to complete assignments can be arranged in order for the athlete to recover fully and properly.
  • Additional rules of thumb: Accommodations don’t end once the school day is over. The same difficulties that a student has in school also apply to out-of-school activities. Things such as watching TV, playing video games, and extended time on a cell phone can trigger severe symptoms and harm the healing process. Parents must supervise their children and remove aggravating activities that may slow the healing process, specifically technology use as well as vigorous physical activity. Close follow-ups with your doctor and communication between parents, coaches and school officials will ensure that the correct measures are taken for your child to heal properly.

Concussions are a complex injury to diagnose and treat and should always be taken seriously. Fortunately, due to the increased scrutiny in sports and amplified research, our understanding continues to grow. Parents, coaches, trainers, school nurses, etc. must be aware of the basic signs of concussions and how to properly start the evaluation and treatment process.

Jersey Shore Sports Medicine specializes in treating sports-related concussions in athletes ages eleven and up. If you have any questions, or feel you have an athlete that needs to be evaluated, please contact us at 609-904-2565. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to continue the conversation about concussion awareness.

Hot Treatment vs. Cold Treatment – The Oldest Rivalry in Sports!

Hot Treatment vs. Cold Treatment - The Oldest Rivalry in Sports!

“Should I use heat or ice?” is the most common question I get in the office from patients, especially athletes, looking to ease their soreness after exercising. Commonly, there is a lot of confusion as to which method is best, when to use which treatment, and what separates the two. Fortunately, we have a guide to help you determine which treatment is best for you to get back in the game and doing what you love!

Why heat? Heat causes the small blood vessels in the muscle and surrounding tissues to dilate, increasing blood flow to the targeted area. This brings more oxygen and nutrients to the damaged tissue and removes harmful waste products. In addition, the heat can distract the nerves that carry pain signals, preventing their transmission to the brain for recognition. Finally, heat can also increase the pliability of the tissue, decreasing stiffness and spasms.

When to use heat: A simple rule to remember for heat treatment is to use it for chronic or old injuries. Here are a few examples:

  • Low back pain
  • Arthritic joints
  • Trigger points/muscle spasms

As with everything, there are exceptions. For heat, one exception would be muscle soreness after a tough workout. A recent study shows that a simple over-the-counter heat wrap applied immediately after a workout with eight hours of low level heat can significantly decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Why cold? Opposite to heat, cold treatments cause the small blood vessels to constrict, decreasing blood flow to the area. With new or overuse injuries, decreasing the blood flow helps to stop the body’s substances that cause redness and swelling commonly seen in these types of injuries. In addition, cold helps to numb the irritated nerve endings in the injured area.

When to use cold: Contrary to heat, cold is typically used for new, acute or overuse injuries. Here are a few examples:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Tennis elbow
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Shoulder bursitis

While it is unclear whether ice actually helps the healing process, there is no doubt that it helps relieve pain. The most effective way to provide cold treatment to an affected area is to apply ice directly on the skin with an ice cup. However, it is important to keep the ice moving to prevent tissue damage. An additional method is using a freezer bag filled with ice cubes and a small amount of water, which can be easily molded to the area. A thin towel should be used also as a means of separation between the ice and skin. These treatments should be applied until the skin feels numb. One to three minutes with an ice cup and fifteen to twenty minutes with an ice bag should do the trick!

Sports and other means of exercise provide many opportunities for injury, both large and small. Proper management of these injuries using hot and cold treatments can help prevent further damage and get you back in the game! Have questions about an injury or need to be evaluated? Chat with us on FacebookTwitter, or give us a call at 609-904-2565.


Tendonitis: Signs, Diagnosis and Treatments

Tendonitis Signs, Diagnosis and Treatments

What is Tendonitis? 

You may have heard tendonitis referred to as tennis elbow, jumper’s knee or golfer’s elbow. Despite the many nicknames that the condition has acquired, they all signify excessive inflammation of a tendon, which is the structure that connects muscle to bone. It is typically caused by overuse of the affected area, often from a repetitive activity or in some cases by a minor trauma.

Signs of Tendonitis:

  • Intermittent pain at the site of the tendon
  • Pain during movement or extreme pain in severe cases
  • Stiffness, swelling or tenderness at the site of the tendon
  • In severe cases, redness and swelling at the site of the tendon
  • Patients often report starting a new high-volume activity prior to the onset of pain


Typically, imaging is not needed to diagnose tendonitis. However, X-rays may be helpful in older patients to help differentiate between tendonitis and degenerative joint disease, which can present with similar symptoms. In more severe cases of tendonitis, weakness or limited motion may require an MRI to rule out a partial or complete tear of the tendon.


Treatment is initially focused on reducing pain. Rest, ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are common treatments, often tried by patients before seeing a doctor. However, a higher dose of oral or topical anti-inflammatories, braces and corticosteroid injections are typically prescribed at an initial visit with us. Once the pain is under control, our focus shifts to preventing the pain from coming back. Physical therapy, Active Release Technique and activity modifications are some ways that Jersey Shore Sports Medicine can help you prevent pain from returning – all without surgery!

Severe Cases: 

Tendonitis that lasts longer than a few months can lead to chronic damage to the tendon, called tendinosis. Initial treatment is the same, but resolution of the symptoms often takes longer. If typical conservative treatments don’t do the trick, Jersey Shore Sports Medicine offers regenerative treatments, surgery-free, such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections and stem cell injections.

Tendonitis is a very common injury that can occur in active individuals. Early treatment is key to reducing pain and keeping you in tip-top shape! Have questions about tendonitis treatment or PRP? Chat with us on FacebookTwitter, or give us a call at 609-904-2565.