Dr. Andrew Gomez, a lead physician at the popular Providence Sports Medicine clinic in Everett and champion of non-operative treatment options, says seeking care early is the best option for a full recovery from injuries, despite some temptations people may feel to “power through.”
One study found that athletes — especially female athletes — are more likely and willing to play through injuries because it is perceived as a heroic or necessary sacrifice for the game; an element of sports culture further exacerbated in television and movies that praises pushing through pain.
However, this sentiment is also felt and practiced by non-athletes. Whether it’s a parent who feels they cannot afford to take time off work to address persistent knee pain or the techie with sore elbows working on an important project, both are likely to work despite their pain for fear of letting their family, co-workers, or employers down. Dr. Gomez says it’s not worth waiting until the pain is unbearable, which could lead to a prolonged recovery, preventable interventions, and additional time away from sports, activities, and work.
Dr. Gomez, who has treated patients in Mill Creek, Everett, and surrounding areas for years, is even sought out by local coaches for his expertise. His engagement with Snohomish County’s community — from gardeners, pediatric athletes, and weekend warriors to blue-collar electricians and white-collar computer specialists —prompted him to design a sports medicine program with Providence Medical Group (PMG) that is just as unique.
Providence Sports Medicine offers breakthrough, customized treatment plans to help people of all abilities prepare for sports, avoid injuries, and improve performance by using the newest technology in sports medicine. For instance, ultrasonography increases precision during injections, minimizes the risk of injury to other internal structures, and improves recovery outcomes. PMG providers also use minimally invasive procedures like Tenex tenotomy that utilizes controlled, high-pressure streams of sterile saline that cuts away diseased tendon while sparing healthy tissue and is shown to improve outcomes in over 85 percent of patients.
Another innovative treatment option that Dr. Gomez provides is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, which uses the patient’s blood cells to accelerate recovery and provide pain relief. PRP is most often used for soft tissue injuries, or for joint pain related to osteoarthritis, and is sometimes preferred over corticosteroid injections because it can reduce pain without local or systemic side effects seen with corticosteroid exposure. Dr. Gomez’s expertise with PRP is what led Raleigh Watts to Providence Sports Medicine for a knee injury.
Raleigh was referred to Dr. Gomez by a friend because “his services were more affordable than equivalent services in Seattle,” says Raleigh, who was able to jog again after three PRP treatments on each knee. “When I was younger, I jogged several miles a day,” says Raleigh, “Then my knees would not support any strenuous work. Now, since my treatments with Dr. Gomez, I am jogging again, albeit short distances. It’s great to be able to get my heart rate up again.”
Watts recommends working with Dr. Gomez because he is “an amazing communicator,” adding that, “he shares data in a very understandable way. The science around knee treatments is evolving, so it’s important that a provider can explain it clearly in lay terms. Dr. Gomez is an expert in PRP treatment and other new approaches to restoring knee strength, which includes an assessment of when PRP is likely to be useful and when not.”
If an injury has limited activity levels, Providence Sports Medicine providers can help you stay engaged in the activities you love. To learn more about treatment options, visit the website, call 425-261-4910, or complete the online form to request an appointment with a sports medicine expert.