Sports medicine is a medical branch that focuses on the maintenance of physical fitness, as well as treatment and prevention of sports-related injuries and exercise.
Sports medicine doctors are specialist physicians who have completed medical school, appropriate residency training, and specialization in sports medicine. Advanced training may include specializations in family, internal, or emergency medicine, pediatrics, or orthopedic surgery. Many also choose to specialize in neuromusculoskeletal and rehabilitation medicine.
Sports medicine doctors have special training to restore function to injured patients so they can get moving again as soon as it is safely possible.
Who Should See a Sports Medicine Doctor?
It goes without saying that sports medicine physicians are ideal doctors for athletes and active adults. The demand for sports medicine doctors has been growing steadily since the 1970s.
Sports medicine doctors are a great choice for:
- those who wish to start a new fitness and exercise regime
- those who are active and wish to remain fit
- weekend warriors who are physically active primarily on the weekends
- workplace programs designed to improve the health and productivity of employees
- older adults who want to be active and fit, or have suffered an injury or are experiencing musculoskeletal pain
- teens and children
- people with physically demanding jobs like construction or road work, landscapers, and more
Patients will receive care for their injury and at-home care instructions that will allow them to remain active.
What Does a Sports Medicine Physician Treat?
More than 90 percent of sports injuries do not require surgery. Treatment for a sports injury may include the use of pain relievers, immobilization with a cast or sling, or heat and cold therapies.
Among the conditions treated by a sports medicine doctor are:
- Acute injuries such as sprains and strains, joint injuries, dislocations and nonsurgical fractures, and cartilage injuries
- Overuse, overtraining and fatigue injuries such as rotator cuff injuries, stress fractures, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussion
- Chronic or acute illnesses such as exercise-induced asthma, infectious mononucleosis or diabetes
Physical examination of professional athletes is another service sports medicine doctors commonly perform, especially pre- and post-participation evaluations and “return to play” decisions for sick or injured athletes. As is nutrition training and guidance with exercise, strength-training, and conditioning programs to maintain fitness and prevent injury.
Apart from medical and therapeutic skills, sports medicine physicians work with other professionals to provide care to patients. These professionals include:
- Physical therapists to help people recover and rehabilitate from injuries
- Certified athletic trainers who provide rehabilitative exercise routines to help patients regain strength and develop conditioning programs to enhance performance and prevent future injury
- Nutritionists who provide the right diet and food advice to help improve physical and athletic functioning; they can also assist with weight gain and weight loss issues
If joint damage or arthritis pain is limiting your activities, or otherwise disrupting your life, contact the orthopedic specialists of Advanced Bone & Joint at (636) 229-4222, or request an appointment online.