Playing at the top of your game demands lots of energy, strong muscles, and intense joint movement. However, even the best athletes can overexert or injure themselves without proper guidance, and that’s where sports medicine comes into play.
Medical doctors who practice sports medicine specialize in helping athletes maintain their peak performance, whether amateur or collegiate or professional sports. Let’s talk about how a sports doctor is key to an athlete’s performance, how these physicians also serve non-athletes, and where you can go for an assessment and recommendations for your own health and fitness.
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine focuses on both children and adults who are involved in an active lifestyle, particularly those who engage in frequent exercise or play a sport. The purpose of sports doctors is to prevent and treat musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries, including:
- Strains (in tendons or muscles)
- Sprains (in ligaments)
- Osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis)
This branch of medicine aims to help people regain strength and recover from these injuries quickly and safely. Sports medicine providers can also treat people who have work-related injuries, such as construction workers, hairdressers, painters, and factory workers.
Doctors who specialize in sports medicine are often internists, pediatricians, and orthopedists with a fellowship in sports medicine. (There is no residency in sports medicine, only a fellowship.) Some, but not all, sports medicine doctors are trained and licensed to perform surgery.
Importance of Sports Medicine for Athletes
A sports doctor not only treats athletic injuries but also helps an athlete or an active person to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. Sports injuries may occur due to a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Improper gear usage
- Faulty training methods
- Bad posture or form when performing
- Neglecting to warm up or cool down
- Not taking adequate breaks
To avoid injuries, make sure you are receiving continual and proper training to hone your form and technique. A sports medicine specialist can provide athletes and active people with specific guidance regarding posture, performance, nutrition, and overall health.
Sports doctors and physical therapists can help you learn about how to engage your muscles without injuring them. This way, you can improve your training practices and stretching exercises. Learning proper body mechanics decreases your likelihood of sustaining sports injuries.
Sports medicine also involves proper posture. Improving your posture is helpful at almost all times, whether you’re playing sports, working at a computer, or doing daily chores. These specialized physicians can also diagnose any underlying issue you have after conducting various physical tests.
As an athlete, your dietary needs will differ significantly from someone who is living a more sedentary lifestyle. Sports medicine involves assessing your nutrition needs and suggesting dietary changes as per your level or type of activity.
Although preventive measures decrease an athlete’s risk of getting injured, injuries such as sprains are sometimes unavoidable, especially in high-impact sports. If you do suffer a sports injury, doctors who specialize in sports medicine can give you a timely and appropriate treatment plan for an efficient recovery, so you can get back in the game as quickly as possible.
Sports Medicine in St. Peters and O’Fallon, Missouri
Here at Advanced Bone & Joint, our specialists have extensive experience in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of various sports injuries and related medical conditions. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our sports physicians, call us today at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our appointment request form online. Let us help you achieve your peak performance!