If you are in need of the expertise of a sports medicine doctor you might not necessarily be a professional athlete! While the specialization into sports medicine and various types of sports medicine doctors has been a saving grace for the many professional athletes and sports people they treat, amateur and even non-athletes often call upon their expertise more than we might think. A typical sports medicine doctor’s day may include treating a professional athlete on the field who has endured an exercise related injury or your average person trying to keep fit by doing occasional exercise which has caused an injury. Sometimes the injury is not even sports related – people from all walks of life manage to incur exercise type injuries through work, for example, work that involves heavy lifting can result in injuries to the shoulder, knees or create back problems. A painter and decorator who spends his days over-stretching to reach into corners or to paint a ceiling may find, with time, wear and tear and every day use has caused inflammation and mobility difficulties on the more severe end.

Practicing sports has become an increasing, and welcomed, change in our culture and has many proven benefits to our health and well-being. The number of people partaking in physical activity, either amateur or professional, has increased exponentially. With this comes the need for many types of sports medicine doctors who deal with the varying injuries and traumas that sports’ disciplines can cause during practice. As with other medicine specializations, the study of trauma during sport and the prevention of injury is relevant and is a much requested speciality in today’s world.

The knee represents one of our most injury-prone joints – even for non-sports persons. Skeletal, ligament, meniscus, degenerative injuries along with disjointed knee caps are the most common type and call for the intervention and expertise of a knee specialist sports doctor.

Other types of sports medicine doctors specialize in shoulder trauma and injury. When you have a healthy shoulder you carry out a normal, active life where simple day-to-day tasks are done effortlessly, like getting dressed or combing your hair. Our shoulder joint allows for the widest range of movement in the human body, due to its large range of motion however, it is more susceptible to injury and trauma. When you need to see a sports medicine doctor who specializes in injury and shoulder pain management, he will be checking firstly to see what is causing the discomfort – it could be one of the four most common problems for seeking the advice of a sports doctor:

  • Arthritis
  • Fracture
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Rotator cuff injury

Depending on the diagnosis by your shoulder specialist doctor he may recommend various options which could initially include heat compresses, medication for pain relief or simple rest to help the injury heal. He may also recommend physiotherapy and sometimes injections such as cortisone may be used.

Your shoulder specialist doctor may sometimes advise on surgical intervention when other treatments are not effective and relief is elusive. The shoulder specialist doctor will guide you through what to expect before, during and after your surgical procedure.

Another type of sports medicine doctor is one who specializes in elbow injuries. Knowing that you are in the hands of an expert when trying to find relief from any kind of painful elbow injury or trauma, gives you great peace of mind. Your specialized elbow sports doctor will assign treatment and rehabilitation strategies, follow up on recovery progress and make sure you are prescribed the right medication to help your recovery. The most common type of elbow injury a sports medicine doctor sees is, of course, tennis elbow, but as stated at the beginning of this article, this type of injury does not affect only tennis players or sports people. It is known that tennis elbow can be caused by repetitive movement so someone who works all day at a keyboard/computer while remaining seated for most of the day is susceptible to this type of complaint.

The type of sport medicine doctor you look for will depend on your personal injury but the best advice is to seek out one who has a specialization in that field, this way you know that his expertise and years of research will help guide you through the right diagnosis, therapy and recovery.