What is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is the treatment and rehabilitation of athletes, sportspeople and other individuals involved in sporting activities. Those seeking sports medicine information usually do so following injuries or medical problems related to their exercise activities. This may include anyone from competitive athletes to everyday individuals. Some want to improve their athletic performance through diet or training methods, while others may require rehabilitation for injuries.

Unlike a regular GP, a sports medicine doctor specializes primarily in treating exercise-related ailments and injuries. Sports medicine information may also cover athletic nutrition, psychology, substance abuse and injury prevention. Some sports medicine practitioners may specialize further in allied sciences, such as biomechanics, exercise physiology or orthopedics. However, the overall objective is the same: to get an athlete back in action as soon as possible.

Sports medicine and shoulder specialists may also treat non-competitive individuals with physically demanding lifestyles, such as those who work out regularly for their own personal fitness, or those who work in manual labor or construction.

 

A Sports Medicine Doctor May Help With:

         Diagnosing and rehabilitating sports injuries

         Setting recovery programs

         Prescribing pain medication

         Referring to other specialists

         Providing nutritional or sports medicine information or programs

         Assisting schools, medical clinics, hospitals, physical therapy practices or sports organizations

Injuries Treated by a Sports Medicine Doctor

One of the most common injuries treated by sports medicine doctors is pain and/or damage to the shoulder. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body – and one of the most frequently dislocated! It’s no surprise then that the shoulder is even more prone to injury in sportspeople. Contact sports or activities that involve repetitive, overhead movements place a lot of strain on the shoulder, increasing the risk of injury.sports-medicine-surgeon

Baseball and football players have particularly high rates of shoulder injuries. Overhand throwing and catching in baseball is extremely taxing to the shoulder, particularly on the joint and tendons. Baseball players typically suffer from overuse injuries of the shoulder such as rotator cuff damage, tendon strain or shoulder bursitis.

Shoulder injuries in footballers are more likely to be separations and dislocations of the shoulder joint. These injuries typically result from high-impact collisions with other players or the ground. Dislocations occur when the humerus ball is knocked from its socket in the scapular, while shoulder separation occurs when ligaments attached to the collarbone are torn from the shoulder blade. Both injuries can be severely debilitating for the player, causing extreme pain and limited movement.

Because many sports are dependent on the full use of their shoulder – especially in baseball and football – a sports medicine doctor will seek to restore the health of the shoulder either through surgery, physiotherapy or a combination of both. The doctor will first assess the damage through medical imaging such as x-ray or ultrasound scanning, then prescribe a rehabilitation plan. They will then discuss options with the patient regarding surgical or non-surgical treatment, pain management and prognosis. Some practitioners may also provide additional sports medicine information about alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or hydrotherapy.

 

If you think you might be in need of seeing a sports medicine doctor, give us a call today!