What is sports medicine?
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine which deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries which relate to sports and exercise.
Sports medicine doctors are specialists who deal with sports medicine and they are responsible for treating a wide range of physical conditions in patience young and old. Though sports medicine is not a medical specialty itself, most sports medicine doctors are certified in internal medicine, family medicine or another specialty first and then later receive additional education or certificate specializing them in sports medicine.
Some of these doctors specialize in treating children and teens whose growing bodies can be very different from an adult body and sometimes require even more knowledge. In fact, they are generally board-certified in pediatrics or family medicine and then have additional training in sports medicine. Other sports medicine doctors specialize in treating athletes who sometimes get injured while playing their professional sport. It is very important that the sports medicine doctor understand in detail just how the body works and the intricate details of all the working parts of a body and just how they all connect, relate and move together. Some sports medicine doctors specialize in everyday, regular adult persons who may only be active for fitness or fun. Even a regular person can experience body injuries that require the knowledge and help of a sports medicine doctor. It is important to note that some, but not all sports medicine doctors have surgical training too, usually as orthopedic surgeons.
Some other professionals, that are not doctors may sometimes also work in conjunction with a sports medicine doctor to provide care. They might include some of the following other professionals.
Physical therapist: They help people who have been injured rehabilitate and recover.
Certified athletic trainers: Trainers provide rehabilitative exercise routines to help patients regain strength and flexibility and also develop certain conditioning programs to prevent future injury.
Nutritionalist: Are professionals trained.... well..... basically... in... food! Or at least, the nutritional values of it! :) They know all about food and nutritional values and how they effect your body. They know what makes you fat, what makes you lean and what makes you heal or get sick. They are amazing because they can teach you how to make food your friend... your healer and medication. Food can be healing or it can be deadly. Eating for health is what a nutritionalist can teach you about. They can help put you on a diet that promotes whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. For example, if you are over weight it is very important that you lose some weight in order to be at your optimal health or perhaps your coach requires you to lose or maybe even gain weight to make the team... a nutritionalist can help you. Maybe you have diabetes or another illness which stems from an unhealthy diet or inactive lifestyle... if so, then your nutritionalist can put you on a diet that helps you get your blood sugar in check. The same goes for other important health related numbers such as your blood pressure and blood cholesterol. A nutritionalist is who you would turn to for help with all of it as they are the ones who know all about food and how it pertains to the body. They will write you "a prescription" sort-a-speak, of the appropriate foods for you to accomplish whatever it is you need to accomplish health wise.
Why you should check with a sports medicine doctor?
Here are a few reasons why seeing the sport medicine specialist/doctor is important.
First of all, while injuries may occur while performing any type of physical activity, the chances of being injured increase with incorrect form, too heavy of weight or improper stretching and/or warming up. Also, anyone can sustain injuries weather an expert or novice. believe it or not, even something as small as a little twist of the
knee can affect your physical activities and this is why no matter how small the strain, pull or injury seems... it is always best to seek medical observation by a trained doctor to be sure you are not ignoring the small symptoms that are there to warn you of perhaps something larger. Listen to your body. If something hurts, its better safe than sorry. Your doctor could be the one who catches something small before it has a chance to turn into something big. In this case and as the saying goes... "an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a punt of cure!"
Some examples of injuries that may happen as a result of physical activities and that may require examination by a sports medicine doctor are as follows:
· Ankle and wrist sprains
· Minor to major fractures
· Injuries like pulls, twist and tears to your knee or shoulder
· Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon)
. Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints)
. Achilles tendon injuries
. Shin splints
· Back injuries
. Neck injuries
· Illness due to heat exposure
· Pulled hamstring and or dislocated shoulder
· Cartilage tears
. Knee injuries including ACL tears
. Fractures and dislocations
. Lacerations and dislocations (Cuts and Scrapes)
Sports medicine involves not only treating injuries, but prevention, physical therapy/rehabilitation, and (for some) Performance training.