When you think of sports medicine, you might imagine a sports medicine doctor or physical therapist on the field helping your favorite football star as he’s whisked away after a severe injury. Sports medicine is about more than just the action on the field, however. It’s a comprehensive field of medicine that encompasses all aspects of sports and physical activity.
Here, we will go over everything you need to know about sports medicine. It includes what sports medicine and its specialists are, what they do and the conditions they treat, as well as the benefits of seeing a sports medicine specialist and when you should see one for yourself.
What is sports medicine?
Sports medicine is a multidisciplinary field that includes physicians, nurses, athletic trainers, physical therapists and dietitians. Sports medicine doctors work with people of all ages involved in physical activity, from professional athletes to recreational exercisers. Meaning sports medicine is not only meant for your favorite football star. Sports medicine is for you, too!
You might consider sports medicine if you are looking for an effective way to manage sports injuries. This branch of medicine focuses on the prevention and treatment of sports injuries. It can also help you restore function and improve performance.
What conditions do sports medicine physicians treat?
There are several reasons someone might seek the help of a sports medicine doctor. Some common issues treated include:
- Athletic injuries, such as sprains, strains and fractures
- Overuse injuries, such as tendonitis and bursitis
- Heat illness
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis and back pain
- Cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease and stroke
What services does sports medicine offer?
Sports medicine encompasses a wide range of services, from physical therapy to orthotics and prosthetics. Sports medicine doctors and specialists can treat many conditions, including sports injuries, joint pain and heart problems.
If you are an athlete or someone who exercises regularly, it is important to have a basic understanding of sports medicine. Sports medicine physicians offer a variety of services, depending on the needs of their patients.
Some of the most common services include:
- Physical therapy to help patients restore strength and mobility after an injury
- Rehabilitation to help patients regain their previous level of function after an injury or surgery
- Pain management to help control pain caused by sports injuries
- Nutrition counseling to help athletes stay healthy and perform at their best
- Psychosocial counseling to help athletes deal with the stress of competition
- Orthotics and prosthetics to help patients who have lost a limb regain mobility
- Athletic training to help prevent and manage sports injuries
What does a sports medicine physical therapist do?
A sports medicine physical therapist helps athletes prevent and recover from injuries. They may provide physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain management, nutrition counseling or psychosocial counseling. They may also prescribe orthotics or prosthetics to help athletes regain mobility.
What are the benefits of seeing a sports medicine specialist?
The benefits of seeing a sports medicine specialist include prevention and early detection of injuries, faster recovery times and improved performance. Sports medicine specialists can also help athletes cope with the stress of competition.
When should I see a sports medicine specialist?
You should see a sports medicine specialist if you are injured or have concerns about your health and fitness.
If you suffer an injury, stop exercising immediately and seek medical help. You may need to have an X-ray or MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Depending on the injury, you may need to rest, ice, compress and elevate the area (RICE) or take medication. You may also need physical therapy.
You may also want to see a sports medicine specialist if you are interested in improving your performance.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
Your first appointment will likely include a physical examination, consultation and treatment plan. You may also be given exercises to do at home. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions and not self-treat an injury.
How can I prevent sports injuries?
There are several things you can do to prevent sports injuries, including warming up properly before exercise, using the right equipment and stretching regularly. You should also drink plenty of water and take breaks if you’re feeling tired. If you do suffer an injury, stop exercising immediately and seek medical help.
What is the outlook for people with sports injuries?
While most sports injuries are not serious, some can lead to long-term problems if not treated properly. It’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible if you think you’ve suffered a sports injury.
The outlook for people with sports injuries depends on the nature and severity of the injury. Some injuries can be cured with rest and treatment, while others may require surgery. With proper treatment, most people with sports injuries can make a full recovery.
Sports medicine doctors in Cary, Raleigh, Holly Springs and Morrisville
As the Triangle region’s leading sports medicine specialists, we understand just how essential therapy and rehabilitation are to your overall recovery. Our board certified sports medicine doctors utilize a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating that is more than just treating patients for their ailments. Our approach involves a complete rebuild of an athlete to address their individual conditions.
When you’re ready to schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist or orthopedic surgeon, contact us today.