Why Sports Medicine Isn’t just for Athletes

by | Oct 23, 2015 | Physical Therapy

For many people, the term sports medicine is relatively new. They may have heard about it in relation to their favorite football or baseball player recovering from an injury, or they may have even heard about it from a coach at school.

However, the practice of sports and exercise medicine is much more inclusive than just athletes, and certainly much more than just professional or semi-professional players. In fact, many of the top orthopaedic and rehabilitation facilities offering physical and occupational therapists now also have a sports specialist.

The Professional

A specialist in sports medicine can be any one of a number of professionals in the medical health field. A large number of these professionals are established medical doctors with specialized training in orthopaedics and injuries related to stress and strain on the body. There are several organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and the American Society for Sports Medicine, all which relate to physicians involved in this field.

Seeing a sports medicine professional is often recommended to treat an injury that impacts the musculoskeletal system. This can include treatment and recovery of fractures, sprains, soft tissue damage, concussions, and chronic types of injuries such as muscle strains, shin splints, muscle cramping, or chronic pain from repeated injuries.

The Treatment

While a doctor may be a specialist in sports medicine, there is typically a team approach to treatment that depends on the injury and the recovery plan. In many cases, the doctor will work with a physical and occupational therapist for gross and fine muscle development and retraining; an orthopedic surgeon, and even with an athletic trainer.

For athletes, the team may supply the professionals for the sports medicine treatment while other people can find all of these services at a rehabilitation clinic.

It is common for both athletes and non-athletes to work on specific types of exercise equipment, use movement training or kinesiotherapy, as well as to have exercises to complete on a daily basis as part of the treatment.

The Goal

The goal of participating in sports medicine treatment is not just to heal an injury, but actually to decrease the likelihood of re-injury. This is where the team approach is essential, not just in building up the muscles again but in learning how to most effectively use the body and prevent injuries in the future.

It is also possible to use a sports medicine professional for improvement in overall performance, even without an injury. This always has a preventive component and can be highly effective in limiting potential injuries on and off the field.

At Suburban Orthopaedics, we specialize in sports medicine for the serious athlete, as well as for people who just enjoy being active. To learn more about this service visit us online at www.suburbanortho.com.

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