If you’re an athlete, you’ve likely seen a sports medicine doctor. If you haven’t yet, there’s still a chance you may — or even should. Athletes benefit from sports medicine specialists’ expertise for everything from primary care to performance enhancement. They are authorities on orthopedic and musculoskeletal issues and other aspects of athletes’ concerns.
In short, sports medicine focuses on the health, performance, and well-being of athletes and active individuals — regardless of age and ability.
3 Ways to Boost Athletic Performance with Sports Medicine
With a broad knowledge of sports-related conditions, sports medicine doctors are able to offer athletes comprehensive and personalized care. That includes the following support for active patients and athletes.
1) Advocate For Physical Conditioning
Sports medicine doctors can recommend proper exercise routines with appropriate frequencies and intensities, depending on an athlete’s needs. These recommendations can help lessen fatigue and stress while maintaining peak condition.
2) Collaborate with Other Specialists
Sports medicine doctors also work with patient healthcare teams and even coaches. Together, they collaborate on the development and execution of specialized treatment plans and procedures.
3) Evaluate and Diagnose Sports-Related Conditions
The severity of injuries can be mitigated, or in some instances prevented, when they are identified early. To ensure this, sports medicine doctors can conduct routine evaluations. Regular screenings and assessments keep track of the health of athletes. When injuries do present themselves — such as fractures, dislocation, muscle and ligament tears, etc. — proper tests and treatments can be proactively implemented for a speedy recovery.
5 Common Injuries Treated by Sports Medicine Doctors
1) Sprains: Injuries that involve soft tissue damage, especially in the ankle, knee, or wrist. Athletes commonly experience this condition due to their need to quickly change direction. Treatment for a sprain includes the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
2) Knee Injuries: Composed of tendons, ligaments, a joint, and muscles, knees often bear the brunt of sports injuries. The most common knee injuries are to the ACL, meniscus, and patellar tendons. Treatment interventions for knee injuries depend on the type of condition and severity.
3) Separated Shoulder: This happens when the ligament holding the collarbone to the clavicle gets injured, typically due to impact. The RICE method can treat most cases of a separated shoulder. Patients with mild cases can recover within days or weeks of injury; however, more severe shoulder separations could require reattachment of the ligament to the bone through surgery.
4) Fractures: Partial or complete breaks of a bone. There are two classifications of fractures: closed (or simple) and open (or compound). The latter often requires a cast and time off while the latter can require that in addition to surgery.
5) Dislocations: When a joint becomes dislocated, that means it’s out of place. They can even cause temporary immobilization until the bones are back in place. Most specialists recommend a combination or all of the following methods for treatment:
- Cast or splint
- Pain medication
- RICE method
- Repositioning to set the joint correctly
- Rarely, surgery
Beacon Sports Medicine Doctors are at the Ready
Injuries are a fact of life when it comes to sports. Athletes can decrease the risk of injury through proper warmups, correct form, adequate rest, and proper equipment, but the risk will always be there. If you’re interested in learning more about sports medicine support, or if you’re an athlete in need of injury treatment, contact a Beacon sports medicine specialist to schedule an online appointment today.