A sports medicine physician is an orthopedic doctor or surgeon with special training in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and conditions that affect people with active lifestyles – particularly athletes. This is the type of medical specialist you want to see if you’ve hurt yourself from running, playing basketball, or lifting weights in the gym.
When you’re experiencing pain, the last thing you want is to be confused about which specialist to see. Primary care doctors can refer you to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in sports medicine, but you can go directly to a sports medicine doctor yourself without a referral.
Reasons to See a Sports Physician
It is ideal to consult with a sports medicine doctor if any of the following reasons apply to you:
You Have a Sports-Related Injury
If you have sustained a musculoskeletal injury while playing sports, exercising, or performing any physical activity, that is exactly what a sports medicine doctor is fully trained to diagnose and treat. Symptoms of an orthopedic injury include a sudden onset of pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected area. It could be a sprain, a strain, or a stress fracture, but you won’t know unless you undergo a physical examination and probably an X-ray.
Your Musculoskeletal Injury Isn’t Healing
If the injury you’ve been treating at home keeps returning or isn’t going away, as in the case of tendonitis, it could be that you are not allowing the injury to heal properly – and you could be experiencing continual reinjury without knowing it. This needs to be assessed and treated by a sports medicine doctor.
You Are Recovering from an Injury
A sports doctor can prescribe rehabilitation and prescriptions to help you recover and return to your normal activities as quickly as possible, but not so soon that you reinjure yourself. The physician will outline your rehabilitation, which may include splinting, pain management therapies, and stretching, strengthening, and range-of-motion physical therapy exercises.
You Want to Prevent Injury
A sports medicine doctor is knowledgeable in injury prevention, because they know how to strengthen the body for various types of exercise and sports activity. If you want to prevent reinjury, or if you are thinking of starting an activity and would like to know how to do it safely, see a sports physician.
The doctor will check to make sure that the activity is safe for you to do; if so, they will recommend a conditioning program and warm-up and cool-down exercises to prepare you for it. In addition, sports medicine doctors can provide nutrition and lifestyle advice to help put you in peak physical condition.
Sports Medicine Doctor in Naples, Florida
If you are looking for a sports physician for treatment of an injury, arthritis, or advice on how to prevent injury, our orthopedic surgeons at the Joint Replacement Institute specialize in treating and preventing these injuries. We welcome patients of all stripes to our Naples facility.
To request an appointment, call the Joint Replacement Institute today at (239) 261-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.