The field of sports medicine was first established in Germany in 1911, and since then, it has undergone exponential growth. What started out as a mere investigation of sports and physical exercises has now evolved into a multifaceted field. Sports medicine integrates care from medical practitioners and other specialists across different academic disciplines in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of athletic injuries.
Sports medicine is an often-misunderstood sector mainly because of its multidisciplinary approach. To get a better understanding, let’s take a closer look at what it exactly comprises.
Sports Medicine and Injury Prevention
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), together with other organizations, has put up the STOP Sports Injuries campaign among youth athletes. The campaign is aimed at educating the public about the importance of injury prevention, encouraging all types of athletes to always do cross-training and stretches. These types of exercises give the commonly used muscles some respite from the strains placed on them each time.
Sports medicine specialists conduct preparticipation physical exams to ensure novice and professional athletes alike are fit to return to their sports routines. This is crucial for helping athletes make return-to-play decisions.
Sports Medicine and Injury Management
Injury management is one of the most crucial aspects of sports medicine. Without the help of a sports medicine specialist, a serious sports injury can shatter an athlete’s career. However, with the right course of action and the expertise of a sports medicine specialist, any serious injury can be effectively managed and can have a good chance of recovery.
Injury management resources often include medications, which is usually the first-line treatment option; surgery, whenever necessary; physical therapy referrals; and certain rehabilitation programs.
Sports Medicine and Its Broad Scope of Specialties
Sports medicine is an umbrella term that refers to the vast array of specialties traversing the academic disciplines of medicine, physical education, and basic sciences.
The job title “sports medicine specialist” does not always mean the practitioner is a doctor. The term is also applicable to specialists from any of the various disciplines that cover sports medical practices.
That is to say, pediatricians and primary care doctors can also specialize in sports medicine and can therefore be called sports medicine specialists; they may serve as team physicians for competitive teams at all levels. Physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified athletic trainers are examples of non-healthcare providers who practice sports medicine.
Sports Medicine, Exercise, and Chronic Disease Prevention
Sports medicine firmly establishes the importance of the role of exercise and sports in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. In the field of sports medicine, physical activity is deemed as the cornerstone of chronic disease prevention.
Sports medicine specialists also focus on the functional, medical, and therapeutic aspects of exercise and collaborate directly with athletes to boost their overall sports performance.
Contrary to popular belief, sports medicine is not only for injured athletes. It is also applicable to those who live an active lifestyle.
Sports Medicine and Its Focus on Nonsurgical Treatment
Albeit orthopedic surgeons can also treat athletic injuries, approximately 90 percent of them do not require surgery.
Sports medicine mainly focuses on leveraging the benefits of nonsurgical or regenerative treatment options—such as stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy— to help patients enjoy a quick recovery in the least invasive way. Nonetheless, if surgery is really necessary, sports medicine specialists can make referrals to orthopedic surgeons.
Highly Skilled, Board-Certified Sports Medicine Physicians in Naples, FL
While the term “sports medicine” can naturally conjure up images of an injured athlete, it’s not just about treating sports injuries. Sports medicine physicians, for instance, can also provide equally effective treatment for any non-sports-related injury involving the musculoskeletal system (joints, ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles).
At Joint Replacement Institute, our sports medicine physicians have the expertise and training in restoring your function and mobility after a musculoskeletal injury or condition. We can also coordinate with physical therapists to create a treatment program that works best for you.
If you want to consult any of our sports medicine physicians at Joint Replacement Institute, call us at 239-261-2663 or complete our online appointment booking form. We look forward to providing you with the highest-quality sports medicine care!