What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine stands out as separate branch of medicine to support people leading a sports-heavy lifestyle by means of boosting their sports performance, promoting a proper recovery from injuries and ensuring prevention of possible injuries in the future.
It’s a rapidly-developing health care realm. The matter is that sports medicine focuses not only on the sportsmen, but also on all other people, who are non-professional athletes, to a greater or a lesser extent. But still this branch of medicine primarily tackles the issues of injuries, which athletes are suffering from. These injuries are ranging from cartilage damage to bone fractures and muscle tear.
What Do Sports Medicine Doctors Do?
Sports medicine doctors provide health care mainly to the athletes on many sports-related health problems in different settings. Each person who wants to become a sports medicine doctor must gain specific qualification and comply with fellowship demands for sports medicine branch. Sports medicine doctors can be in fact divided into primary care physicians and orthopedic surgeons, who determine the treatment methods for both professional sportsmen and amateur sportsmen.
These doctors undergo special training in order not just treat the athletes but also offer the sportsmen the most reasonable solutions when it comes to substance abuse, sports psychology, and nutrition. Thus, since the use of the natural carb blockers and fat burners is not prohibited by the sports authorities, the sports medicine doctors may recommend the sportsmen the best options for maintenance of excellent body shape.
The major professional duties of the sports medicine doctors are as follows:
- Diagnosis and treatment of various athletic injuries
- Development of treatment and rehabilitation approaches
- Discussion of the peculiarities of recovery process with the patients
- Prescription of pharmaceutic therapy if required
The sports medicine doctors often perform their activities in close conjunction with the physical therapists in order to offer the patients the best-working rehabilitation strategy. The sports medicine doctors also actively cooperate with the athletic trainers in order to create the most effective but at the same time health-saving workout plans.
The orthopedic surgeons have necessary qualification and expertise to do surgical procedures, while the primary care sports medicine doctors can’t use any surgical methods of treatment. But the latter ones can refer their patients to surgeons in case that surgical treatment is the only treatment choice.
The working environment of sports medicine doctors is very diverse, ranging from physical therapy offices, medical clinics, and hospitals to professional sports organizations, high schools, colleges, and universities.
When to See a Sports Medicine Doctor
Regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or just exercising for your health and pleasure, you should seek for a sports medicine doctor’s aid in the following cases:
- Acute Sports Injury: Such injuries happen suddenly and usually require urgent treatment measures
- Chronic Sports Injury: These conditions manifest themselves long after the acute sports injury
- Necessity for Orthopedic Surgery: A dislocated joint or a bone fracture may be an indication for such a surgery
- Sports Injury Recovery: Adequate recovery helps people quickly return to sports and everyday activities
- Sports Injury Prevention: It’s important to learn to prevent sports injuries when beginning new sports activity
Sports Injuries Statistics
Sports injuries are common in all people, but especially in children and younger adults. According to the U.S. statistics, the number of children and adolescents who get injured during any physical and sports activities exceeds 3.5 million per year. Also, among all kinds of injuries which children may experience, sports injuries account for one-third of all cases.
Sprains and strains belong to the most frequently occurring types of sports injuries. Noncontact sports such as running and swimming are less traumatic comparing to contact sports such as basketball, volleyball, and football.
According to the study findings, approximately 9 million people at the age varying from 5 to 24 years old per year sustain sports injuries of ranging severity in the United States. The medical researchers report that more than 50% of all sports injuries accrues exactly to people who fall within the age frame from 5 to 24 comparing to all other age groups.
The lower body injuries happen most often. That is, 42% of all sports injuries fall at the lower body injuries regardless of sportsmen’s age. More than 30% of sports injuries also accrues to the upper extremities, while neck and head sports injuries account for more than 16% of all sports injury cases.
The sports injuries typically don’t contribute to deaths. But if the death occurs, this is in most cases an outcome of severe head injury.
Difference Between Sports Medicine Doctor and Orthopedic Surgeon
Musculoskeletal medicine training is obligatory for both sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons. But while sports medicine physicians are focused on the curing sports injuries by using non-surgical methods, orthopedic surgeons are mostly targeted on surgical solution of musculoskeletal issues.
In fact, about 90% of sports musculoskeletal conditions don’t require surgical treatment.
The sports medicine physicians do their best in order to avoid the need for surgery where it’s possible and safe for a patient’s health. These doctors not only directly treat sports injuries but also help sportsmen manage fatigue, stress, and burnout in sportsmen.
The sports medicine physicians solve the problems with regard to sports nutrition and supplementation such as the intake of hgh supplements and other natural remedies. And those tasks are what the orthopedic surgeons actually never meet in their practice.
Facts about Sports Medicine
You will be able to completely understand what sport medicine implies if you get to know some important facts about this subspecialty:
- Sports medicine specialists have to additionally continue education. The doctors who want to focus on sports medicine have to obligatorily continue expanding and deepening their knowledge beyond standard training. Such a specialist has to become board-certified. Additional sports medicine training has to last from one to two years. Since the recognition from the American Board of Medical Subspecialties is demanded, the physician who want to become a sports medicine doctor has to successfully pass a national sports medicine certification exam.
- Sports medicine is mainly engaged in nonsurgical treatment methods. Orthopedic surgeons may be of course involved in curing sports traumas in some worst cases. However, the truth is that approximately 90% of all sport trauma cases are absolutely curable without the application of any surgical techniques, even in sportsmen with coexisting diseases. The major target of sports medicine is to get most out of nonsurgical healing methods, which can even accelerate the post-injury recovery. But if surgery is really inevitable and is a single treatment option, a sports medicine doctor will obligatorily refer an injured sportsman to an orthopedic surgeon.
- Sports medicine is not limited with physicians only. Sports medicine engages not just sports medicine physician. Many medical experts from some other specialties provide medical services to the sportsmen as well. Thus, there are also rehabilitation specialists and athletic trainers who may, among others, recommend the high-quality natural testosterone boosters. Also, physical therapists, sports psychologists, and dietitians, who may advise the advanced otc diet pills if needed, work in sports medicine realm.
- Sports medicine is a concept much broader than just ordinary injury treatment. Sports medicine is a highly specific subspecialty that combines many approaches useful for the all kinds of athletes. Thus, sports medicine doctors assist the sportsmen in giving a safe, medically-approved boost to their sports performance and getting the greatest possible advantages from a professional individually-tailored exercising plan, healthy eating knowledge, and sports psychology. These doctors must help even the sportsmen who suffer from comorbidities like osteoporosis.
Sports Medicine Physicians
Sports medicine physicians are in fact doctors who are directly engaged into diagnosing and curing sports traumas and sports-induced diseases. In most cases, sports medicine physicians specialize only on athletes, while the general physicians treat all non-sportsmen, for example obesity sufferers, who incurred a trauma during any sports-related activity.
The majority of sports medicine physicians must primarily get a certification in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, orthopedics, or emergency medicine prior to the mandatory sports medicine fellowship, the duration of which is typically two years. When sports medicine physicians finish training, most of them usually get a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Sports Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine.
The treatment of musculoskeletal traumas and disorders which don’t require surgery are the key sphere of activity of the majority of sports medicine physicians. Sports medicine physicians don’t belong to the orthopedic surgeons who only do sports-related surgical procedures.
Sports medicine physicians are not restricted with the injuries which engage only joints, bones, and muscles. These medical specialists are also involved in curing a wide range of traumas and sports issues such as concussion, head traumas, hypertension, asthma, diabetes, as well as other acute or chronic medical conditions which may hinder sports performance.
Also, sports medicine physicians help the athletes solve various issues related to sports nutrition, legal and harmless athletic performance enhancement, and natural ergogenic aids advice, as well as assist the athletes in sports injury prevention.