You might visit a doctor sometime and see several other doctors sharing the same building. They’ll each have an office, and you’ll likely see their specialties listed by their names. You might see proctologists there, or orthopedists, or many other specialties.
You may see sports medicine listed by a doctor’s name. What does sports medicine involve, though? We’ll take some time to discuss it right now.
What Does Sports Medicine Entail?
Only skilled individuals become doctors, particularly specialists. Even when someone becomes a doctor, they can make a mistake. About one in five US residents has experienced a medical error, so this can happen relatively often.
The best sports medicine specialists rarely make mistakes, though. That’s why athletes trust them. Simply put, sports medicine involves individuals who help athletes and other highly active people. Sports medicine exists for football players, baseball players, basketball players, swimmers, etc.
You might visit a sports medicine expert if you’re doing Olympic training. You may visit one if you play sports professionally. You may see a sports medicine specialist if you are an enthusiastic amateur. Maybe you’ll also visit a sports medicine expert if you play sports at the semi-pro level.
You can see someone in sports medicine if you’ve hurt yourself while playing, or you can visit them if you’re in athletics at a high level but you hurt yourself while doing something that’s not sports-related. You might turn an ankle while walking down your steps at home, while you’re playing with your kids in the backyard, when you’re gardening, or when you’re doing something equally innocuous.
When someone in sports medicine looks you over, they do so knowing that you need rapid recovery. They can talk to you about what surgery you need, though an orthopedist often performs it. The sports medicine doctor can help you during the recovery process.
If you don’t need surgery, they might recommend a physical therapy program instead. They may give you an exercise program that can rehab the injury. They might also give you pain medication, recommend ice baths or hot compresses, give you kinesiology tape for your various body parts, or assign you a strength and conditioning program while you’re recovering.
Injury and Illness Prevention
Many professional sports organizations also have sports medicine doctors on staff who can help you prevent injuries or illnesses. After all, it’s better if you can avoid illness or injury whenever possible. If you can stay healthy, you can play whenever your team needs you, and that’s what professional athletes want most of all.
If you’re an athlete and you see a sports medicine specialist when you’re relatively healthy, they might tell you how you can stay that way. They may tell you about protein powder you can use. They can tell you about vitamins or supplements that may help you.
They might have some additional dietary recommendations. Perhaps they’ll put you on a high-protein diet or tell you that you must reduce your sugar consumption.
Sports medicine doctors often have backgrounds that involve wellness and injury prevention. They can tell you how to stay lean, bulk up, strengthen specific body parts, and so forth.
Sports Medicine for Everyday Life
Some sports medicine specialists travel with professional teams. The athletes can find them in the weight room, or they may have an office in the stadium where the team plays. Maybe they’re on call every moment. Teams spend millions retaining their athletes, and sports medicine specialists help protect those investments.
Sports medicine helps amateurs too, though. You might approach a sports medicine doctor if you have a broken bone, and you hope you can avoid surgery. Maybe you have a sprain, strain, muscle tear, or some other soft tissue injury.
Sports medicine doctors know all about the musculoskeletal system. They can discuss your treatment options and set you up with a program that makes the most sense based on your individual needs.
You might discuss an injury with a sports medicine specialist if you want a second opinion about something. They may have some treatment options available that will seem more palatable if you feel an operation isn’t your best option.
Sports medicine has become more mainstream in recent years. Those who get into it make good money since they can treat both celebrity athletes and anyone else who has an active lifestyle.
If injury or illness prevention appeals, you can always seek out a sports medicine specialist.