The branch of sports medicine is rapidly expanding in our seemingly sports-obsessed world. With the medical advancements being made today, injuries that used to sideline athletes forever are now increasingly treatable. Sports medicine itself deals with injuries and illnesses which result directly from participating in sports or athletic activities. It also helps athletes stay healthy and learn how to avoid injury before it happens.
Some of the most common injuries sports medicine professionals deal with are to the legs, knees, back, shoulders, arms and hands. Typically, any joint is highly susceptible to injury because they absorb a lot of the impact placed upon the body when participating in sports.
A common misconception about sports medicine (also called sports science) is that it is only for professional athletes. On the contrary, many self-professed “weekend warriors” as well as college and high school athletes benefit from sports medicine each day. The appeal of sports is universal and when you have a love for the game, no matter what level you’re at, all you want to do is get back in the game as quickly and as healthy as possible. Sports medicine makes that happen.
Goals of Sport Medicine
The goals of sports medicine differ across all different types of sports as well as the different levels at which people play them. For the most part, there are three types of athletes, all of which have different goals
High School / College Athlete
The high school or college athlete separated from other types of athletes because their bodies are still in a state of natural growth in addition to the intense workout regimens these athletes are often subjected to. The competitive nature of the arena as well as the dreams of making a career out of the activity requires a special set of attention that only a sports medicine professional can provide.
- Reaching full athletic potential • Preventing any injury
- Speedy recovery and return after injury
- Preventing re-injury
- Scholarship potential
Mature / Recreational Athlete
Adult athletes who are playing for enjoyment or exercise often don’t need to be as competitive or worry about rushed recovery times, but rather maintaining the quality of life their jobs or families demand.
Goals for these types of athletes include:
- Keeping as active as possible in sports
- Avoiding injury
- Balancing desired goals with limitations
- Maintaining overall wellness
Because professional athletes compete on a higher level and their living depends on their ability to return to the field, their goals are often more intense and time sensitive:
- Maintaining the peak level of performance
- Preventing injury through proper exercise
- Recover and strengthen after injury
- Return to career in best shape possible
- Learn how to avoid repeat injuries
- Elongate playing career
As with a sports team, there are many physicians who work together to help the patient regain maximum use of the injured limb or joint. “Players” on the team are typically the physician, orthopedic surgeon, rehabilitation specialist, athletic trainer and physical therapist – and the patient him/herself.
Common injuries treated include:
- ACL Tears
- Compartment Syndrome
- Heat Exhaustion
If you are looking for help with your sport injuries contact our office today for a consultation with our experienced orthopedic surgeons.