If you or your child sustains an injury while exercising, participating in sports, or engaging in any other type of physical activity, you may be referred to a sports medicine specialist for treatment. But what does sports medicine entail, and what kind of therapy does it involve that is beyond the purview of your family or primary care doctor?
For one thing, sports medicine health care providers are specially trained to help restore function to their injured patients and enable them to resume their normal activities as quickly as possible. They’re also trained in ways to help prevent illness and injury among the physically active. While they often work with professional athletes, sports medicine doctors also treat adults who regularly exercise for physical fitness and with children and adolescents who participate in sports, not to mention workers with physically demanding jobs.
In and of itself, sports medicine is not a medical specialty. Practitioners tend to be certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine or other specialty, but then receive additional training. Some specialize in treating children and teens, whose bodies are still developing and are, therefore, different from those of adults. These doctors are usually board-certified in family medicine or pediatrics with additional sports medicine training. Many sports medicine providers have orthopedic surgical training, as well.
The types of injuries addressed by a sports medicine specialist include, but are not limited to:
- Ankle Sprains
- Bone fractures
- Knee and shoulder injuries
- Cartilage injuries
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Heat illness
- Eating disorders
Sports medicine health care providers can also provide guidance related to nutrition, supplements, exercise, and injury prevention. They also often work with other professionals who play a significant role in rehabilitation and recovery from orthopedic injuries, such as physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, and nutritionists.
Do You Need a Sports Medicine Specialist?
If you or your child incurs a serious injury while exercising or playing sports – one that includes severe pain, swelling, numbness, or the inability to place any weight on the injured area – it may be best to seek immediate treatment at the nearest emergency room. If, however, there are none of these symptoms, simply rest at home and call your primary care physician who will provide guidance and possibly refer you to a sports medicine health care provider.
The majority of sports injuries don’t require surgery and can be treated with pain relievers and keeping the injured area immobilized with a cast or sling for a certain period of time. However, in more severe cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to repair or realign bones or repair torn tissue.
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, we provide the best patient-centered care for sport injuries and other conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. Whether you need an orthopedic surgeon or rehabilitation from a debilitating illness or injury, our physicians and staff will provide the highest quality care available.
We are located next to Methodist Texsan Hospital in Balcones Heights. Contact us today by calling (210) 692-7400 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. We look forward to serving you.