Sports medicine doctors have specialized education and training in diagnosing, treating, and helping to prevent sports-related injuries. Sports medicine physicians generally focus on orthopedics, which is a branch of medicine that concentrates on health issues related to the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and ancillary structures).
Many patients often ask whether sports medicine physicians have special training or skills that other medical doctors may not have. The answer is yes!
What Do Sports Doctors Do?
Sports medicine physicians have a variety of specialized skills, including the following:
Diagnose Sports-Related Conditions and Injuries
One of the most important skills sports medicine physicians have is knowing how to quickly and precisely diagnose sports-related injuries. These are different from regular injuries because of the method in which the injuries occur.
It is also different because a lot of sports injuries are caused by repetitive motions, not just sudden injuries. Sports medicine doctors understand when a patient is at risk of developing an injury, and they can even catch the repetitive-motion injury as it is developing – this way, the motion can be adjusted to halt further progression.
For example, a baseball player may see a sports medicine physician for mild pain in the shoulder. The doctor will examine the patient, get to know how often and with what intensity the patient plays the sport, and may diagnose the patient as having early symptoms of a repetitive-motion injury.
A sports medicine physician understands the nuances of athletes’ bodies and the types of conditions and injuries they are at risk for in their individual sport. Because of this, they are the ideal medical professionals in diagnosing sports-related health problems.
Treat Injuries from Sports or Physical Activities
Athletes’ treatment needs to be focused on healing efficiently and effectively so they can return to their sport as quickly as possible.
Athletes’ bodies are different from those of average people, as they are generally much more physically fit and muscular. Therefore, the types of treatments that are best suited for them may be different than what is prescribed for others.
Sports medicine physicians understand the latest and most effective treatments for athlete patients thanks to specific training and experience in handling these cases. The medical community is constantly learning about better and more specific ways of treating patients, and sports doctors will know the best treatment for various sports injuries.
Prevent Sports-Related Injuries
Another important skill sports medicine physicians have is the know-how on how to prevent specific sports-related injuries. Athletes use their bodies in very different ways than the average person, so the doctor can recommend ways to prevent injuries from developing.
This can include nutrition recommendations, exercise instructions to strengthen the body, advice on how to prevent repetitive movement injuries, and more.
In the case of a repetitive-motion injury, the doctor can recommend certain alternative motions or even prescribe physical therapy so the patient can learn new ways of performing the same motion. The doctor may also explain specific ways to warm up and cool down those muscles and joints to help prevent further injury and encourage healing of any tiny injuries that may already exist.
Orthopedic Sports Surgeons in Maryland
Sports medicine physicians are highly qualified, specialized medical doctors who are experts in handling sports-related conditions and injuries. But their medical expertise doesn’t stop there – sports medicine doctors are also qualified to treat every patient who has a musculoskeletal or orthopedic issue of any kind, whether they are athletes or not.
If you have a sports-related injury or condition, it’s crucial to have a qualified and reputable sports medicine physician by your side. Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder has board-certified sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and plastic surgeons who treat a variety of issues related to the upper extremities.
We are committed to the highest-quality patient care and would love to treat any issue you have with your shoulder, arm, wrist, elbow, or hand. Call (410) 296-6232 today to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you.