An athlete’s career is not a straight path. It requires dedication, because it involves hours of training, nutritional discipline and more. Unfortunately, no training will ever be enough to make an athlete 100% immune to injury. An athlete needs to be in tip-top condition to perform well and reduce risk of sports-related injuries.
They say that behind the success of an athlete is a committed coach. There is also the help of fitness trainers and nutritionists for the best physical condition. However, did you know that another person is also significant in assisting with sports injuries? It is all thanks to a sports medicine doctor.
What exactly does a sports medicine doctor do? A sports medicine doctor’s day-to-day life can vary slightly depending on their patients and work environment. However, most of them perform similar duties.
Here are eight expected duties of a sports medicine doctor:
1. Examine Injured Athletes and Create Treatment Plans
A sports medicine doctor has medical training focused on treating sports injuries. Other medical professionals can also examine an athlete’s injury, but a sports medicine doctor can devise a treatment plan that is tailor-fit to an athlete’s routine using their skill and experience in treating the unique aspects of an athlete’s musculoskeletal system, as well as their needs.
2. Provide Diagnosis and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions
An athlete’s body is especially vulnerable while engaged in sports. There is always a chance for injury during the heat of a tournament or an intense practice session. Luckily, a sports medicine doctor is the best person to consult for many sports-related musculoskeletal conditions.
Below are the most common conditions sport medicine doctors treat:
3. Order and Analyze Lab Tests and Diagnostic Imaging
Lab tests and imaging procedures are part of an athlete’s examination with a sports medicine doctor. Some of these tests include:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)
- Serum ferritin
- Serum iron
These medical assessments can provide precise insight into an athlete’s injury or current physical condition. The doctor can determine the best recommendation for treatment options, medications, etc. using this information.
4. Prescribe Medication for Treatment
If an athlete has an injury or other sports-related conditions, medication can help them recover. A sports medicine doctor can recommend the best medication based on the athlete’s needs. They will also include guidance on taking medicines and an appropriate diet.
5. Supervise the Rehabilitation Journey of Athletes
Sports-related conditions may dampen an athlete’s performance. A full recovery includes getting the athlete to their previous performance level, if not better. A sports medicine doctor can develop a custom routine for an athlete to help them improve and recover their strength. The provider will also monitor them during rehabilitation to prevent re-injuries and other complications.
6. Determine an Athlete’s Readiness for Competition
An athlete’s determination to enter a competition is not enough if they are not medically fit. If an athlete is injured, their doctor’s assessment is vital before going back to their normal routine. The doctor is the best person to give clearance to an athlete to determine if they are fit to compete.
7. Coordinate with Coaches, Orthopedic Surgeons, and Athletic Trainers
An athlete’s success is achieved with the efforts of a dedicated team. It is the responsibility of a sports medicine doctor to coordinate with other professionals involved with their patients. This coordination ensures everybody is on the same page regarding the athlete’s condition and needs.
8. Provide Education to Both Athlete and Coach
Lastly, a sports medicine doctor’s interactions are not necessarily limited to the athlete. It is also common to have talks with their coach. These interactions are beneficial for educating about exercise regimens, hydration, nutrition and injury prevention.
Trusted Sports Medicine Doctor in Maryland
Sports medicine doctors are knowledgeable about what benefits athletes and physically active individuals. Did you recently suffer from a sports-related injury? Do you just want to improve your performance? Consulting a sports medicine doctor is always a good choice.
Our team at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder is happy to cater to your needs. We have convenient locations in Bel Air, Clarksville, Eldersburg, Lutherville, Pasadena and Westminster. Call us today at (410) 296-6232 or use our convenient online appointment request form now!