Sports medicine is a rapidly growing and evolving branch of medicine that is focused on the management and prevention of injuries resulting from sports, exercise, and other physical activities.
Sports medicine or sports and exercise medicine combines principles of sports science, exercise physiology, orthopedics, sports nutrition, biomechanics, and sports psychology with general medical education.
In this comprehensive guide, we will give you a basic understanding of sports medicine, including information about sports medicines doctor, their education and training, and the basic components of sports medicine.
Sports Medicine Doctor
A medical doctor who practices sports medicine is called a sports medicine doctor. A sports medicine doctor can be an orthopedic physician who specializes in sports medicine.
While most sports medicine doctors work with athletes, they can work with anyone who wants to improve their physical performance or need treatment for a sports injury. This means they provide care to professional athletes and amateur athletes, sports enthusiasts, weekend warriors, and people who sustain a sports injury while doing a physically demanding occupational task.
Education and Training
To become a sports medicine doctor, one needs at least 12 years of education. This includes four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, three years of residency, and one year of fellowship training.
After this, they need to pass the national certification exam in sports medicine. Apart from sports medicine, a sports medicine doctor may hold certifications in one or more other medical fields like emergency medicine, internal medicine, etc.
Basic Components of Sports Medicine
A sports medicine doctor focuses on the following key components to help their patients.
Sports medicine is focused on injury prevention through education. Sports medicine doctors work with athletes, weekend warriors, and other physically active individuals to prevent injuries.
They do this by ensuring that their patients know how to properly use equipment, maintain posture, and do training safely. Furthermore, they may recommend personal training to ensure that athletes and fitness enthusiasts know why warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching exercises are necessary before an activity.
A sports medicine doctor diagnoses and treats a wide range of musculoskeletal system injuries and other sports-related injuries like concussions.
To assess and diagnose an injury, they conduct a thorough physical examination and order diagnostic tests like X-rays, MRI, CT scan, etc. Then, based on the type and severity of your injury, they may recommend conservative treatments such as rest, icing, medications, physical therapy, bracing, and injections. In more severe cases, they may recommend surgical treatments like ligament repair, fracture repair, joint replacement, etc.
A sports medicine doctor can also play a significant role in recovery and rehabilitation after an injury. They work with physical therapists and other professionals to ensure that the rehab plan is working for the patient and that they are regaining their lost strength and mobility.
Performance enhancement is another important component of sports medicine. A sports medicine doctor can help athletes enhance their performance by providing guidance on training techniques, nutrition, hydration, and rest.
They may also work with their coaches and trainers to develop a training plan focused on enhancing athletes’ endurance, strength, and agility.
When Should You See a Sports Medicine Doctor?
You should see a sports medicine doctor if you:
- Have sustained a sport injury
- Want to enhance your activity level or athletic performance
- Want to prevent a sports injury or reduce your risk for reinjury
- Need guidance on training and exercise
Sports Medicine in Kansas City
At Midwest Orthopaedics, our team has board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors who are ready to provide you with advanced, comprehensive care tailored to your unique needs. From diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries to rehabilitation and injury prevention, our sports medicine doctor will provide you with everything that you need to stay on top of your game.