Physical activity is no doubt one of the best things for your health. Exercising and playing sports regularly keeps you fit and your body systems healthy. They can also boost your mood and help reduce your risk for certain diseases.
However, while physical activity is great, there are some risks associated with it. Luckily, you can rely on sports medicine to keep you safe and healthy while you play sports and engage in your favorite physical activities.
What is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on helping people stay healthy while they train and compete in sports. It includes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries related to sports. Sports medicine also involves the promotion of general well-being.
Sports medicine doctors are specially trained to help athletes manage and prevent injuries. They are also called orthopedic providers since sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopedics.
Some facets of sports medicine include:
Sports medicine doctors work to help prevent injuries by identifying and addressing risk factors associated with specific sports. This could include:
- Ensuring correct technique and form are practiced
- Supporting the use of protective gear like helmets, padding, and mouthguards
- Recommending adequate warm-up exercises
Injury Diagnosis and Treatment
Sports medicine physicians have expertise in diagnosing and treating injuries. They do so by creating an individualized treatment plan specific to the sport and injury type. They may also prescribe medications or physical therapy. Your sports medicine doctor can perform surgery to help with healing if they also specialize in orthopedic surgery and if your injury or condition warrants it.
Sports medicine physicians also help athletes improve their performance. They could recommend proper nutrition for peak performance. Sports medicine doctors also develop personalized strength and flexibility programs. In addition, they can help athletes learn proper form and technique to maximize performance.
Physicals and Recovery Clearance
Sports medicine doctors do detailed checkups when an athlete suffers an injury and is in recovery. This includes:
- Checking a player’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility to confirm they are ready to return to normal activities
- Assessing an athlete’s cardiovascular health
- Evaluating the injury site to confirm that it has healed
They can also perform pre-season physicals. This is to make sure an athlete is healthy and ready for the upcoming competition.
What Injuries and Conditions Can Sports Medicine Address?
Sports medicine doctors often deal with sports-related injuries such as:
- Muscle strains or tears – injuries caused by the muscle being overstretched
- Ligament sprains – injuries caused by stretching or tearing of the ligaments
- Fractures – injuries caused by broken bones
- Shoulder and joint problems – impingement, dislocations, and tendonitis
- Concussions – traumatic brain injuries caused by a blow to the head
These are some examples, but sports medicine doctors can help with many other orthopedic conditions, too.
Who Can Benefit from Sports Medicine?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a professional or an elite athlete to benefit from sports medicine. It can help anyone who is involved in any type of physical activity. You can benefit from sports medicine whether you’re a runner, a cyclist, a soccer player, or simply someone who likes to stay active. Sports medicine helps athletes of all levels stay safe while they’re playing games or participating in any physical activity.
What Are the Benefits of Seeing a Sports Medicine Doctor?
Sports medicine offers many benefits. These include:
- Reduced risk of injury – Sports medicine helps athletes reduce the risk of injuries.
- A personalized approach – Sports medicine doctors customize treatments to the individual athlete and their sport of choice. This helps athletes heal more effectively.
- Enhanced performance – Sports medicine also helps athletes improve their skills and performance.
- Improved overall health – Sports medicine can help athletes stay healthy long term.
When Should You Visit Your Sports Medicine Doctor?
It is best to see your sports medicine doctor at least once a year for an overall physical. This helps ensure that you are in peak physical condition and ready for sports activities. Furthermore, visit your doctor if you experience an injury. Your treatment will be more effective the sooner you see a doctor.
You should also visit your sports medicine physician if:
- You have persistent pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away
- Your performance suddenly drops and you don’t know why
- You feel like your muscles and joints are not working as they should
- You have a medical condition that requires monitoring, such as diabetes or asthma
- You want to learn more about nutrition and other healthy habits for peak performance
- Do you want to improve your technique or form
Sports Medicine in Westlake & Avon, OH
Sports medicine offers personalized treatment and advice to help athletes of all skill levels stay safe and perform at their best. Consider visiting your local sports medicine doctor if you experience an injury or want to maintain good health while playing sports. They can provide you with an individualized treatment plan and help you stay safe. This lets you enjoy playing sports and be active long-term.
Looking for the best doctor of sports medicine in Westlake or Avon? You can rely on the trusted healthcare providers at Northeast Ohio Orthopaedic Associates. Dr. Irwin Mandel, board-certified in sports medicine and orthopedic surgery, heads our team of experts who will handle your care. You may call our friendly staff today at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624 to get assistance and book an appointment.
We look forward to helping you enjoy sports medicine and its benefits!