Sports Medicine Doctors: How They Can Assist Athletes in Maintaining Their Physical Fitness

A primary care sports medicine physician focuses on treating exercise and sports-related injuries. They treat everything from garden-variety athletic injuries to sprains, strains and fractures.

After medical school, physicians complete residencies in areas like family medicine, internal medicine or emergency medicine. Some doctors then go on to a fellowship in sports medicine.

Acute injuries are those that occur suddenly as a result of a traumatic event, overexertion or other physical activity. They can include sprained ankles or wrists, back or neck strain, bone fractures, ligament or muscle tears and more. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury but could involve applying heat or cold packs, taking over-the-counter pain relievers or undergoing surgery.

If you suffer an acute injury, such as a twisted ankle, are unable to put weight on the injured area or experience severe pain and swelling, see a Sports Medicine Specialist right away. They can treat the injury by performing X-rays, prescribing medications and providing physical therapy.

Los Angeles Pain Relief Clinic’s Sports Medicine Physicians often work as team doctors for professional sports teams. However, they can also help athletes and non-athletes who are experiencing injuries from recreational activities. If you are experiencing pain or injury from exercise, consider speaking with a sports medicine provider via telemedicine to learn more about your options for care.

When chronic injuries develop, it’s likely because of overuse and may include joint instability, tendonitis and/or muscle tension. These lasting injuries typically occur in areas of the body that are repeatedly stressed such as the knees, back, shoulders and hips.

Sports medicine specialists are trained to recognize these conditions and provide effective treatment. They are able to help you return to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Sports medicine physicians can work in a variety of settings including with amateur and professional sports teams, school athletics departments, and in traditional clinics and doctor’s offices. They often work nontraditional hours in order to be available when their patients are playing games or competing. Whether you’re an elite athlete or just starting your new exercise program, these providers can help get you back to your normal activity level as soon as possible. They also are a good resource for those who want to stay active in retirement and those who wish to pursue a healthier lifestyle through physical activity.

When you think of sports medicine, you may picture a physician on the sidelines at an NFL game helping a player with a serious injury. But it’s also a specialty that treats amateur and recreational athletes who get hurt during workouts or while playing games. These athletes are sometimes referred to as “weekend warriors.”

In addition to musculoskeletal injuries, sports medicine physicians are well trained in treating concussions. They help determine when a patient has sustained a head injury and use industry standard guidelines to establish an appropriate return-to-play protocol.

After medical school, sports medicine doctors complete a three or four year residency. They may choose to do a family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics or emergency medicine before completing an accredited fellowship in primary care sports medicine. This gives them a broad range of skills that allows them to treat all types of patients. They can then offer comprehensive medical treatment to athletes and non-athletes alike.

A Sports Medicine Specialist is fully trained to diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Although it may sound like these doctors only treat athletes, anyone with a regular or semi-regular exercise routine can benefit from their expertise.

Whether it’s running, playing basketball or hitting the gym, it is common for people to experience aches and pains from time to time. But if this pain becomes persistent, it might be time to see a medical professional.

The first step is to visit your family physician or primary care doctor and ask for a referral to a Sports Medicine Specialist. Then, this medical professional will perform a physical examination and X-rays to identify any problem areas.

Depending on the outcome, this medical expert will then recommend the appropriate treatment plan to help you overcome your injury or condition. For example, they might suggest a combination of rest, physical therapy and medication to reduce inflammation. They might also show you how to properly perform exercises to strengthen your muscles and prevent future injuries.