What is sports medicine?
Sports medicine is a speciality that deals with injuries sustained during exercise, sports participation and other types of physical activity. Sports medicine specialists help injured patients regain strength and movement after injury and also focus on the prevention of injuries that derive from practising sports. Their various roles include care, nutritional advice, diagnosis, treatment and prevention in relation to all sports injuries.
Why is sports medicine practised?
Sports medicine is responsible for treating sports injuries in professional athletes and adults and children who exercise and partake in sports. The most common sports injuries treated by sports medicine specialists include:
What does sports medicine involve?
Sports medicine is based on several disciplines:
- Prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries, for example; with physical therapy.
- Control and monitoring of sports performance to avoid injuries and illness.
- Prevention and treatment of diseases (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease) with physical exercise. Many specialists are qualified in internal medicine, so can help patients lower blood pressure, balance glucose levels and prevent other illnesses.
- Nutritional advice and lifestyle. Many sports medicine healthcare providers assist patients with weight loss, muscle gain and sports nutrition to help them perform at their optimum level.
After treatment relating to a sports injury, rehabilitation is often required for the healing process. This is needed for injuries such as the following:
- Bone, musculotendinous and joint injuries
- Problems of the spine and/or extremities
- Trauma-related injuries and orthopaedic surgery
Rehabilitation is based on physical exercise programs to improve the health and performance of the patient, always under strict medical supervision. Dietary advice can also be given to the patient and their injuries and sports performance monitored to avoid further injury in the future.