Often, when a person experiences an injury to a muscle or bone, they visit their general practitioner. If the injury is really bad, they may visit an orthopedic specialist. But most people do not consider visiting a sports medicine doctor. Sports medicine doctors are for more than just athletes. They can help any person who injures themselves playing a sport or working out. In addition, sports medicine doctors may be able to help give you pointers to prevent injuries in the future.
Sports medicine doctors can take the form of a primary care physician, orthopedic specialist, or surgeon. The term “sports medicine doctor” means your doctor has had additional training in understanding sports-related injuries. If you are someone who is very active and works out a lot, it may be beneficial to find a primary care physician who has some training in sports medicine.
When sports injuries first occur, visiting a general practitioner is typically enough. Most sports injuries heal with rest, ice, and elevation. However, if you are experiencing a recurring sports injury or an injury that is not getting better with rest, ice, and elevation, it may be time to visit a sports medicine doctor. These specialists can better read MRIs and x-rays to determine the extent of damages. They can also discern what the best treatment plan is for the patient taking into consideration the patient’s training schedule and lifestyle.
Sports medicine specialists are able to provide and comprehensive and holistic plan for a patient. Where a physician who is not specialized in sports may treat the patient’s ailment without considering the patient as a whole, sports medicine physicians are trained in a way to devise a treatment plan that allows the patient to heal as good as possible and as soon as possible so they can get back to training. Often, sports medicine specialists help patients with a nutritional plan, recommend rehabilitation or physical therapy in place of surgery, and have special knowledge of athletic training and conditioning. This gives sports medicine physicians a different outlook on the patient and what their treatment and recovery look like for their sport. Many sports medicine doctors also specialize in a specific part of the body. For example, some may work primarily with tennis players and have a specialty in the elbow, while others may work with runners and specialize in the knee joint.
There are plenty of reasons to visit a sports medicine specialist, even if you are not an athlete. Many people who do not play a sport competitively still partake in exercise every week. This often involves pushing yourself and your body to achieve better results. As a result, it is not uncommon for people who work out to experience a sports injury at some point in their life. Getting the perspective of a sports medicine doctor can help you to get better comprehensive treatment. This includes everything from getting nutritional advice to pointers on how to best continue training while preventing sports injuries in the future.