For some, the phrase “work hard, play hard” is a treasured mantra to live by. The desire to constantly be active and to challenge themselves comes through in a big way. From playing competitive sports in some form well beyond the high school and college years to signing up for marathons, these athletes seek new goals that most others consider well beyond reach. They seek the exultation of becoming better so they can reach the metaphorical mountain peak.
In order to conquer their chosen challenge and have the strength and stamina for the long climb, they are constantly training and pushing themselves to do more. All of their work over the years racks up a lot of mileage on the body, and may eventually take its toll. Yet these select few push beyond their limits, continually striving for improvement and wanting to assure they have fully prepared to reach their intended goal. It takes tremendous dedication and discipline to commit to this path, and intense drive and determination too.
The Focus of Sports Medicine
A comprehensive sports medicine program is designed to serve athletes who are active in athletics and recreational and fitness programs. In order to support their patients, these rehabilitation groups offer therapy programs that are designed to help with healing, restoring, and strengthening so the athletes can continue to excel and succeed. You’ll also find that medical centers associated with academic institutions are also furthering this science through in-depth research and clinical trials they conduct.
These services are a great benefit to professional, amateur, and collegiate athletes. Even those engaged in recreational pursuits such as distance running and competitive leagues can find they benefit from some rehabilitation services. When an injury or disorder arises, a sports medicine physician can help diagnose what is going on and can prescribe appropriate medication and procedures. At times, injection therapy will be necessary to help reduce inflammation and pain in key joints like the knee.
Working with a Knowledgeable and Skilled Team
One of the key benefits of working with a highly skilled sports and exercise medicine team is that they have tremendous knowledge and focused expertise. They are proven experts who can help with both the treatment and prevention of sports or fitness-related injuries. As part of offering holistic services to athletes, they can also offer performance training and nutritional guidance to help individuals up to their game.
The overall team will likely include physicians who have specific training in sports medicine, as well as trainers and physical therapists. An orthopedic surgeon may also be associated with the group. The interdisciplinary team will be able to quickly recognize and diagnose an issue and can then develop appropriate treatment plans. Together, the group will work hard to respond to your needs and get you the healing you need so you can quickly return to the field.
Primary Categories of Sports Injuries
With training that is both prolonged and intense, it’s only natural that athletes would come to face injuries that will sideline them for a time. Acute injuries occur suddenly when you are engaged in exercise, playing or your training routine. An example of this is a partially torn tendon or even a bone fracture. Sometimes these may not be noticed immediately, as the body is generating high levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones during intense workouts. You’ll typically experience swelling, tenderness, and sudden, severe pain after these occur.
A chronic sports-related injury is one that develops over time due to repeated strain or repetitive motion. Common examples of these are runner’s knee, and issues like tennis elbow and shin splints. Repeated concussions can also fall into this category. It’s likely that you will experience pain when you play the sport or are engaged in exercise. In addition, there may be tenderness or swelling at the site of the injury, and a dull pain when you rest.
Types of Treatment Options
When you start working with sports medicine specialists, you can immediately benefit from the different programs and treatment alternatives they offer. In addition to offering proven methods for specific injuries, you may find that leading-edge options are also available. An example of this is a stem cell and PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, therapy. These protocols can help lower your healing time and help revitalize your body.
To keep in top shape and help prevent future issues, you’ll also want to take advantage of offerings related to preventive care and maintenance. When you are working out and competing hard, day after day, it’s inevitable that your body will be overstressed and weak in certain areas. Preventative care helps address these needs and works to keep injuries at bay. It’s also a great idea to see if your clinic offers customized training plans that can help improve your athletic performance.
If you are a professional or amateur athlete or just love to get out there and really challenge yourself in physical endeavors, you’ll want to make sure that you work with a great sports medicine group. They can provide full treatment for injury, help accelerate your healing and even work with you to provide custom preventative care routines and programs.