What is Sports Medicine? Things You Should Know

Sports injuries are common and may end a professional’s career. Our very own legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s career was at stake when he suffered from a series of injuries including injuries of his elbow, toe, and chronic back pain throughout his 20-year-long career. He suffered a huge blow to his playing career due to his tennis elbow injury (inflammation of the elbow tendons). The pain was extremely unbearable, and he could not even hold the bat. His patience and round the clock care from a team of a sports medicine specialists helped him to recover completely and revive his illustrious career. 

Sports medicine professionals are health care professionals who are specialized in sports medicine. Here are 5 pointers to help you understand what sports medicine is:

  1. Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that helps both professional and amateur athletes to optimise their performance. 

  2. Sports medicine specialists are specially trained to restore injured sportspersons to their pre-injury level of sports participation. 

  3. Sports medicine specialists guide individuals of all ages who exercise to keep fit.

  4. Sports medicine specialists assess and treat not just adults but also children and adolescents who are inclined towards sports. 

  5. Sports medicine also focuses on ‘preventive care’ to promote health, fitness and wellness at all stages of life.

Types of Sports Injuries

Some of the most common acute sports injuries include more minor conditions such as muscle strains, pulled muscles and ligament sprains. More major sports injuries will include ligament tears affecting major joints, fractures and dislocations. 

Besides acute injuries, repetitive strains during sports activity can cause overuse injuries in various locations in the limbs or spine. 

What Does a Sports Medicine team consist of? 

Sports medicine includes a team of highly qualified and trained specialists:

  1. Orthopaedic surgeons who provide non-operative and surgical treatment including for musculoskeletal injuries using minimally invasive techniques to facilitate return to sport.
  2. Musculoskeletal radiologists who are trained in musculoskeletal ultrasound and MRI and image-guided procedures.
  3. Sports physical therapists who are involved in the implementation of rehabilitation and performance improvement programs. 
  4. Sports medicine primary care physicians involved in the complete pre-participation evaluation and periodic reassessment of general health conditions and fitness to participate in sports and exercise.  
  5. Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who are involved in the development of injury rehabilitation plans, performance enhancement programs, and injury prevention strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are sports medicine physician different from a sports orthopaedic surgeon?

A Sports Medicine physician specializes in the non-operative comprehensive care of professional and amateur athletes and focuses on conditioning, screening and promotion of health and fitness. A sports orthopaedic surgeon someone who specializes in the non-operative and operative treatment of sports injuries using minimally invasive techniques that facilitate early rehabilitation. Sports physicians and Sports Orthopaedic surgeons work as a team.

2. Do all hospitals have a Sports medicine Department?

Select Multi-speciality hospitals to have a separate dedicated department for ‘Sports Medicine’ with well qualified and renowned sports medicine specialists who cater to all sports injuries, various levels of competitiveness and all age groups.  

3. Are sports medicine specialists only focused on treating professional athletes?

Sports medicine specialists provide comprehensive care and treatment to not just professional athletes but also for common people who exercise for fitness or just play sports on weekends as a hobby.

4. How do I prevent a sports injury?

You can prevent a sports injury by:

  • Ensuring if the chosen sports activity is safe for you.

  • Wear protective wearables such as helmet, knee guards, elbow pads, etc during sports. 

  • Consulting sports medicine specialists regarding warm-up exercises stretch, or individualized exercise programs to make you fit for your selected sports activity

  • Being well-informed about healthy lifestyle and nutrition. 

Consult the best sports medicine doctor in Bangalore if you have any common sports injuries. Manipal Hospital offers sports injuries treatment and sports physical therapy to the patients who get hurts.

 

Dr. Hemant K Kalyan

HOD & Consultant – Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine 

Manipal Hospitals Bangalore – Old Airport Road

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