Athletes need to be in peak condition to meet their goals. Sports medicine is one way to help any kind of athlete optimize performance. Sports medicine physicians specialize in injuries and illnesses that happen because of sports activities or exercise.
You don’t need to be a competitive athlete to see a sports physician. Non-athletes, people who want to begin exercise programs, or weekend warriors can benefit from the knowledge sports medicine doctors have.
Training in Sports Medicine
Doctors who specialize in sports medicine have special training about how to help prevent injuries and how to guide patients through recovery after an injury. It is a medical subspecialty and doctors are often board certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, physical medicine, pediatrics, or another specialty.
The additional sports medicine training is a two-year fellowship and there is a national certification exam. The certifying agencies also require continuing education and a recertification and re-examination every decade.
Common Sports Injuries
Although sports medicine physicians see patients for a variety of reasons, they often treat injuries that happen during exercise or a sporting event.
Common sports injuries are:
- Ankle sprains
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Overuse injuries like tendonitis and stress fractures
- Swollen muscles
- Cartilage injuries
Participation in athletic activities sometimes brings on asthma issues or heat-related impairments. Sports medicine doctors might treat patients in these situations.
If an injury is significant, don’t wait to see a sports medicine doctor. Seek treatment in an emergency room and then see a sports medicine specialist for follow-up care.
Types of Care
The type of care depends on the kind of injury. Treatment can include immobilization and resting at home with over-the-counter medications. Sometimes, surgery is required to repair a tear or to fix bones, although a large percentage of sports injuries do not require surgery.
Physicians and other medical professionals often work with athletes for physical therapy as well as strength and conditioning routines. The goal is to help people get back to doing the activities they love.
Sports physicians provide advice about how to prevent injuries. A training routine can help people maintain their strength.
Nutrition is also an important part of staying healthy and athletic performance. Sports medicine specialists help athletes maintain a proper diet.
B3 Medical is a leader in sports medicine in the Tampa Bay area. Experts at B3 Sports Performance know what it takes to be an athlete of any type. They can help children, teens, and adults keep doing the sports activities they love to do.
With a combination of individual assessments and evaluations, we will treat your sports injury and create a specialized program to get you back in the game. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Sports and exercise play big roles in keeping in shape and staying healthy. Hurting yourself can ruin all the fun, but there are ways the athlete in all of us can prevent an injury.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Don’t just get right into the activity. Warm muscles are less susceptible to injury. A warm-up session should last about 5-10 minutes and involve stretching and preparing muscles for activity. A mix of both static (where you hold a stretch for a certain amount of time) and dynamic (where the body continues to move) stretching can loosen muscles.
Walking can help the body warm up and get ready for more strenuous activity.
Make sure the warmup you do fits your sport. Some sports require more intricate warm-up sessions. Check with coaches and trainers to make sure you’re warming up sufficiently.
Also, make sure you’re in the proper physical condition to play a sport or participate in an exercise. Weekend warriors have a high injury rate because they often jump right into an activity without conditioning themselves.
Stretch after games or activities to help increase flexibility and help the muscles cool down. It also helps remove waste products and replaces them with oxygen and nutrients. Cooling down can also help prevent muscle stiffness and can help return your heart rate to a normal pace.
Use Proper Equipment
It seems basic, but protective equipment like pads and helmets are important for preventing injuries. Check to make sure the equipment fits properly. Using gear like mouth guards, gloves, and eyewear isn’t a sign of weakness. It can protect your teeth, hands, eyes, and other important body parts.
Know the Rules and Techniques
Rules aren’t always made to be broken. In sports, rules often exist to protect the safety of a player. Know the rules and play by them. Rough play doesn’t make you tougher, but it could injure you.
Proper technique can also prevent injury. Ask the experts or take lessons before playing a sport or beginning a new exercise routine. Learn the proper way to tackle in football or how to swing a golf club. Your body will thank you later.
Hydrate and Eat Right
A well-balanced diet and a regular eating schedule can help keep your body healthy since it will know what to expect.
Make sure to drink enough water before, during, and after activity. Look for signs of overheating like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or fainting.
Listen to Your Body
Your body tells you when it has had enough. Don’t play through pain. Pain indicates a problem, so listen to the warning signs the body gives.
Know your physical limits. Build up strength and stamina gradually to avoid injuring yourself. It takes time to increase fitness levels, but it will happen if you do things correctly.
Rest between days of training. Muscle fatigue and lack of sleep can predispose someone to injury. Also, don’t just do one activity. Overuse can lead to an injury.
If you hurt yourself, the professionals at B3 Medical can help you feel better. We believe life should be healthy and pain-free. We try to avoid surgical procedures and get you back into the activities you love. Schedule a consultation today.
For an active person, an injury can really mess things up. It can mean watching while others seem to be having all the fun. Getting back in the game can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
How to Take Care of a Sports Injury
Find Out What Happened
Did you overdo it a bit and hurt yourself or is it an injury? If the pain does to not go away with the standard stuff like rest or over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, go to a doctor and get a diagnosis.
Playing through pain can cause more damage down the road. Ignorance is not bliss. Do not ignore pain.
Once you find out what happened, make sure you understand the diagnosis, so you can hopefully avoid doing whatever you did to injure yourself.
Don’t blame yourself. It happened, and you can’t change it. You are the only one who can improve the situation, so focus on recovery rather than how the injury happened.
Stick to the rehab plan your doctors put in place. Don’t just jump right back in once the pain goes away.
Knowing how long the recovery will take can help you better understand the injury and your expectitations.
Understand Your Emotions
Taking care of the physical problem is only one part of coming back after an injury. Don’t forget about your emotional health. If you’re used to running every day and suddenly you can’t, that will feel like a loss. You may feel angry, sad, or even depressed.
An injury takes away some control over your situation, and stress and anxiety can often creep in. Understanding this can help you stay in control.
Try to stay positive and listen to what your doctors and your body are saying about your recovery. Focus on milestones you are achieving, not how it differs from what you used to be able to do.
Are there other activities you can do during your recovery? Another way to be physically active might help you feel better and stay motivated.
Maybe simple modifications to your exercise routine can help you stay in shape. Trainers, therapists, and doctors can help you figure out what can work and what you should avoid.
Set goals about how you can get back to your regular routine. Monitor the progress towards the goals to improve your confidence.
It’s also not a bad thing to rest. Many people have a tendency to over-train and don’t build much rest into their schedules. Forced rest can be good for the body and mind. Take advantage of it. Work on relaxation skills, set new goals, and focus on yourself.
If your running group is your social life and suddenly you can’t run you need to find alternatives. Even though you can’t participate in the activity, don’t isolate yourself from friends, coaches, and teammates.
Try to maintain contact with them. They can listen and offer encouragement. Who knows, maybe they have had an injury sometime and can help you recover from yours.
The trained professionals at B3 Medical can help diagnose your injury and help you along the road to recovery. Make an appointment today.