Exercise is crucial for good physical health and it offers mental health benefits as well. The way we see it, we all have more reasons to get out and move than to be sedentary. But, active people are susceptible to injury — and that’s where a sports medicine physician comes in.
At Orthocenter, our talented team of specialists treat all sorts of orthopedic problems. We are well acquainted with common sports injuries, and understand the specialized medical needs of athletes of all stripes. Even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete, if you play sports, lift weights, swim, jog, or take part in regular physical activity of just about any kind, you may find that you’d benefit from seeing a sports medicine physician at some point.
Here are eight reasons you may need to see a sports medicine doctor.
1. You have an acute injury
You’re playing basketball, catch the ball, pivot, and hear something snap in your knee. This is an acute injury, and a good reason to see a sports medicine specialist, who is familiar with injuries common in athletes.
Acute injuries happen to athletes and active folks in all kinds of ways, and getting treatment is important. Without proper treatment an acute injury can become a chronic one, with a more difficult and longer recovery.
2. You have an overuse injury
Tennis elbow. Runner’s knee. So many different overuse injuries are known for the sports that can cause them. Usually, such injuries are various kinds of tendinitis or muscle strains.
Many such injuries are preventable, or they can be resolved with proper treatment. It’s important to work with a physician who is familiar with overuse injuries in order to get the right treatment so you can return to your favorite activities safely.
3. You feel like your performance is suffering
Along with treating injuries, sports medicine physicians can provide nutrition counseling, help evaluate your exercise routine, give hydration advice and more. When you want to perform at the highest possible level, you need a specialist on your team.
4. You hit your head
Even if you don’t think you have a concussion, if you endure a hit to your head, you should be evaluated by a sports medicine doctor, because they have extra training in treating mild concussion and other brain injuries. Researchers are learning more about the seriousness of even mild concussions all the time.
5. You’re ready to return to your sport
If you’ve been sick, or injured, or sidelined for some other reason, and you think you’re ready to get back to it, you may benefit from talking to a specialist first. For example, if you’ve had a sprained ankle, you should see a sports medicine specialist before you return to running because if your ankle isn’t fully healed you could end up with chronic instability in your ankle.
6. You need training advice
Maybe you’re a runner who would like to add resistance training to your regime. Or perhaps you’re a swimmer who is considering taking up cycling.
A sports medicine physician is qualified to offer training advice, coordinate with coaches, or help you understand how a new activity might impact your current training.
7. You want to avoid injury
If you participate in a particular activity with a group of other folks close to your age, and you’ve noticed many of them dealing with injuries recently, you may want to talk to a sports medicine doctor about injury prevention.
For athletes aged 40 and over, it’s a good idea to learn about how your tendons, ligaments, and muscles age. You become more susceptible to injury with time, but there are things you can do to help mitigate the risk.
8. RICE didn’t help
Perhaps you had a niggling knee pain — not enough to sideline you, but enough that you tried the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) protocol, but your knee still hurts a little. You need to see a sports medicine specialist so the small pain doesn’t lead to a big problem.
The big takeaway here is that if you’re athletic at any level, you need a sports medicine physician on your team. Our specialized knowledge can help you perform at your best and for the longest possible time. Make an appointment at any of the locations of Orthocenter today.