Some people are born blessed with the natural talent to excel in a given sport, while others struggle to perform on an average level. With advances in medicine and technology, the gifted can push their performance to even more impressive heights and those not as naturally capable may be able to enhance the talent they do possess by enlisting the services of a sports medicine specialist.
Sports medicine is a growing specialty in the healthcare field. Sports medicine specialists are trained to treat sports injuries by either surgical intervention, non-surgical treatment, or some combination of both. These professionals are also experts in prevention of sports injuries. In addition, they also may possess specialized knowledge on how to improve sports performance.
Sports medicine specialists help competitive athletes recover from sports-related injuries. The goal is to recover completely as well as to facilitate a quick return to participation in activity. There is also emphasis on injury prevention as well, since it’s more desirable to prevent an injury in the first place than to try to recover from one. Athletes may also benefit from working with a sports medicine specialist to improve performance. This may be of special interest to those high school athletes looking to attract the attention of college recruiters.
Given the above, it’s easy to see how the term “sports medicine” may primarily bring to mind images of football or basketball players being treated for injuries sustained in games. However, the field actually encompasses much more than competitive sports injury alone. Sports medicine professionals also provide services to amateur athletes to help them stay active and avoid injury and sometimes to those suffering injuries related to physically demanding jobs. Another group of persons that may benefit from sports medicine is those with disabilities. These individuals may consult a sports medicine specialist to help maximize physical capabilities.
There are several subsets of practice specialties within sports medicine; the field includes more than just physicians. Naturally, doctors and surgeons are included among those who practice sports medicine, but there are also nurses, physical therapists, sports trainers, exercise physiologists, sports psychologists, and nutritionists. Almost all aspects of treating injury, recovering from injury, and improving performance are included under the umbrella of sports medicine.
So whether you have a child interested in maximizing his or her chances at a sports scholarship or you want to remain able to participate in your adult soccer league, a sports medicine specialist may be able to help.