Sports Injuries And Selection Of A Sports Medicine Physician

Argh, injuries, we all hate them. Unfortunately, it is a reality for people who exercise – and especially for athletes! Of course, certain activities increase the risk of certain types of injuries. We will be exploring that in more detail today. So, while this blog is inclusive, today’s article is more for those who are at the level where they want to take things to the next level.

There are several specific types of injuries that are particularly associated with sports and it is especially vital to understand the various injuries that come along with it. This is so that the appropriate treatment can be sought as soon as possible.  Quick treatment for most injuries can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to heal.

Apart from reducing the recovery time, there are also financial benefits to getting the right treatment as well. In Chinese, there is a saying which, roughly translated, states that illnesses should be tackled at its root. That is why it is important to determine an injury quickly and begin the recovery process. Briefly speaking, there are three types of common injuries:

One: Acute Injuries

This type of injury is usually associated with a sudden action while exercising. Unsurprisingly, it is often being associated with bruises, fractures, broken bones, blood, ligament strain or breakage and even spinal cord injuries.  The exact type of injury is not as important as the classification.  Acute injuries require immediate medical treatment to help reduce the pain, as well as begin the treatment process.  Some acute injuries such as those associated with sprains and strains need to be bandaged and splinted to prevent further damage to the body and aid in healing.

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Two: Chronic Injuries

These injuries typically occur due to extended repetition while engaged in an activity.  This can occur in adults or children and while it is possible to minimise this injury through exercise and conditioning, it generally cannot be entirely avoided.  Athletes who play sports a lot do tend to experience some form of overuse injury at some point.

Each type of injury is typically associated with continuous repetition.  Plenty of exercises and strength training will usually help to tone and condition the muscles to avoid the problems and injuries associated this. To help really avoid overuse injuries you should always warm up before playing, ensure you are using appropriate equipment that fits properly and also try to limit the number of sports you play at once.

Three: Re-injury

This is the final type of injury that is common amongst athletes.  This most often occurs when an athlete pushes recovery to return to playing sports again before they are fully healed.  Most athletes who have re-injury problems tend to return to sports before getting the approval of their doctor. Occasionally, however, it is their doctor’s poor judgment call.

The best way to avoid a re-injury is to carefully allow your body to fully heal upon becoming injured.  By following the instructions that the doctor recommends, as well as carefully and slowly re-entering the sports field after recovering from an injury, you can greatly reduce the risk of a re-injury rather than making yourself susceptible to another injury so quickly.

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So then, how do you select a sports medicine physician? The good news is that there are plenty of options, at least in the western world. The bad news is that too many options can make things difficult. You should first ask your doctor how long they have been treating athletes.  This should be at least several years if you are looking for experience

Although this might seem harsh, do not expect someone with less than three years of experience to be very helpful. However, do realise that less experienced doctors will charge you less also. That means that your expense should be proportional to the level you wish to perform. For most of us ordinary folk, it wouldn’t be much of a deal.

Now, let’s move to the highest levels. If the doctor has been an official team physician, you can contact the coach for a reference.  The next thing to do is check for accreditation. This is a blanket rule for any professional you hire, not just sports physicians. The final thing to ask is about their specialty. Don’t underestimate the importance of this question.

Okay, hopefully this helps you. Well, if you are new to exercise, the best way to prevent injury is to start things off slowly and progress over time. For example, if you are quite big, start with walking and not running. I made that mistake and have paid the price. Get yourself a copy of the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint, where this topic is covered in more detail. All the best!

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