Sports (n.) A physical game or activity of mental or physical strength or stamina, such as in basketball, tennis, football, hockey, or baseball. The word “sports” can also be used to refer to an organized activity, sport, or pastime. Sports refer not only to an actual physical game or activity but also to the method of competing. The field of competitive athletics includes not only physical activities but also techniques and strategies of that particular sport.
A variety of situations may prevent athletes from performing their best, and a sports medicine healthcare provider needs to be available to help them overcome these setbacks. Illness, injury, exhaustion, and dehydration can all affect athletes. Injuries occur when a person engages in an athletic activity and sustains an injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, the sports medicine specialist will recommend physical therapy, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, surgery, or another nonsurgical treatment that will address the damage done by the injury and prevent any additional injury or damage from occurring.
Recovering from an injury and being able to participate in sports again, are two of the most important issues that a patient must be able to focus on during the healing process. Not participating in sports or not adequately training to prevent further injury is an obvious concern for any athlete. It is very common for athletes to experience pain following an injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, the sports medicine healthcare provider will make recommendations for stretching and rest. They will also provide advice on which over the counter medications or home remedies may help ease the pain.
Athletes should always consult with their doctor or sports medicine healthcare provider before participating in any exercise regimen. Improper exercise routine or a change in exercise routine can cause serious injury. This injury could prevent the athlete from competing in or doing the best possible amount of exercise. For athletes or those who participate in sports that require them to use muscles in ways they are not used to, they may experience a noticeable decrease in performance. A sports medicine specialist can give athletes guidance on how to re-establish their form or improve on their previous performance.
Once the pain has been treated, the physical therapist will help the athlete to return to physical therapy. This step may take several weeks to complete. During this time, they will perform exercises and physical therapy to strengthen the injured area. Many times, physical therapy does not need to be discontinued while recovering from an injury. If there are no improvements after the first week, other methods of pain relief can be used such as heat or ice therapy. Heat therapy has been shown to drastically reduce swelling and in some cases, physical therapy can be discontinued after six weeks if the improvement is noticed.
An injured athlete should never assume that the injury will heal itself. Athletes should consult with their doctor immediately, no matter the severity of the injury. Sports physicians are well trained to deal with injuries ranging from minor scrapes to ligament tears. They will be able to recommend the appropriate physical therapy, prescribe the proper medication, and monitor the healing process.