Injuries during sport are extremely common, and not just amongst athletes. No matter how experienced you are with exercise or sport, almost anyone has the potential to get injured whilst playing sport from a variety of different causes. Injuries can happen from over exertion, falling, or simply getting distracted whilst playing your sport and, if left untreated, can have disastrous consequences.
However, many people with sports injuries are often unsure about which doctor they should see and how they should be treating their injury. Often, lots of us simply go to our regular doctor for advice on sports injuries, but this is sometimes not the best option. There are in fact sports medicine specialists out there who are certified experts in the treatment of sports injuries, which will likely result in better service and a faster recovery. And they’re not just for adults; with over 30 million children and adolescents taking part in sport, the amount of sports injuries among young people is on the rise.
So if you or someone you know is suffering from a sports injury and are unsure what to do next, keep reading to discover what a sports medicine specialist can do for you and how you can find the perfect person for your injury.
Specialized experts for a wide range of injuries
Whilst there are a wide variety of sports injuries, they’re generally grouped into two categories: acute and chronic injuries. Acute injuries are defined as sudden, short-term injuries that may require surgery to rectify, and chronic injuries are long-term feelings of discomfort to one particular area of the body in which physiotherapy or rehabilitation are often the best methods of cure.
Unlike general doctors who are considered to be ‘all-rounders’ when it comes to illness or pain (including sports injuries), sports medicine specialists are exactly what their name would suggest: experts in one specialist field of injury.
This means you’ll receive bespoke care and expertise that’s specific to your injury and the treatment you need. This is likely to significantly increase your chances of recovering quicker, making sports medicine specialists a strong option to consider if you’re suffering from such an injury. Sports medicine specialists’ expertise can include:
- Diagnosis and appropriate treatment for the following areas:
- Podiatry (below the knee).
- Chiropractic (nerve and spine).
- Orthopedic (joint and bone).
- Preventing further injury.
- Exercises and workouts tailored to your specific sport/any injury you may have previously had.
- Sports psychology
- Sports nutrition and dietary advice
Often, orthopedic injuries tend to be the most common and can result in long-term chronic injury if not treated properly. Seeing a Sports Medicine Physician regarding these specific injuries could mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful recovery, so seeing one of the best is definitely an option to consider.
How to find the right sports medicine therapist
If you experience a sports injury, the most logical step to take is to see your local doctor. However, if they’re not able to provide the level of care you’re looking for, it’s then that you should enquire about possibly seeing a sports medicine therapist.
Your wellbeing and satisfaction should be your doctor’s main priority, so they shouldn’t be offended in any way if you ask to be referred to a specialist. In fact, they may even suggest it themselves meaning you may not have to!
However, if you think your injury is severe enough to not bother seeing your local doctor, ask your sports team for references of any sports medicine specialists in the area. It’s best to ask the most professional, athletic people you have access to as they’re the ones most likely to have had previous experience with a specialist. Once you’ve got some recommendations to chase up, make some calls and do some digging to establish their qualifications and make an appointment!
Many people just assume that seeing their doctor is their only option for sports injuries. Whilst seeing your doctor can certainly provide appropriate care and treatment, for some more complicated injuries it may not be quite enough. No one can predict the type of injury you’re going to get if you are unlucky enough to become injured, and seeing a sports medicine specialist is likely to give you the best possible chance of expert, bespoke care.
No matter what type of injury you have, as long as you do your research you’re almost guaranteed to find a suitable specialist whose expertise will get you on the road to recovery!
Jason Sied works in the world of sports medicine. He writes about this industry in his articles, his articles appearing on sports, fitness and health sites.