The field of orthopedic medicine deals with musculoskeletal issues and injuries. One of the fastest-growing subspecialties among orthopedists is sports medicine, which specifically handles injuries that tend to happen to athletes.
Sports medicine doctors are orthopedic surgeons who specialize further by obtaining a fellowship in sports medicine. They are experts in the way the body moves, in diagnosing and repairing sports-related injuries, and in preventing re-injury.
Some of these sports doctors work for amateur or professional sports teams or athletes. They may travel with the team or the athlete and are ready to diagnose and treat an injury immediately after it happens. They also direct the follow-up therapeutic treatments to ensure a speedy recovery – so the athlete can get back to the game as quickly as possible.
Sports Doctors Treat Musculoskeletal Injuries
A sports medicine physician’s scope of duties includes diagnosing and treating acute injuries, chronic conditions of the musculoskeletal system, illnesses that might affect an athlete’s sports performance, and advising the athlete about lifestyle choices for optimum health.
They often treat patients who have one or more of the following sports injuries:
- Torn tendons
- Torn ligaments
- Chronic pain from a muscle injury
Sports medicine physicians will also:
- Conduct a physical assessment of a person to determine their well-being and fitness for a sport
- Declare whether an athlete can be cleared to play after an injury
- Managing chronic or acute illnesses in athletes (diabetes, asthma, hypertension, etc.)
Creating a Treatment Plan for an Injured Athlete
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the sports physician will work with the athlete to create a treatment plan. This can include:
- Pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Bracing and/or taping of the injured area
- Corticosteroid injections
A sports medicine doctor may also employ regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and stem cell therapy. Both of these therapeutic treatments harness the patient’s own cells to foster the body’s ability to heal the area of injury. PRP is derived from the patient’s blood, and stem cells are derived from the patient’s fat (adipose) or other tissue.
Additionally, hyaluronic acid injections can supplement an injured or aching joint’s existing synovial fluid. This method can provide lasting relief for up to 12 months.
Sports medicine uses many different measures to try to heal an injury or chronic pain without surgery. If surgery is performed, however, it is done in the least-invasive manner possible in order to keep healing time to a minimum.
Sports Medicine Physician in Little Rock, Arkansas
Sports doctors are experts in orthopedic medicine and treating musculoskeletal injuries. They focus on nutrition, exercise, and prevention of injury and illness.
Our team at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics is ready to treat any athlete or sports enthusiast with our experienced orthopedic surgeons, certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, strength and conditioning experts, and massage therapists. We can help you heal quickly from virtually any type of musculoskeletal injury.
Contact our friendly team today at Bowen Hefley Orthopedics by calling us at (800) 336-2412 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hefley. We look forward to seeing you and helping you get back in the game!