The field of medicine that bridges the gap between science and the practice of exercise and health is known as sports medicine. Through the use of scientific assessment, study and understanding of sports performance, sports medicine specialists are able to focus on helping people improve their athletic performance, recover from injury faster and more effectively while also teaching people how to prevent future injuries. Sports medicine is a rapidly growing health care field and although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field in health care.
Sports medicine specialists do not only treat athletes, but the general population as well. Anyone who has suffered an injury and wants to regain full function, or who has a disability and wants to increase his or her mobility can benefit from sports medicine. Sports medicine specialists spend the majority of their time treating musculoskeletal injuries and addressing the mechanics that often contribute to injury. Sports medicine specialists are skilled at managing and preventing injuries in addition to improving performance.
Some common conditions treated in sports medicine include concussions, sprains, strains, ligament and muscle tears, muscle cramps and spasms. Concussions are a result of severe head injuries that cause the brain to move violently in the skull. Swelling and inflammation can cause nerves to misfire leading to confusion, vision disturbance and other short or long term symptoms. Sprains and strains occur when ligaments that help stabilize the joints are overstretched or torn. Muscle spasms can occur when muscles are overworked or injured and are characterized by rapid, uncontrolled and often painful contractions.
In elite athletes, as well any individual focused on improving their performance and increasing mobility, sports medicine specialists can help you achieve the level of performance that you are seeking.