SPORTS AND EXERCISE MEDICINE
Sport and exercise medicine is an interdisciplinary sub-specialty of medicine which deals with the treatment and preventive care of athletes, both amateur and professional. It encompasses physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports, as well as injuries related to exercise programs. The specialty requires that physicians be familiar with common sport injuries and related treatments, as well and rehabilitation techniques. One of the most important areas of this specialty is preventative, which may be the single most important area you can address with a physician or trainer. If you are an active person or considering engaging in new physical activities, you may want to speak with a physician regarding the associated risks and common injuries of your activities. Athletic trainers can also be a good resource to help you start or monitor an athletic regimen, though they do not have the have the extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine that physicians do. Sometimes a basic physical is all that is needed to predict and prevent future injuries. A consultation with a physician can also help an athletic trainer, coach, or training partner tailor a regimen that is suitable for your condition. Doctors may treat injuries such as muscle, ligament, tendon and bone problems, but may also try to assess chronic illnesses that can affect physical performance, such as asthma and diabetes. A few of the most common types of exercise and sport injuries include the following:
- Concussion- caused by severe head trauma where the brain moves violently within the skull so that brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure.<
- Muscle Cramps- a sudden tight, intense pain caused by a muscle locked in spasm. Muscle cramps are also recognized as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
- ACL Sprains- The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament involved in knee stabilization. An ACL rupture can occur when the foot is planted and the knee twists to change direction.<
- Ankle Sprain- The ligaments that hold the ankle bones in place can easily be overstretched.
- Shin Splints- The tissue that attaches the muscles of your lower leg to the shin bone may be pulling away from the bone, or it may be inflamed from overuse.