What is sports medicine?

Male athlete working out

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports medicine is not just for professional athletes.

Welia Health’s Dr. Thomas Mullin talks sports medicine.

When you injure yourself during exercise or while playing a sport, you want to get back to your routine and athletic pursuits as soon as you can. Sports medicine doctors have specialized training to help you do just that. They’re also experienced with preventing illness and injury in active kids and adults, and people who have physically demanding jobs.

Promoting a team approach in sports medicine

A sports medicine team is often led by a physician. Most sports medicine doctors are board certified in a specialty such as family medicine, orthopedics or pediatrics, and then they pursue additional training in sports medicine.

There are other non-physician medical professionals who are critical to delivering care in sports medicine. They include: physical therapists, certified athletic trainers and nutritionists. They each play an important role in your care:

  • Physical therapists help you rehabilitate and recover from injuries.
  • Certified athletic trainers offer rehabilitative exercises to help you regain strength and develop programs to prevent future injury.
  • Registered Dietitans help you with needed weight loss or weight gain, and they offer dietary advice to help you improve how well your body is functioning.

Sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers and dietitans all work together to help you get back to your physical activities as quickly as possible.

Common injuries treated in sports medicine

Being active and playing sports are so good for you, both physically and mentally. But there is an inherent risk of injury. Below are some of the common injuries we see in sports medicine:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Heat illness
  • Concussions
  • Eating disorders
  • Cartilage injuries

After we treat your injury, we will help you prevent future problems as well. We can also help you maximize your performance with the right nutrition and exercises.

If you think you can benefit from a member of our sports medicine team, please give us a call at 320.679.1313.