Say you’ve been working intensely for the past hour and suddenly, you pull a muscle. Do you see a sports doctor right away or should you tough it out?
A sports medicine specialist is a doctor that specializes in healing all types of sports injuries. The physician focuses on the medical and therapeutic aspects of sports and physical activity. A sports medicine specialist can be a surgeon, a physician or even another health care provider that works with athletes.
The Importance of a Sports Medicine Specialist
Consulting a sports medicine specialist is important for proper and speedy healing. A sports medicine specialist can reduce the risk of worsening injury especially if it is detected early on. Your doctor can also guide to reduce the chances of aggravating the symptoms.
Reduces Risk of Re-Injury
A safe and speedy recovery starts at proper healing. If the injury is not healed properly, you risk re-injuring the same part of your body. When you are healed properly, you can go back to your normal activities.
A sports medicine specialist can implement recovery measures to boost healing. This is extremely beneficial especially if you are a professional athlete. The faster you get back to your feet, the better it is for your health.
Usually, athletes prefer seeing a sports medicine specialist with experience in treating sports injuries than a general physician. To find a sports medicine specialist in your local area, ask for references from athletes and members of local sports teams and clubs. You can also ask your doctor for referrals.
Do note that there is no board certification in Sports Medicine. However, additional certification exams were available in the early 90s that grant a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.
Signs You Need to See a Sports Specialist
Persistent or Worsening Symptoms
So do you need to see a sports specialist to check out a certain injury or should you tough it out? This will depend on the type of injury you sustained. If the symptoms persist and even worsen over time then you’ll require more than an ice pack to treat that injury.
Affects Your Performance
If the injury is so bad that your performance is starting to be affected by the symptoms then it’s time to see a sports specialist. The same thing goes if the injury has not been diagnosed before or has not been treated in the past.
Risks the Safety of Competitors
Is your injury so serious that you’re starting to endanger your teammates or competitors? If the answer is yes then see a sports specialist immediately.
Conditions that Require Medical Help
There are three types of conditions in which an athlete should see a sports specialist: acute injuries, overuse injuries and medical conditions or illnesses. If your condition has been diagnosed as an acute injury, an overuse injury or a specific medical condition, then you have to stop any physical activity and heal.
Do note that athletes with chronic injuries or medical conditions should see a doctor. He or she must get the green light from the doctor before he or she can engage in sports. Even if a pre-sport physical is not required, we strongly recommend going through annual medical checkup before the season begins to protect yourself from injuries. This is especially true if you have a history of a certain injury or medical problem.