Sports medicine refers to the branch of medicine used to heal injuries often obtained by athletes both professionals and amateurs. Treatment options can range from dealing with a pulled hamstring muscle to the extensive physical therapy required to heal from a broken bone. As this type of medicine can be expensive because it requires the consultation of a doctor or physician, it is advised that the person should have some type of health insurance coverage. Below are listed some common terms for sports medicine.
Rehabilitation – Sometimes called physical therapy, this is a very involved treatment that is necessary for athletes who have suffered a serious injury such as a broken bone. During rehabilitation the physician's job is to ensure that the bones and muscles have repaired themselves correctly and that the athlete is regaining strength to the injured area. It involves uses exercises and massages.
Sport Creams – Special types of ointments that are used by athletes for rashes, pain and pulled muscles. While some creams are only available through a physician's prescription, others can be bought over the counter. Since there are many different types, however, it is always advisable to consult with a doctor or other medical professional before using a sport cream for the first time.
Pulled Muscle – A slang term that refers to a painful injury that comes from an overworked muscle. While oftentimes this injury will go away on it's own, the pain can be helped by applying cream, heat or massages to the inflamed area.
Overexertion – A medical term that is used for overworked muscles. Athletes who use the same muscles over and over again have a higher risk for receiving an injury due to overexertion.
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Injuries happen every day in sports. Athletes get injured while playing soccer and baseball, and require medical attention by sports medicine specialists. These specialists are trained in diagnosing and treating injuries occurring during sports, such as broken bones, sprained ankles, and groin pulls. Contact sports like football and hockey are notorious for producing injuries, many of which are severe enough to require medical attention.
Some injuries require ongoing physical therapy to correct, but some treatments can involve just simple creams or pain reliever pills. Sports doctors, medical professionals trained in healing those afflicted by sports injuries, are licensed to practice medicine and have gone through medical school. Some are employed by college and universities, while other physicians are employed by professional athletic teams. Still others work within clinics and health care facilities to provide care to anyone who needs it.
Such care can involve rehabilitation, physical therapy, topical ointments, braces, and casts. Because people of all ages can get hurt while running and jumping, it's easy to break a bone or suffer a muscle injury. Pulled hamstrings, knee and shoulder pain, and ACL tears can all be treated by a specialist. Sports medicine doctors often work in a research capacity, trying to find a cure for certain diseases, such as joint diseases.
Diagnosing a sports injury first requires a full physical examination by a doctor or physician. The physician can then refer the patient to a physical or occupational therapist for rehabilitation. The extent of care depends on the level of medical insurance coverage. Patients in need of sports medicine and injuries specialists can head to the web to find local listings, get a referral from their doctor, or visit a clinic.