Sports medicine emphasises the importance of physical activity in promoting excellent physical and mental health benefits but, by nature, there is an inherent risk of injury. Addressing both athletes and non-athletes, sports medicine works to bridge the gap between exercise science and medicinal practice for the prevention and treatment of sporting injuries.
Sport demands high functional joint mobility and a strong musculoskeletal system from its athletes, making it important to consider physical fitness levels. Far too often, athletes injure themselves by overexerting their bodies. Promoting mobility and suppleness, working on your physical fitness can help prevent injuries while also optimising athletic performance. The field of sports medicine is a major advocate for this way of thinking.
This forward-thinking industry aims address the underlying mechanisms in solving the injury. With muscle weakness being a common cause of injury, Sports Medicine works hard to improve muscle strength and joint function. For instance, quadricep and hamstring weakness is the main cause of ACL injuries – making muscle strengthening crucial aspect of treatment and reoccurrence prevention. Interestingly, many sports medicine patients are non-athletes – they may just have an injury which is common in sports.
A sports medicine team is often led by a physician, with large support from physical therapists, registered nutritionists, and certified sports trainers. This multidisciplinary approach to science allows input from the entire sports medicine team, each with a different set of skills, to help you return safely to physical activity.
Sports-related medical practices can vary from strength and conditioning for injury prevention, to treatments such as injections, rehabilitation and osteopathic manipulation.
Common injuries treated in sports medicine practice include fractures, tendonitis, dislocations, ankle sprains and ACL tears.
Once treated, sports medicine practitioners work to prevent future injury reoccurrence and help enhance sporting performance with strength building exercises and proper nutritional intake. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure optimal and long-lasting athletic performance.
Considered a holistic approach to science, sports medicine values the importance of nutrition and physical activity for improving overall health and fitness. In recent times, we have become more aware of the positive effects of sport and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, as backed up by an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence. With the known benefits in preventing several chronic diseases, including obesity; cancer; depression; diabetes; cardiovascular disease; osteoporosis and hypertension, there is a push for greater engagement in physical activity. With a strong means for preventing diseases, physical activity and sports medicine offers a cost-effective method of improving public health.