Sports medicine is a fast-growing field in health care as its scope is expanding beyond only treating injuries, but also assisting in preventing them.
Sports medicine physicians are usually either orthopaedic surgeons or physicians with additional, specialised training that enables them to restore function to injured patients and get them moving again as soon as possible. They also have extensive knowledge of the best ways to prevent injuries and illness in the first place. Some specialise in treating injuries in children and teenagers, whose growing bodies respond very differently to those of adults.
Although sports medicine physicians do work a lot with professional sports people, sports doctors also treat amateur athletes, people with injuries who are trying to gain back the full function of the injured area, disabled people who would like to increase their range of mobility and capabilities, and even people simply looking to get better results from their current exercise programme.
When Should I See A Sports Medicine Physician?
If you sustain a significant injury during exercise or while playing sport (severe pain, numbness, swelling, or inability to put weight on the affected area), it’s best to first get immediate treatment at an emergency room. If the injury is not significant, but pain and/or mobility issues persist, then a consultation with a sports doctor could help.
The ultimate goal for most people seeking out the services of a sports medicine practitioner is to minimise disability, maximise function and movement, and reduce their time away from sport, work or school as much as possible.
What Injuries Should Be Treated By A Sports Doctor?
Sports medicine physicians treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses, but the ones they see most often include:
- Sprains, dislocations, joint injuries and fractures
- Brain injuries and concussions
- Overuse injuries, including stress fractures, osteoarthritis and tendonitis
They are also called upon to conduct physical examinations and make “return to play” decisions following injury and rehabilitation, and to consult on matters of nutrition, supplements, becoming more physically active, and injury prevention.
Often, other professionals work in consultation with a sports medicine specialist in order to provide a holistic treatment programme for patients if required. These would include physical therapists, dieticians, nutritionists and certified personal trainers.
Dr Sachin Baba works at Health in Motion and is a professional sports medicine physician specialising in Sports and Upper Body Extremity orthopaedics. He is intensely focused on what he does and passionate about the care and treatment of his patients. Dr Baba consults from Ballito and Umhlanga, so call today to make an appointment.