Sports medicine physicians provide treatment to patients who have injuries or other conditions that commonly occur due to participating in sports. These physicians provide many different types of care that may vary depending on how the condition occurred and how severe it is. Acute sports injuries and overuse sports injuries are two of the most common types of injuries that sports medicine physicians treat. These are some ways that acute sports injuries and overuse sports injuries differ.
Acute Sports Injuries
Acute sports injuries occur due to a sudden impact or accident happening to a certain area of the body. These injuries often take place while the patient is being especially active in certain sports. Acute sports injuries can include a sprained ankle, a dislocated shoulder, a minor fracture, or any injury that normally heals within a few months or less.
The sports medicine physician will examine the injury, take X-rays if needed, and make a proper diagnosis for how it needs to be treated. Treatment may include using ice on the injured area, taking pain relievers, and keeping the injured area still or elevated for a few weeks. Sometimes the patient may also need to have physical therapy to help strengthen the injured area so that they have a complete recovery.
Overuse Sports Injuries
Overuse sports injuries often develop over an extended period of time. As the patient continues to participate in sports, the injury may become more noticeable as the pain and weakness get worse. For instance, those who play basketball or run track frequently may develop problems with their knees. If they continue to be active in sports without getting treatment, their condition may worsen and their ability to perform well may decrease.
Overuse sports injuries may be able to be treated nonsurgically if they are discovered early. Once a proper diagnosis is made, it may be possible to keep the condition under control with physical therapy and special strengthening exercises designed for the specific condition. However, sometimes overuse sports injuries may need to be repaired surgically depending on what area of the body is affected, how severe the condition is, and if the patient wants to be active in sports again in the future.
Sports medicine physicians also provide education as part of the treatment plan for both of these types of sports injuries. Patients are advised as to how to do regular exercises and how to take extra precautions to prevent these injuries from happening again. Contact a sports medicine injury therapy center for more information.