Sports Medicine ... for the athlete in all of us
Admit it! We all have a little “athlete” inside of us! What’s yours? Maybe a senior golfer, a marathon runner, a high school quarterback or Little League pitcher … or are you a weekend warrior trying to hold on to “the dream” … and hold off the effects of aging? Well, regardless of your age and skill level, or whether you’re participating in organized sports or simply staying active … the unfortunate reality is with our efforts to remain fit comes a risk of injury. It could be a minor nagging pain or something much more serious, but either way, if it happens we all want the best available care … care that will get us back in action ... back doing what we love.
“Sports Medicine” is no longer just for the professional athlete. Today’s sports medicine field includes all levels of skill and participation and a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals dedicated to the diagnosis, rehabilitation, and prevention of athletic injuries. Typically led by an orthopedist or a primary-care sports medicine physician, the sports medicine team often includes other physician specialists and surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, physiologists, nutritionists and personal coaches.
Previously thought of as orthopedic management only, Sports Medicine today addresses a much wider range of illness and injury. With a goal of trying to balance the athlete's level of activity with their health, sports medicine specialists are able to treat a wide variety of problems including:
• Issues unique to the female athlete such as Amenorrhea and increased frequency of ACL injuries
• Strains and sprains in the weekend warrior such as pulled Hamstrings, Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Ruptured Achilles Tendons
• Osteoarthritic joints in the older athlete
• Concussion management
• Respiratory issues such as Asthma
• Skin conditions such as MRSA
• Metabolic issues such as in the Diabetic athlete
• Nutritional issues such as gender appropriate diet and the use of supplements
• Environmental effects on performance during training and competition such as Heat Illness
New and exciting areas of clinical and scientific research are expanding the field of traditional sports medicine every year. Neuromuscular training and its impact on injury prevention is one such area of study. Although the risk of injury will never be entirely eliminated, modifications in training techniques, equipment, sports venues, and rules have shown that it can be reduced. For example, specific preseason neuromuscular training programs for female soccer players have demonstrated a significant decrease in the occurrence of anterior cruciate ligament tears. Another example is the reduction in serious ankle injuries in recreational softball with the use of breakaway bases. New information about better tackling technique to reduce the incidence of concussions, as well as improved screening tools to diagnose these sometimes subtle head injuries and return these athletes to play safely are in the news literally every week.
Obviously, the benefits to an individual’s health and quality of life by participating in physical activity at any level are clearly recognized. The ongoing development of sports medicine can help those benefits be fully realized and safely achieved by everyone who participates in sports.
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s (PVHMC) Sports Medicine Center (SMC) opened its doors to athletes of all ages and skill in September 1983. From young soccer players, to high school and collegiate athletes, to weekend warriors, to active seniors ... each athlete is given expert, timely, and cost-effective treatment specific to their particular injury. The SMC’s experienced physicians and physical therapists, along with their longstanding relationships with local athletic trainers, specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of issues resulting from, or interfering with, sports participation. We focus on the needs of the individual athlete when developing a sports-specific treatment plan that achieves a quick, yet safe, return to play. Athletes treated at the SMC benefit from access to PVHMC’s numerous resources including physician specialists in all areas of medicine, cutting edge diagnostic technologies, and state-of-the-art athletic rehab gyms in PVHMC’s Rehabilitation Services department. Best of all, an initial injury screening at our Monday and Thursday evening SMC Physician Clinic is FREE, including X-rays if necessary.
If you think we can help you ‘get back in the game’, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our SMC website at PVHMC.org/Sports Medicine Center for more information.
Rick Rossman, MS, PT
Associate Director, Rehabilitation Services
Administrative Director, Sports Medicine Center
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