Sports medicine is the branch of medicine that focuses on sports-related injuries, exercise, and preventative care. It might seem practical to see an orthopedic doctor if you’ve sprained an ankle or broken an arm. After all, orthopedic doctors can treat broken bones and other musculoskeletal injuries that impact your flexibility and mobility.
However, depending on the nature and type of injury, it might be more beneficial for you to see an orthopedic sports medicine doctor for treatment instead.
Orthopedic sports medicine doctors specialize in providing treatment to patients with issues that involve the musculoskeletal system. This may include arthritis, joint pain, bone fractures, or soft tissue, muscle and ligament injuries. Unlike a general orthopedic specialist, however, orthopedic sports medicine specialists often complete special training in order to approach each patient’s concern holistically, and with the goal to optimize physical performance.
The Weiss Sports Medicine team includes compassionate and highly experienced orthopedic specialists and general sports medicine doctors who can handle all types of orthopedic and musculoskeletal concerns.
Who benefits from sports medicine care?
Though the name may not imply it, sports medicine can help active people from all walks of life — not just professional athletes — regain the highest level of function after injury. Whether you’re a high school athlete, weekend warrior, or an active senior, you may benefit from a comprehensive approach to orthopedic sports medicine care.
At Weiss, our sports medicine specialists don’t just treat injuries, they also offer rehabilitative care and guidance to help prevent them as well. Additionally, our experts can provide nutritional guidance to maximize function with comprehensive, advanced treatment plans.
Weiss Memorial has board-certified sports medicine and orthopedic specialists who are committed to providing the best in care and personalized treatment to help athletes get back to the game. We offer an emergency room fast-track program to streamline care and help ensure positive outcomes for all patients. Fast track sports medicine patients receive concierge-like care for a quicker recovery and return to normal.
When should you seek treatment from a sports medicine specialist?
Whether you play sports, exercise, or are simply going about your day, there’s always a risk of accident or injury. No matter how careful you are, you could end up hurting yourself while being active or playing a sport. Sometimes, injuries are not mild enough to warrant the usual wait-and-see or self-care approach. There are times when it’s best to get medical attention from a sports medicine specialist to prevent the pain, discomfort, and overall impact of injury from becoming worse.
Common types of injuries that sports medicine doctors treat include:
- Ankle and muscle sprains
- Bone and stress fractures
- Ligament strains and tears
- Knee and shoulder injuries
If you experience injuries that are painful enough to keep you from using the affected limb or if you experience weakness, tenderness or swelling, or issues that impact your daily life or preferred athletic activity, it’s a good idea for you to see a specialist for an assessment and treatment plan.
What type of treatment is involved in sports medicine?
Sports medicine involves the use of preventive and conservative treatment options that may include surgery. To determine the scope of care necessary, patients first have a consultation which includes a physical exam and a complete medical history. A physician may order lab tests or imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or vascular imaging for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Preventive services may include nutrition and exercise counseling, as well as rehabilitation to help improve mobility and flexibility to reduce the risk of injury. Preventive strategies to help minimize the occurrence of repeat and severe sports-related injuries and accidents are an important component of sports medicine care.
Conservative sports medicine treatments focus on nonaggressive treatments, such as pain analgesics, injections, and physical therapy to help manage musculoskeletal injuries without surgery. For those who need it, surgery also is a highly effective and safe way to correct serious sports-related injuries. Robotic-assisted surgery and physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation are also offered at the Chicago Center for Orthopedics for everything involving the spine, hands, hips, feet, and more.
Sports Medicine Care at the Chicago Center for Orthopedics
The Chicago Center for Orthopedics sports medicine program at Weiss provides a comprehensive and diverse level of care to help you heal and regain your strength so you can get back on your feet, doing what you love as soon as possible.
Our full-service orthopedic clinic accepts walk-in and scheduled appointments. Our patients also have access to our brand new 11,000-square-foot orthopedic facility which incorporates the latest advances in orthopedic care.
Click here to learn more about our sports medicine specialists or program, or call (773) 564-7770 for an appointment at our outpatient clinic.