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What Injuries Does a Sports Medicine Doctor Treat?

Sports medicine doctors specialize in treating athletes and others who have acquired injuries related to fitness activities. They see individuals with fractures, sprains, strains, bruises, and many other more serious issues.

A sports medicine doctor is one who specializes in treating a wide variety of sport-related injuries. Some have orthopedic training from completing a residency at a surgery center, but others are non-surgical doctors who completed their residencies in a family practice or other non-surgical environment. Once their residencies are done, these doctors typically complete a one to two year fellowship program that focuses on treating sports injuries.

What Types of Injuries to these Doctors See?

Amongst the common sprains, deep bruises, fractures, and broken bones, a sports medicine doctor will probably treat a wide variety of less known injuries:

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is an extremely painful condition caused by overly swollen muscle tissue that invades the space meant for nerves and blood vessels. This condition can either be acute (caused by a one-time injury) or chronic (caused by continued overuse.)

Shin Splints

Although widely used to refer to any sort of leg pain experienced during exercise, shin splints refer specifically to pain which runs along the tibia, the large bone located in the front of the lower leg. Pain can occur in the foot and ankle, or along the inner edge of the bone.

This condition can often be avoided by using correct posture when running, completing a warm up routine which includes stretching before beginning exercise, avoiding doing too much training at once, and by wearing shoes which provide sufficient support.

Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel, and is one of the most common injuries involving muscle tendons. When this tendon is weakened through overuse or improper use, it can cause a sudden and agonizing painful injury. Achilles injuries tend to occur in middle-aged "weekend warriors" who don't exercise regularly or don't stretch before and after their fitness sessions. They are also common among athletes who play professional sports like football or basketball - those that require quick-acceleration.

Joint Dislocation

A joint is the area where two bones meet. In many contact sports (like football or basketball) or other high-impact fitness activities, athletes are prone to dislocation of certain joints like the hand or shoulder. Occasionally the knee, hip, or elbow may become dislocated, but these are not common injury sites.

A joint dislocation requires immediate medical attention, and you'll probably want to follow up with a sports medicine doctor if there are any complications during recovery.

Traumatic Brain Injury

While it's incredibly uncommon, it's not completely unlikely for a sports medicine doctor to treat a patient with traumatic brain injury. There are two major types of injury: Closed and Penetrating. A closed injury occurs when the victim's head hits another object with sudden violence, but the skull remains intact. A penetrating injury occurs when the object breaks through the skull, affecting the brain tissue below.

A concussion is the mild form of a traumatic brain injury. Many victims recover completely with plenty of rest. On the other end of the spectrum, these types of injuries can cause serious side effectsHealth Fitness Articles, even death.

Any of these injuries can benefit from the expertise of a well-trained sports medicine doctor.

Article Tags: Sports Medicine Doctor, Sports Medicine, Medicine Doctor

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