Sports medicine doctors specialize in dealing with athletes and their fitness-related problems. They ensure that all athletes and sportspersons are fit and their health is not compromised. A regular checkup with a sports MD also ensures that athletes give their best performance during their competitions.
It is common for athletes to face injuries while they are training. Hence, when they have a doctor by their side, they completely focus on their health, the chances of recovery are increased. Apart from dealing with basic injuries, it is extremely important to have a routine checkup to identify any underlying diseases timely.
The doctors are trained to deal with neuromuscular pain and focus on athletes' nutrition. It is extremely important to have a sports MD in fitness and training centers to deal with such conditions.
Reasons to Visit a Sports Medicine Doctor
The concept of physicians in sports is limited to injury prevention and health maintenance. However, in some cases, the ethical issues become a hurdle, and so many athletes have reservations with their MD. Due to these issues, it becomes difficult for doctors to achieve the health goals of athletes.
A sports medicine doctor always makes sure not to breach the confidentiality of athletes. They are bound to abide by the rules and regulations. Because of these rules, it has become compulsory for training centers to have a sports medicine doctor for the health of their athletes.
The reasons that make it extremely necessary to visit a sports medicine doctor are listed below:
1. Providing Primary Care
The lifestyle of athletes is different from that of a normal person. From the food they eat to when they wake up, all guidelines are specifically made for them. So, they should have proper screening before their competitions. The screening makes sure that all possible causative agents are dealt with.
According to research, athletes have increased chances of sudden death due to cardiovascular reasons. The risk of sudden death was present in both male and female athletes. It is essential to have a sports medicine doctor to deal with the problem.
The doctor's role is comprehensive health management of athletes to assist in performance. A sports doctor also plays an essential role in providing urgent care to sportspersons if they encounter any problem while training.
2. Focusing on Diet and Nutrition
Nutrition has a key role to play in the life of athletes. The food they eat should be designed wisely and must cater to individual athletes' needs. As they train for a longer duration, the doctor should adjust their caloric intake and macronutrient intake accordingly.
The nutritional needs of each athlete vary from the other one. It depends on their fitness level, training duration, and the type of exercise they perform. So to provide them with all nutrients in their diet, a sports doctor plays a critical role. The doctor designs the meals for individual athletes and also helps in improving their performance.
The doctor knows what works best for the athletes. It is best to consult a doctor to plan a meal rather than do it yourself. Sports doctors also help in prescribing specific medications and supplements such as multivitamins or whey protein to athletes.
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3. Dealing with Injuries
The vigorous training of athletes often makes them prone to develop different injuries. The training load is an important marker of subjecting an athlete to injury, as per a research published in Sports Medicine. Often when they are not well-equipped with the form, the chances of encountering injury increase.
The sports doctor has a prominent role in dealing with all athlete's injuries. The doctor provides immediate care and also supervises athletes so that they can return to their training. Without this care, the athlete might not return to sports.
The doctor also provides care to their patient after they have gone through surgery because of injury. The timing of treatment depends completely on the type and severity of the injury.
4. Keeping Infections at Length
Athletes are prone to develop various types of cutaneous infections. If they are given timely treatment with proper care and attention, they can control the infections, so their performance will not be affected, as shown by research. Even though exercises help keep all diseases and infections at a distance, the chances of infections are still there.
The doctor has complete access to the patient's clinical tests and data, ensuring to deal with all infections. Even if an athlete has developed an infection, a doctor will plan effective strategies to deal with the problem, so that performance of athletes does not get compromised.
Several of these infections are dermatological, so it is extremely important to address them on time to avoid transmission to another person. It will also help athletes continue participating in sports activities without any problem.
5. Necessary for Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy allows for the management of pain and movement disorders in athletes. In the London 2012 Olympic Games, physiotherapy services were held for almost one month. In this camp, 1718 people were encountered, out of which 1219 were athletes. The camp assessed different injuries such as head or cervical and knee.
The physiotherapists provided different treatment therapies to athletes, including mobilization techniques, therapeutic soft tissue techniques, and compression therapies. The most common reason for these injuries was the overuse of joints.
It shows that it is extremely important to have a sports doctor at fitness centers and even during competitions to deal with injury prevention. Athletes might not be able to move if they do not have physiotherapy sessions when encountering any injury.
6. Important for Mental Health
Sports medicine doctors often have to deal with athletes' patients who have psychological problems. In this therapy, a doctor provides consultation to athletes to deal with trauma. It further helps them to improve their performance and their perception of health. They have a better focus on their training and good performance with accurate treatment.
According to an article published in the clinical journal of Sports Medicine, sports doctors and mental health care providers work together to address behavioral issues of athletes. They provide a comprehensive plan to athletes, which helps in improving their behavior and performance.
The common problems addressed in athletes include sleep disorders, overtraining syndromes, hyperactivity problems, suicide, eating disorders, depression and anxiety.
If you are a professional athlete who wants to lift your game, then having a sports doctor by your side is necessary. Your physician will have all records of your health, so they know what works best for your health. They plan effective strategies so that you can work at an optimal pace.
A sports doctor is a highly-skilled professional who knows all about athletes and sportspersons. Your doctor knows about your performance goals and your health. So, your health will boost, and with that, your performance will get better. All of this will make you successful in your professional career.
- Ahmadinejad, Zahra, et al. “Common Sports-Related Infections: A Review on Clinical Pictures, Management and Time to Return to Sports.” Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 1–9. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4009082/.
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- Chang, Cindy J. MD*#; Putukian, Margot MD, FACSM, FAMSSM†#; Aerni, Giselle MD‡; Diamond, Alex B. DO, MPH; Hong, Eugene S. MD¶; Ingram, Yvette M. PhD‖; Reardon, Claudia L. MD**; Wolanin, Andrew T. PsyD†† Mental Health Issues and Psychological Factors in Athletes: Detection, Management, Effect on Performance, and Prevention: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement, Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2020 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p e61-e87 doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000817