Dr. Howard Marans is an expert in sports medicine and has treated hundreds of elite and thousands of amateur athletes over the course of his career. Athletes are at an increased risk of orthopedic problems due to the nature of their lifestyle, and they have unique needs when it comes to recovering from injuries. That’s why seeing a sports medicine doctor is so important.
Athletes Have Unique Needs
When it comes to treatment for orthopedic problems and injuries, athletes have unique needs from the rest of the population. Some examples of this include:
• Athletes are typically in peak physical condition
• More prone to injury due to training (especially in cases of over-training or incorrect form)
• Education on ways to prevent future injury is essential
• Restoring full functionality to the injured body part is a priority
Approach to Treatment
One of the major ways in which athletes differ from other patients is that they require full use of the injured part in most cases. Although sometimes an orthopedic injury is so severe that the athlete will be unable to ever return to their previous level of achievement, in many cases it is possible to restore full functionality.
Because of this, sports medicine tends to be more aggressive in treating injuries than general orthopedic medicine. While an older or less active patient may receive treatment aimed at relieving symptoms in the least invasive way possible, athletes usually want to be able to perform strenuous physical activity over many years.
Physical therapy is often a cornerstone of sports medicine, whether or not surgery is also used. Physical therapy can restore flexibility to stiff joints and strengthen muscles that weakened due to injury. In addition, physical therapy can help athletes develop the good form that they will need to prevent future injuries.