Each year, almost nine million Americans suffer injuries while playing sports or engaging in recreational activities. In about half of these cases, medical attention is required. Too often, sports injuries leave sufferers confused and doubting. Should they go to the ER or their primary care physician? When is it appropriate to see a sports medicine doctor instead?
Here’s what you need to know about sports medicine and when seeing an orthopedic sports medicine doctor is the best choice.
What is a sports medicine doctor? What sets these physicians apart from other doctors? Put simply, sports medicine doctors are practitioners who specialize in:
Sports medicine professionals work with patients in a variety of ways. They may:
They may partner with other support professionals such as physical therapists and nutritionists to best assess and meet patients’ needs. Some sports medicine doctors focus on orthopedic surgery, procedures that repair bones and muscles. Not all orthopedic or sports medicine doctors are surgeons, however. So when searching for “the best sports medicine doctors near me” or “the best sports medicine doctors in Portland, Oregon” is important to specify if you are looking to consult a surgeon.
Many patients automatically assume that they need to go to their primary care physician first if they experience an injury. For some minor injuries that will likely heal on their own, this can be fine. If your insurance plan requires you to see your PCP first, it may also be necessary. For most patients, however, there is no reason why they cannot go directly to a sports medicine professional. In fact, many PCPs would prefer that their patients went straight to sports medicine doctors for sports injuries.
Only between half and three-quarters of family physicians report feeling comfortable and confident treating common sports injuries.
With that in mind, here are five major reasons to visit a sports medicine clinic in Portland like Sports Health Northwest.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, a casual lover of the outdoors, or a parent trying to stay in shape and keep up with your kids, an injury can bring your active lifestyle to a screeching halt.
There are two primary types of sports injuries. Acute or traumatic injuries, such as breaking a bone, happen in an instant. Chronic or overuse injuries develop slowly over time.
Both types of injury can:
Avoiding both acute and chronic injuries can be challenging. Accidents can happen to anyone and a wide range of factors come into play. The best ways to prevent injury include a combination of the following practices.
A sports medicine doctor is well equipped to help you do each of these things, individually and in combination. They can help you choose the right activities for your body, interests, and lifestyle. They can also help you create a plan to enjoy all the things you love in safety. This can be particularly important if you:
Sports medicine isn’t only about preventing and healing injuries. It is also about learning how to take care of your body to reach your peak performance. Even small things such as swelling, stiffness, or low-level nutrient deficiencies can hinder your performance. But identifying and addressing these issues is no easy task. Bodies are complicated. Reaching your peak performance involves fully assessing your health, your lifestyle, and your activities of choice. Only then can you get to the bottom of what is holding you back.
Doing this on your own is difficult, but a sports medicine doctor can help. They can assist you in doing an assessment and then in putting together a comprehensive training and health plan. These plans are a powerful way to manage your performance and achieve your goals.
Seeing a sports medicine specialist is a must if you:
Acute sports injuries can be painful and traumatic. They can sideline you not only from your sport but from your job and even the activities of daily life. In most cases, your primary care provider will refer you to a specialist if you suffer an acute injury as they are not equipped to provide the specialized care you need. Even if they do not, it is in your best interest to see a sports medicine doctor if you suffer from these or other common acute sports injuries:
Without appropriate care, these injuries can snowball into chronic problems. They can cause ongoing pain and mobility issues that impact every aspect of your life. A Portland sports medicine specialist can help you handle these situations the right way from the start. With the right treatments, cutting-edge therapies, and insightful follow-up, you can minimize the disruption acute injuries have on your life and set yourself up for long-term success.
Chronic injuries can take several forms.
Left untreated, chronic conditions will worsen over time. They can become debilitating and may lead to acute injuries. Fortunately, chronic injuries do not have to take you out of the game. When you work with a sports medicine doctor, they can help you identify therapies, treatments, and modifications that enable you to keep doing what you love.
If you need orthopedic surgery to correct a chronic or acute condition, you will need to see a Portland sports medicine doctor who specializes in surgical procedures. Working with an orthopedic surgeon who does sports medicine has several benefits. First and foremost, it provides continuity of care. You will be able to stay with the same doctor for your surgery, recovery, and long-term follow-up care. This allows you to form a good rapport and lets your doctor get to know you, your body, and your lifestyle.
This kind of positive relationship can form the foundation of life-long success in doing what you love and taking good care of your body in the process.
Located at 12672 NW Barnes Rd, Suite 100, Sports Health Northwest is Portland’s premier sports medicine practice. Our experienced staff excels at treating injuries of the:
We work with professional and casual athletes participating in a range of sports, from golf to baseball to hockey. We also diagnose and treat injuries to bone and muscle from vehicle accidents and other causes. We work with all ages and accept most insurance plans.
Regardless of what brings you to our door, our care team can help you get back on your feet and back on the court.
Make an appointment with one of our best-in-class sports medicine doctors today.
Let us help you reach your peak performance and stay in the game you love.