PDX Monthly has named Dr David Westerdahl one of Portland’s Top Sports Medicine Doctors for 2024. He is the only Doctor in that group recognized by his peers who is not part of a large medical group.

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Injured While Exercising? Here’s Why You Should See A Sports Medicine Doctor

Injured While Exercising? Here’s Why You Should See A Sports Medicine Doctor

If you like to play sports, then you are no stranger to the occasional pains and injuries. Minor issues will often resolve on their own. But, once in a while, you will suffer from an acute or chronic injury. You need not ignore such a problem since it can grow to a more complicated health issue. It is advisable to seek medical attention. But there comes a new challenge at this point – where do you find the help you need? You are likely to consider your general physician. There is no doubt that they can treat you, but it is best to visit a sports injury specialist.

A specialist will give you expert care that your injury needs. Sports medicine specialists can be both surgeons medical doctors like family medicine or emergency medicine with specialized training and education in sports medicine. They mainly work with athletes of all ages and skill levels in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. They also offer additional services, including sports psychology, nutrition, rehabilitation, and therapy.

There are many sports medicine specialists in Portland. Choosing the right one to diagnose and treat your sporting issues can be a daunting task. The best way to find a reputable injury clinic in Portland is through referrals. Get recommendations from your fellow athletes. Also, your general physician can refer you to a competent sports injury specialist. Make sure you get a list of three or four clinics in the area.

The next step is to evaluate who is most suitable for you. Choosing your injury doctor well means that you will get the best treatment possible. When choosing your doctor, there are several factors you should put into consideration. They include the following:

When to Visit a Sports Injury Treatment Clinic

Typically, you will visit your primary care doctor when you experience minor sporting injuries. Such would include fractures, muscle sprains, concussions, and joint strains. Your doctor will carry out an initial evaluation and treatment. However, if the condition is beyond their scope, they might want to refer you to a sports doctor. The doctor may come to such a decision if he identifies the issues below:

Other signs that may prompt you to visit an injury treatment clinic include:

Pain that won’t go away – It is normal to experience pains and aches after sporting activities. However, you should get concerned if the pain is persistent. A sports medicine specialist will help you diagnose the cause of the pain and treat it accordingly.

Common Musculoskeletal Injuries

Below are some common injuries that a sports injury specialist may treat:

Why You Should Visit a Sports Medicine Expert

If you are suffering from a musculoskeletal injury, the best solution is to visit a sports doctor. There are many other reasons to see this type of physician, whether you are an athlete or not. Let us discuss some of them.

Injury Prevention

Nobody wants to get injured. Injuries are painful and cause a lot of inconveniences. But you can learn how to prevent them by consulting a sports injury specialist. The first thing your doctor does when treating you is to find the cause of the injury. In addition to giving you the necessary treatment, they will advise you on how to prevent similar injuries in the future. If you are a first-timer in a specialized sporting activity, you should consider a fitness evaluation before you indulge in it. A sports medicine specialist can help advise you on staying healthy and avoiding injury as you build up fitness for that sport.

Pain Management

Pain is inevitable in sporting activities. The fundamental thing is to know how to manage the pain. In addition to prescription medication, there are other ways of managing pain. They include guided, diagnosis specific, individualized, exercise programs, targeted local treatments at the site of pain, minimally invasive procedures, and regenerative medicine treatments. These techniques may not be available with your primary care physician, but you will find them in an injury recovery clinic.

Chronic Injury Treatment

Injuries that are persistent or regularly recurring require the attention of a specialist. A sports physician will have the right expertise to figure out why the injury keeps on recurring. In addition, they will provide you with the proper rehabilitation plan to resolve the problem.

Acute Injury Treatment

Acute sporting injuries may be treated at home or by a general doctor. But it is best to have the injury checked by a sports doctor. You may not be able to know the extent of the injury on the surface, but a closer medical examination will determine its severity. For this reason, you should always visit your sports physicians whenever you encounter a sporting injury, even if they’re minor.


After an injury, you want to bounce back to the playing field within the shortest time possible. To achieve this goal, you should seek the help of a sports medicine specialist. In addition to treating the injury, they will restore your function and motion through a rehabilitation program. Therefore, you can rest assured of getting back to your sports fast and at a better fitness level.

Nutritional Education

Nutritional health is an essential element for both athletes and active individuals. Whatever you fuel your body with will determine your performance in sports and in life. It is recommended to seek expert advice on matters of nutrition. Sports doctors have special training in exercise nutrition in addition to their training in sports medicine. Therefore, they will advise you on what to eat and drink to boost your energy in the field.

Surgical Treatment

Sometimes, surgical operations are the most appropriate solutions for certain injuries. You want to make sure that an expert does your surgery. Sport medicine physicians are proficient in many surgical procedures that are related to musculoskeletal injuries. They utilize state-of-the-art surgical procedures such as minimally invasive procedures, percutaneous ultrasound guided procedures, stem-cell therapy, hip arthroscopy, platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), arthroscopic ACL repair, and other injury specific interventional treatments. You are guaranteed that your surgery will bring the desired results when carried out by a sports doctor.

Performance Enhancement

As an athlete or an avid fitness junkie, you want to be at your best when it comes to performance. It will help if you connect with a sports medicine specialist. Firstly, they will diagnose and treat any condition that would be hindering your performance. Secondly, they will provide you with a comprehensive fitness program to help you reach your full performance potential.

Routine Care and Maintenance

If you regularly engage in sports, it’s important to have a regular check-up of your musculoskeletal system. This will help maximize your game performance. Your sports medicine doctor will be able to identify emerging problems at very early stages. These doctors specialize in all matters that have to do with body mechanics and their association with your musculoskeletal system. So, they are experts at detecting hidden issues that may impede fluid movement when playing sports.

Does A Sports Medical Doctor Only See Athletes?

The answer is no. Sports physicians specialize in athletes of all ages, types, and abilities. Whether you are an amateur or professional, like leisurely walks or ultra-marathons, you still benefit from the services of sports medicine specialists. They will help you maintain a high level of functionality in your sports through their professional advice. Other than that, sport injury doctors help to rehabilitate people who have been involved in day-to-day accidents as well. For example, these healthcare specialists are also helpful to aging athletes who have limitations due to arthritis or prior injury.

Go for It

If you want to keep your fitness activities on top gear, bring on board a sports medicine specialist. In addition to treating your sports injuries, this type of doctor will offer you invaluable advice on nutritional and physical fitness. Look for a reputable sports medicine doctor in Portland to walk with you in your fitness journey. Doing this will help you attain your desired goal of achieving maximum athletic potential.

So, contact us at Sports Health Northwest. Let us help you recover and get back in the game faster.

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