What Does Sports Medicine Physicians Do?

Sports medicine physicians are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating injuries. They work with athletes of all levels to help them get back on the field as quickly as possible while still being healthy enough to do so. For example, a sports medicine physician may prescribe physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises for an injured athlete to do at home rather than sending the athlete off for surgery right away.

Sports medicine physicians are required to be knowledgeable and understanding of all aspects of sports. They must know how to diagnose an injury, provide treatment and rehabilitate the athlete for a speedy recovery. Sports medicine physicians also work closely with coaches, trainers, and other healthcare professionals in order to help athletes stay healthy on the field as well as off.

For some injuries, such as those caused by overuse or repetitive motions, prevention is key so that they don’t progress into major chronic problems later on in life. Sports Medicine Physicians often work during games and practices alongside team doctors and physical therapists to keep players safe from injury while still allowing them opportunities for success within their sport.  In this article, you’ll be reading about what a sports medicine physician does.


Athletes’ Physical Ailments, Such As Partial Or Total Fractures, Sprains, And Concussions Are Diagnosed By Sports Medicine Physicians

Sports medicine physicians are responsible for diagnosing physical injuries in athletes. This can include partial or total fractures, sprains, and concussions. Sports medicine physicians may also provide treatment for these injuries, such as prescribing medication or rehabilitation exercises. Additionally, sports medicine physicians often work with trainers and physiotherapists to create individualized treatment plans for athletes.


Sports Medicine Physicians Can Also Help Prevent Injuries From Occurring

They may give advice on how to properly stretch muscles before participating in a sport or activity, or they may recommend specific exercises that can help improve an athlete’s strength and flexibility. In some cases, sports medicine physicians may also suggest changes to an athlete’s equipment or playing conditions in order to

Sports medicine physicians may also provide rehabilitation services to help patients regain strength and motion. They might work with a physical therapist, for example, to create an individualized treatment plan.

Some sports medicine physicians choose to specialize in particular types of injuries. For instance, they may focus on working with athletes who have had knee surgery or those who suffer from chronic pain.


They Request Laboratory Testing In Order To Get A More Accurate Diagnosis

Sports medicine physicians order laboratory tests to aid in accurate diagnosis. Some examples of the types of lab work ordered by a physician include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) and differential analysis
  • Lipid profile for heart disease risk assessment
  • Glucose levels may also be checked if diabetes is suspected or self‐reported by patient
  • Kidney function studies such as creatinine clearance and urinalysis.

A complete metabolic panel (CMP) with liver functions can also help assess general health status and ensure that no electrolyte imbalances exist which could possibly affect muscle contractions during physical activity. This would warrant further testing before allowing high-level performance capabilities once cleared to return to play/activity following injury recovery.


Athletes’ Treatment Programs Are Developed Based On Diagnosis By A Sports Medicine Physician

Sports medicine physicians do care for athletes. They formulate treatment plans based on diagnoses from evaluations that include imaging studies such as X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI. In addition to providing medical diagnoses and overseeing treatments prescribed by other doctors, a sports medicine physician takes part in rehabilitation programs when needed. The goal of the program is to heal injured muscles, bones, or joints so that an athlete can be back playing their sport again soon with minimal interruption.


They Collaborate With Physical Therapists To Develop Recovery Regimens For Injured Athletes

Sports medicine physicians often work with physical therapists to create rehabilitation plans for recovering athletes. Physical therapists help patients regain strength and range of motion following an injury. Sports medicine doctors may also recommend dietary changes or supplements to promote healing.

Additionally, sports medicine physicians may provide advice on how to prevent injuries from occurring in the future. For example, they may suggest specific exercises or stretches that can help strengthen muscles and ligaments. Sports medicine physicians typically monitor injured athletes’ progress and adjust their treatment plans as needed. This allows athletes to return to competition as quickly and safely as possible.


They provide needed medicine for athletes 

Sports medicine physicians may prescribe medications to athletes in their care, depending on the nature of the injury or illness. For example, a sports medicine physician might prescribe pain medication for an athlete who has a muscle sprain. However, sports medicine physicians typically do not provide performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Rather, these physicians work to prevent and treat injuries that can occur during physical activity.

Sports medicine physicians are the go-to for athletes suffering from a variety of physical ailments. From partial or total fractures, sprains, and concussions to those seeking preventative care, these doctors have it all covered. A sports medicine physician will request laboratory testing in order to get an accurate diagnosis as possible before developing an athlete’s treatment program based on their findings. These specialists work alongside other professionals such as physical therapists to help patients recover after injury with the ultimate goal of returning them back into competition at 100%. If you’re looking for someone who can keep you healthy, reach out today!




Are You Looking for a Sports Medicine Physician You Can Trust?

Dr. Chen sees patients at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California. He is a board-certified Pediatrician and Sports Medicine Doctor that specializes in the non-operative medical treatment of a wide variety of various musculoskeletal conditions, including back injuries.  Dr. Chen graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine and went on to complete Pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (Rutgers), then went on to fellowship training in Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the perennially top-ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. There he provided sideline coverage for NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University (OH). Since graduating, Dr. Chen has continued his love of sports coverage by volunteering for the San Francisco Marathon, the San Francisco Giant Race, and as the team physician for Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. Being a part of The Center for Sports Medicine allows Dr. Chen quick access to a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiatrists, and physical therapists to return you to your highest functional level quickly and safely. Click here to contact us for your next appointment!


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