What Symptom Do Sports Medicine Physicians Commonly Treat?


A sports doctor is a physician who has additional training in conditions that often affect people in sports. These physicians help pre-empt, treat and manage a range of patient injuries. Certain people work in emergency rooms. Others have practice of family, childcare or rehabilitation. Some sport medicine doctors are bone and muscle specialists (orthopedics).

Sports physicians aren’t for athletes alone. Anyone who is doing sports on weekends or just practicing them can get a sport injury. Your primary doctor may be the first doctor you see. You will probably be referred to a sports medicines doctor if he or she thinks you need specialized care. Bear in mind that sports medicine and orthopedics can also be practiced by both surgeons and non surgeons. If you require surgical assessment, be sure to find a board certified orthopedic sport doctor.




Symptoms of sport injury may occur rapidly at the point of injury or over a few hours or days gradually. If an athlete falls, rolls the ankle or gets banged elsewhere, the typical answer is to shake off the pain and push it through which lasts longer. Chronic injury symptoms or overuse tend to occur over time. Acute flares from ancient injuries can, however, be common. The following are the symptoms of a sport injury.


  • Pain. The main symptom of an injury to sports is pain. It is a signal of the body that there is something wrong and can vary according to the type of injury. A sports physician should be able to see the immediate onset of pain from an acute injury which does not subside. An example of this is that you roll your ankle and can not put weight on it, or collide with an object or person and cannot move your arm. Pain is delayed sometimes. In overuse injuries this is particularly common. After a sport a joint may feel a bit tender, but the pain will intensify further during the course of hours.


  • Stiffness. While it is difficult to measure pain, mobility can often be measured by inspecting your movement range. This applies in particular to injuries to the leg, as the injured joint can be compared with the healthy opposite. The severity of an injury can clearly be shown by a limited range of movement. For the lack of mobility during acute injuries, an initial period of rest is typically recommended, followed by gentle movement to increased exercise. See a sports physician and therapist before you begin sporting activities to assess and treat mobility issues.


  • Instability. An unstable joint is loose or wants to buckle or sprout. This is often a sign of a ligament injury (such as an ACL tear), since after it was damaged, the injured joint is not adequately supported.


  • Tingling and Numbness. Tingling is a sign of irritation or injury to the nerve. Sometimes nerves are directly damaged; at other times, swelling or inflammation can irritate the nerve. Mild pinching is usually not a major problem, although it is more of an issue to be unable to feel an injured body.


  • Redness. Inflammation or abrasion, allergy or infection can be a cause of redness at the site of injury. You should be evaluated by a health care professional if there is unexplained skin redness, especially if the area is also warm in the touch.


  • Weakness. Injury limiting the strength of an injured area can lead to a muscle or tendon structural damage that prevents normal functioning. The doctor should assess the failure to lift his arm or walk because of weakness, as other possible and causes exist.


  • Swelling. It is a sign that your body is trying to respond to an injury and trigger the immune system healing response. It can cause discomfort, even though swelling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You cannot observe swelling or any limitation in your ability to move in the very early stages after injury. Swelling is frequent as healing blood and fluid is sent to protect the damaged tissue or bone. Swelling is often progressive.


  • Headache. A mild trauma in the head  can lead to cumulative symptoms such as confusion, difficulty focusing, problems with memory, headache, dizziness, nausea and irritability. A disturbance can and should not be ignored with severe consequences. If a blow to the head causes symptoms or loss of consciousness immediately, seek medical care, even if symptoms are present.


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.  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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