Sports Medicine Doctors Do More Than Treat Acute Injuries

Obviously, you would see a sports medicine doctor if you sprained your ankle or tore your ACL. They primarily help with diagnosing and treating these acute sports injuries. But that's definitely not all that sports medicine doctors do. Here are some other situations in which you should seek out a sports medicine doctor.

Chronic and Overuse Injuries 

Some sports tend to cause overuse injuries, rather than acute injuries. These are injuries that develop over time, due to overuse of a certain muscle, ligament, joint, or other tissue. The symptoms don't just pop up immediately. They slowly develop over time. Sometimes, they even come and go. Runners, throwers, and other track athletes are prone to over-use injuries. Common examples include shin splints, IT band syndrome, and runner's knee. If you've had a persistent pain that has lingered for more than a week, or that seems to come and go as you train, then you should see a sports medicine doctor. They can diagnose your injury and recommend treatments that will actually make you feel better so you can get back to training. 

Lingering Pains and Tightness

Maybe you don't have an overt injury, but you've noticed that a specific part of your body is always tight or sore. For example, maybe your hamstrings are always feeling tight, or maybe your ankles are always sore when you start your workout. A sports medicine doctor can do a few things in this case. They can run some basic tests and take x-rays to make sure you don't have any underlying injuries contributing to your pain. They can also give you recommendations to help ease the soreness and prevent it from developing into an injury. For example, they may recommend different warm-up exercises or switching to a different style of shoe.


Another good time to see a sports medicine doctor is when you're first getting into a new sport. The doctor can look you over for any health problems that might be aggravated by the sport. They can give you steps to take to prevent injuries. For example, they might notice that you have under-developed calf muscles and therefore recommend you work on strengthening your calves to prevent injuries in that area. They may notice that your ankles roll in when you walk and recommend shoes that minimize this.

Sports medicine doctors are an incredible resource and one you can rely on for all of your sports and activity-related health needs.