Get Back to Your Best Performance
Millions of Americans play sports every day. Some go for a run before work in the morning, while others enjoy a round of golf or a competitive game of basketball on the weekends. And while physical activities are fun and healthy, it’s natural for injuries to happen, whether it’s caused by losing balance on the soccer field or stretching improperly before a run. No matter the injury, immediate treatment must be the priority.
At Brookwood Baptist Health, we deliver personalized orthopedic care for professional athletes and physically active individuals of all ages. Our sports medicine specialists are skilled and experienced in treating all types of sports-related injuries, from fractures and sprains to tears and concussions. We use advanced equipment and procedures that help enable fast and precise diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is also known as sports and exercise medicine (SEM). This branch of medicine focuses on providing care and treatment for physical training and sports-related injuries and conditions. At the same time, sports medicine also helps athletes and active people prevent injuries and conditions that may affect their mobility and keep them from achieving their training and exercise goals.
Sports medicine is facilitated by a team of experts, including sports medicine physicians, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons, with the cooperation of the athletes themselves.
Is Sports Medicine the Same as Orthopedics?
Sports medicine is just a part of the huge scope of orthopedics, which means they’re not the same. Orthopedics focuses on providing care and treatment for various musculoskeletal problems, including joint pain, back pain, hip and knee pain and sports injuries, using both surgical and nonsurgical approaches. Meanwhile, sports medicine is mainly focused on providing care and treatment of athletes and those who are physically active.
What Is a Sports Medicine Physician?
Before becoming sports medicine physicians, these doctors are first certified in a specialization such as orthopedics, pediatrics, family medicine, emergency medicine or internal medicine. To be able to subspecialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sports and exercise-related injuries, a sports medicine physician undergoes a two-year fellowship in sports medicine. This type of doctor must also earn a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Sports Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM).
Some sports medicine physicians only focus on providing care and treatment options for nonoperative musculoskeletal conditions, while others focus on surgical treatment options for sports injuries.
Also, there are sports medicine physicians who exclusively care for athletes, or with specific athletic teams, while others work with patients from all walks of life, just like we do at Brookwood Baptist Health. We provide sports medicine services to all, whether they’re athletes or individuals who exercise.
What Are the Injuries and Conditions We Treat?
When it comes to sports medicine, the orthopedic care at Brookwood Baptist Health is a natural choice for injured athletes who want to get back in the game as quickly as possible. Some of the sports injuries we help treat include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Groin pull
- Overuse injuries
- Patellofemoral syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Shin splints
- Strains and sprains
- Swollen muscles
Our Treatment Options
Our sports medicine doctors at Brookwood Baptist Health offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for sports and exercise-related injuries. These include the following:
- Casts and splints (for partial tears)
- Expert-assisted exercises to improve strength and movement
- Minimally invasive orthopedic procedures (i.e., arthroscopy, joint fusion, robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery, etc.)
- Oral medication (i.e., pain killers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, etc.)
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Traditional surgery
Physical therapy is also a top priority at Brookwood Baptist Health. Our orthopedic doctors work closely with physical therapists to help existing patients prevent future injuries and to help them get back in the game and physically active. Our physical therapy and rehab programs also aim to help patients achieve maximum function.
Are You at Risk for Sports Injuries?
Sports injuries may occur suddenly in the middle of a sports game or physical activity or as a result of overuse or wear and tear. You may be at a higher risk of injury if you fall under any of the following:
- Play contact sports
- Physically train to be a part of a sports team
- Regularly go biking, hiking, swimming, etc. as a hobby or to stay in shape
- Haven’t been physically active in a while and just returned to playing or training recently
- Don’t warm up or cool down properly before and after a physical activity
When Is the Best Time to See a Sports Medicine Physician?
If you’re suffering from a minor sports injury, such as a sprain or strain, your doctor or training coach may recommend the RICE method which stands for rest, ice application, compression and elevation. However, if you have a medium to severe injury, such as a broken bone or shoulder dislocation, please see a sports medicine doctor as soon as possible.
Some of the common signs of a more severe sports injury include
- A crunching or popping sound in the joint
- Inability to carry weight on the weak or affected area
- Inability to walk, stand or function
- Instability when standing
- Severe pain and swelling
- Visible deformities (i.e., bumps or lumps)
Personalized Care and Treatment
We understand that each sports-related injury requires a different care approach and treatment plan. That’s why our sports medicine doctors in Birmingham and surrounding areas pay close attention to each patient so we can provide the best type of care you need. At the same time, we consider the age and gender when providing care. We understand that the needs of child athletes may be different to adults and for women versus men.