Sports Medicine for your Family

Couple doing exercise at the park

Sports Medicine for your Family

Are you thinking about joining that neighborhood volleyball league? Is your child thinking about basketball or football this year? Do you have some soreness when you run at a certain pace? Starting to play a sport or get back to the same activity of your athletic college days? Be sure to prepare yourself or your children when it comes to sports and increased activity.

To protect and prevent as many sports injuries as possible, start with a  sports physical exam -- also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE). This exam assists in determining whether it is safe for a person to participate in a certain sport. Many states require that kids and teens have a PPE before they start a new sport or a new competitive season in their sport. Even if a PPE isn’t required, it’s a good idea to get one before you start a new sport or activity. A Sports Medicine doctor is specially trained to guide you in your journey to better health and to help you get the most out of the sport you choose.

. In your Sports Medicine doctor’s office, the doctor will conduct the PPE in two parts; medical history and physical exam.  First, the doctor will gather the patient’s medical history by asking questions about illnesses in the family, illnesses when the patient was younger (asthma or ear infections, for example), injuries when the patient was younger, surgeries or hospital stays, allergies (to medication, insect bites, etc.), breathing difficulties, current medications, and more to get a complete picture of the patient’s health.

Then, the doctor will conduct a physical examination. The sports physical examination is similar to a typical physical, in that the doctor records height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs. They may also test vision, heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, throat, along with the patient’s posture, joints, strength, and flexibility. The doctor will also ask about current medications, supplements, steroids, weight management, and other issues that can affect a person’s health, especially when it comes to their athletic activity.

All in all, sports physicals are the best and most common way to help prevent sports injuries and proactively treat symptoms such as wheezing when running or stiffness when stretching. Doctors who specialize in sports medicine are specially trained to support the health of anyone who participates in sports or physical activity. The ultimate goal of a sports physical is to make sure that a patient is safe while playing a sport.

Even when precautions are made and preventative actions are taken, things like sports-related fractures and stress fractures, happen. These types of fractures are tiny breaks in the bone, often caused by repetitive stress from sports activities, like running, pitching, or rowing. Although painful, they usually heal themselves if rested for a few months.

More commonly, these types of fractures develop in patients who have just started a new exercise or intensified their training quickly. Poor sports equipment, even worn out running shoes, can also contribute to stress and sports fractures in some patients.

One type of pain relief is an injection into the joint, usually called a steroid or cortisone injection. Joint injections related to sports injuries are often for the elbows, shoulders, and/or knees. These types of injections allow doctors to deliver medication to the exact points of inflammation. Steroid injections have minimal side effects and can continue relieving inflammation from six weeks to six months.

With appropriate prep work and precautions, sports can be even more fun and fulfilling for athletes. Be sure to ask questions, voice concerns, and talk about all of these with your doctor.

If you are in pain or have questions, please give us a call at 469-518-5580 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.


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