Sports Medicine

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on physical fitness and the prevention of injuries that result from sports and exercise.

What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on physical fitness and the prevention of injuries that result from sports and exercise. If you or your child suffers an injury during exercise, a sport or any physical activity, you should schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist.

Sports medicine doctors are specifically trained to restore function to an injured patient so that they can get back out on the court or field. These physicians can also help with injury and illness prevention for their patients, given their extensive knowledge on the subject. Sports medicine doctors work with professional athletes extensively, but they can also help children, teens and adults who are involved in recreational leagues. Even construction workers and other professionals who have physically demanding jobs can benefit from sports medicine.

Sports medicine specialists

Most specialists are certified in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine and other specialities that receive extensive training. Other doctors are experts at treating injuries in teens and children, whose bodies are still growing and are different from adults. Being board certified in family medicine, pediatrics can be extremely useful. Some specialists also have surgical training, typically as orthopedic surgeons, but this isn’t as common.

Physical therapists, certified athletic trainers and nutritionists all work with doctors to provide additional athletic care. Both physical therapists and athletic trainers help athletes rehab from injuries and work to develop strength and conditioning to prevent future injuries. Nutritionists provide dietary advice to help people improve their physical performances.

What can they treat?

Sports medicine specialists can provide treatments for fractures, tendonitis, concussions, cartilage injures, ankle sprains, shoulder and knee injuries, asthma, dehydration, heat illness and eating disorders. In addition to addressing eating disorders, specialists can provide advice on nutrition supplements.

When should I seek treatment?

If you or your child sustains an injury during sports or exercise that is significant, we encourage you to go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Severe pain, numbness, swelling or an inability to put weight on an injured area are all grounds for a trip to the ER.

For minor to moderate sporting injuries, rest up at home and give your health care provider a call for guidance and a referral. If you live in San Diego County, the team at North Coast Family Medical Group can refer you to a specialist. Most sports injuries will not need to be treated with surgery. Pain relievers and/or a cast or sling to keep an injured area immobilized often do the trick. Surgery will be required when torn tissue needs to be repaired or bones need to be realigned.

Dr. Kakimoto and Dr. Glockner are both board-certified sports medicine specialists. If you live in San Diego County, or the surrounding areas, give us a call at (760) 942-0118 and schedule an appointment for all of your sports medicine needs.