Sports medicine doctors focus on treating musculoskeletal injuries resulting from the active lifestyles of athletes and non-athletes alike.

Most sport medicine healthcare providers have certifications in other specialties, such as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Pediatrics. As a practitioner of sports medicine, they have have additional training in helping people improve their athletic performance, recover from injury, and prevent future injuries.

Sports medicine is focused on caring for athletes of all levels, from amateur weekend warriors to professionals, adults who exercise for physical fitness to student athletes, and people with physically demanding jobs, such as construction workers. They often provide coordinated care with other medical specialists to get an individual back to the sports they love or to their vocations.

athlete performing vertical jumping exercises

Sports Medicine Conditions

Sports medicine primarily focuses on nonsurgical treatments. In fact, according to statistics from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, roughly 90 percent of all sports injuries do not require surgery. Instead, it focuses on maximizing the benefits of nonsurgical options, which can help patients recover faster. However, sports medicine doctors will refer a patient to an orthopedic surgeon if they determine it is appropriate.

What are the most common sports medicine injuries? They include:

Sports Medicine Treatments

When sports injuries occur, sports medicine doctors use a variety of diagnostic techniques and treatment options to help accelerate and optimize recovery. These options and treatments include:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination
  • Imaging Techniques (X-Rays, MRIs, CT Scans, Ultrasound)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Activity Modification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Cortisone Injections
  • Orthobiologic Regenerative Medicine (Including PRP)

What Are Frozen Shoulders?

Frozen shoulder affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population and is one of the conditions that Sports Medicine doctors focus on.

Frozen shoulder is medically known as adhesive capsulitis. It is a common cause of shoulder pain and loss of motion in those who are in their 40’s or older. Unfortunately, it can result in a considerable disruption to any sports activity, especially given how long it usually takes to resolve.

A frozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder’s joint capsule becomes inflamed or sticky. This makes the whole joint stiff, and difficult and painful to move. As the joint capsule becomes inflamed, scar tissue forms, which causes pain and leaves less room for the shoulder to move through its normal full range of motion.

This condition can be challenging to diagnose in its early stages, as it can appear to be similar to other common shoulder disorders. Where there are questions about its diagnosis from initial medical examination, an MRI or ultrasound examination is often required to detect the thickening in the joint capsule that is one of the indicators of this condition.

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Conservative treatments begin with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) and physical therapy. However, when this approach is unsuccessful, steroid injections may be appropriate.

For many patients, resting the shoulder over a long period under the supervision of a doctor is what is required for recovery. It’s a frustrating path for impatient athletes, but it is the reality of the road to recovery for most who have this condition.

Make an Appointment

Share This Page: