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Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Sports medicine and rehabilitation help worldwide patients of all ages diagnose and recover from injuries from sports with a nonsurgical treatment plan.

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At October 14, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 23, 2024

Introduction:

Sports medicine and rehabilitation help recover from muscle fatigue, pain in the limb, and injuries due to sports and provide physical therapy to prevent muscle stretching during sports. It is common to get injured during any sport, but being unable to continue because of the after-effects of injury is crucial. Some injuries are small and can be neglected because they can heal by themself, but not all of them can be avoided. The sportsperson mostly avoids surgical treatments, which take a very long time to recover. Sports medicine and rehabilitation are the lines of choice for sports injuries.

What Are the Conditions to Treat in Sports?

  • Sports injuries.

  • Bruise.

  • Ligament pull.

  • Fracture.

  • Tennis elbow.

  • Arthritis.

  • Lower back pain.

  • Injuries in tendons.

  • Pain in joints.

  • Aging (nonsurgical treatment required).

  • Nerve injuries.

  • Any prosthetic follow-up.

  • Accidental injuries.

What Are the Needs for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation?

The requirement for all sports persons is to be fit and perform better. Common sports injuries may include ligament pull, muscle strain, back pain, swollen muscles, knee injuries, fractures, and dislocations. These conditions are capable of restricting the movement of the body parts and harming the body. Therefore, the first step is to stop the procedure for assessing acute sports injuries. Treatment of these conditions should be done as early as possible to maintain normal body function and performance.

Who Is a Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor?

Sports medicine and rehabilitation doctors, also known as PM&R, are specially trained medical professionals who are certified in ‘Physical medicine and rehabilitation.’ They are specially trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries. It is mandatory to appoint one such physician to the sports team.

What Is Rehabilitation and Its Principle?

A process that helps in being fit, mobile, and strong with the help of some sets of exercises, weight training, and muscle strengthening. It is a nonsurgical and noninvasive process.

Principle of Rehabilitation:

  • Avoid the aggravation of the sports injury while involved in the rehabilitation process. The injury can be exacerbated if therapeutic exercises are performed without any good judgment.

  • Compliance with a patient is necessary for the success of the rehabilitation process. Therefore, a patient should be properly informed about the content and course duration of the rehabilitation process.

  • The rehabilitation process involving the therapeutic portion should be started timely before it causes aggravation.

  • The therapeutic exercise program’s intensity must challenge the patient and their injured area but without any aggravation. For this, patients' responses and the healing process must be monitored carefully while increasing the intensity of the exercises.

  • The specific sequence of events should be followed in the therapeutic exercise program.

  • The rehabilitation program must focus on the overall health of the patient and not just the injured area, such as maintaining strength, range of motion, muscle endurance, and coordination.

  • The injury and the rehabilitation program differ for each person but may appear similar in severity and type. Some undetectable differences change a person’s response to these rehabilitation programs.

Does Rehabilitation Contain Multiple Phases?

Rehabilitation has five phases:

  • Phase 1 - Reduce discomfort (pain, swelling, and, if any, bleeding).

  • Phase 2 - The movement of the injured body part.

  • Phase 3 - Strength training.

  • Phase 4 - Starting small movements of sports or balance training.

  • Phase 5 - Return to normal function.

What Are the Treatments in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation?

This treatment increases awareness about being functional and fit despite any age, injury, or disease. For sportsperson treatment, a team of doctors, including physicists, orthopedic surgeons, physicians, physiotherapists, and a group of nurses, is required. Along with this nutrition of the athlete is an important factor in treatment, so a nutritionist should be included in the team. Treatment should be done in phases or as per the patient's requirements. The primary treatment of the rehabilitation is termed RICE, where:

  • R- Rest.

  • I- Ice.

  • C- Compression.

  • E- Elevation.

Apply RICE immediately after the injury.

Other Treatment Options Include:

  • Medicine - All kinds of sports injuries like bruises, strain in ligaments, or muscle pulls are painful; to subside the pain, painkillers are useful. Some muscle relaxants and ointments are useful in cases of muscle strain or ligament strain, but certified doctors should prescribe all the medicines.

  • Compression Therapy - Even the commonest kind of injury, like bruises, swelling, and stick drawings, is painful and very discomforting. In this case, cold compressing is very helpful in reducing discomfort. Cold compression can be given with a compression device or by simply putting an ice cube within the towel and using it as a cold compress. It is an easy-to-follow process anywhere at home or in a sports place. Cold compression shows an immediate effect on bruises and swelling.

  • Physiotherapy - Physiotherapy is the most helpful treatment for sports-related injuries. It will help in the treatment of all kinds of movement-restricted injuries. This treatment includes certain exercises to normalize the function of restricted body parts. This is a widely used treatment for sports injuries. It helps in the recovery from injuries as well as prevents injury of the muscles.

  • Nutrition - Nutrition is an important aspect of muscle recovery and provides energy to the body. A balanced diet is of utmost importance for the healthy as well as the injured sportsperson. Food with proper parts of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and iron should be added to the diet.

  • Counseling - Whenever an athlete gets injured, physical treatment is important, and mental counseling is necessary. Athletes have a very emotional attachment to their sports, and if they have to stop playing because of some injuries, this could be an emotional breakdown for them. At one point, physical injuries can be treated very easily, but the emotional injury is not easy to treat. A psychiatrist or a counselor can help with this.

  • Muscle Strengthening - Limited body functions and injury may result in muscle weakness and loss of strength. To restore the strength of the muscles, exercises, and training are a must. Training with weights and stretching exercises is good for muscle strengthening.

What Are the Limitations of Rehabilitation?

Choosing rehabilitation as a treatment is a new and advanced program, but it has its limitations also.

  • Uncertified People Practicing Rehabilitation - Wrong treatment or wrong exercises can change an acute injury to a chronic injury; it can cause permanent loss of function of the injured part.

  • Cost-Effectiveness - Usually, the cost is not very high, but if the procedure takes a long time, then it will be a concern.

  • Education - People should be educated enough to understand the difference between certified doctors and fake practitioners.

  • Awareness - Lack of awareness is the main cause of people not looking for rehabilitation.

Conclusion

Performance and physical fitness are the two most important factors in a sportsperson's life. Sometimes, both factors get affected because of some injuries, which will affect the sportsperson's physical and mental well-being, and result in the compromise of their sports. Sports medicine and rehabilitation help in the recovery process of athletes. The rehabilitation process takes place from the time of injury and rest to the time of becoming fit and returning to the ground.

Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Mohammed Wajid
Mohammed Wajid

Physiotherapy

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