Athletes: What to Do When You Get Hurt
You may have never seen a primary care sports medicine doctor, or know what they do. Here you’ll learn about what they treat, the type of training they have and how they can get you back to your game.
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That’s where primary care sports medicine doctors step in.
“If an injury or illness gets in the way of your performance, we develop a plan to quickly and safely get you back on track,” says primary care sports medicine physician Richard Figler, MD.
More than 90% of all sports injuries don’t require surgery. Primary care sports physicians work alongside orthopaedic surgeons — in the office and on the sidelines, from high school to professional level teams — to diagnose and manage acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems such as:
Primary care sports physicians are committed to helping you prevent recurrent injury. They promote a healthy lifestyle, and offer exercise counseling to help you start or modify your workout routine. They help improve athletic performance through nutrition, supplements and ergogenic aids.
Primary care sports physicians won’t just treat your symptoms — they’ll look into its cause like a crime scene investigator on “CSI.”
“We look at why your injury or problem occurred and determine how best to treat it,” Dr. Figler says. “And we help prevent recurrences by addressing the condition or ailment that played a role in your injury in the first place.”
If you need further care, your primary care sports physician will guide you and expedite your referral to a surgeon and musculoskeletal radiologists, physical therapist, sports dietitian or sports psychologist.
Primary care sports medicine physicians are first trained and board-certified in one of the following specialties:
They also complete one or two years’ training through a fellowship in sports medicine, a field dedicated to the comprehensive care of athletes and active individuals, to lifelong fitness and wellness promotion, and to illness and injury prevention.
Some physicians have individual specialization in specific activities, such as:
So whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, a primary care sports physician can help you stay active in the activity or sport you love.