When you think about sports medicine, you might assume that sports medicine experts only help athletes recover from injuries, but that’s just part of what they do. Sports medicine is a comprehensive collection of services and treatments designed for athletes to help them not only recover, but get stronger, faster, and more flexible to improve their performance and help them avoid future or recurring injuries.
Almost all student and professional sports teams have a physician who specializes in sports medicine on staff. For example, our own James M. Lee, Jr., MD, is the head team physician for Bloomfield College as well as the East Orange Campus High School, Weequahic High School, and East Side High School football teams.
While the doctor is on hand to assess sports injuries, he also works with the coaches and managers to ensure that each athlete is training correctly, including using carefully selected cross-training activities to improve their performance and reduce their risk of injury.
Sports medicine is more than treatment for injuries
Sports medicine experts like Dr. Lee have an in-depth knowledge of your anatomy and physiology and have spent years studying how different movement stress your muscles, connective tissue, joints, and bones. As a result, he can help athletes like you train more efficiently.
For example, if you play a sport like football or soccer that requires a lot of sudden changes in direction at high speed, you need to not only be strong and fast but have the flexibility to make quick adjustments to your movement and direction. Dr. Lee works with you and your coach to develop training programs, including exercises and stretches as well as nutritional plans, to ensure you’re fit and able to compete at your peak ability.
How sports medicine can keep you at the top of your game
Imagine that you or your child has been shooting hoops in your driveway for years, and now you want to join a team. You go to try-outs, and the competition is fierce, especially from players who’ve already been on the team.
You win a place on the team, and now it’s time to start training with the other players. You practice with the team for hours every day, running suicides, lifting weights, and doing cross-training exercises that you’ve never even heard of, and you start waking up with a sore lower back or joint pain in your ankles or knees.
You talk to your coach and sports physician about your symptoms, and they devise a plan to help you develop strength and flexibility in the muscles and connective tissue that you hadn’t been training prior to joining the team. As you follow their plan, not only do you notice that you’re faster, but you’re more agile and accurate. And best of all, your pain disappears.
You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to benefit from sports medicine
Not only does Dr. Lee work with athletes of all levels, including students and weekend warriors, but if you’re new to exercise, he can help you, too. Dr. Lee can assess your current fitness level and devise a training plan that helps you get stronger, lose weight, and meet your goals while also minimizing your risk of injury.
If you’re an athlete who wants to perform at your optimal ability, a fun-runner who wants to shave a few minutes off your 5K time, or if you’re new to exercise and want to make sure you’re going to get fitter without injury, call Orange Orthopaedic Associates or schedule an appointment online today.