Category Archives: Sports Health

What is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is a sub specialty of the medical field that is somewhat confusing to some people. Because of the fact that sports is not medicine, it is a bit of a misleading term however the term is intended to represent the doctors and other medical staff who are in the practice of treating and diagnosing athletes and sports related injuries.

The professionals who are actively involved in the sports medicine field ranges from standard doctors, physical therapists, surgeons, and even athletic trainers and other similar careers. Sports tend to be a highly competitive field, and as such most emphasis is placed upon speedy as well as complete recoveries from any injuries. This could mean that an injury that would take normally 3 months to heal can be reduced to only 2 months using the appropriate sports medicine techniques under a qualified doctors care.

Most doctors who practice sports medicine treat athletes both professional, amateur and often children for the various injuries that occur while playing any sport imaginable. The human body is designed to quickly heal following most injuries if an appropriate treatment is followed, and sports medicine is intended to speed the recovery process as much as possible. Many sports medicine doctors are also actively involved in giving athletes preventive care as well which is designed to reduce the occurrence of many common injuries.

Doctors who are interested in sports medicine come from a wide range of fields including cardiology, orthopedic surgery, biomechanics and even pulmonology just to name a few. The exact specialty of the doctor is often quite focused while the majority of patients are all involved in sports in one capacity or another. The roll of the doctor is often to work with the athlete to adjust training procedures to reduce the risk of injury while increasing the skill level of the athlete as much as safely possible.

There are some sports medicine doctors who are specializing in treating female athletes while others will treat both female as well as male athletes. Deciding upon the best sports medicine doctor for your needs can involve meeting several doctors before finding someone whom you are comfortable with. Many athletes develop a close relationship with their doctor so that the best possible athletic results are achievable.

By working together with training coaches and other athletic professionals doctors in the sports medicine field are able to help athletes achieve the best possible results performance wise, while still maintaining healthy standards in terms of overall health. Achieving spectacular sports results is often meaningless if the athlete is always injured in the process, or if the overall health is neglected and the athlete is unable to continue in their chosen sport.

As you can imagine, the number of athletes who only work with a single sports medicine doctor are very slim. Most athletes work with a team of doctors that comprise of various sub-specialties such as surgical, dietary, cardiogologist and anything else that may be needed. Each doctor is responsible for helping the athlete, and this helps to ensure that each doctor is well trained in their specialty. Using a single doctor as opposed to the entire team can greatly limit the options that you have for treatment.

However, while an entire team is generally used to treat patients in sports medicine, there is usually a general care doctor who is given the task of heading the team and sending each patient to the specific additional doctors that they need to see based upon their individual needs. This helps to avoid confusion, chaos and other problems from occurring. Over all sports medicine is a fascinating and very necessary field that most can agree is quite helpful for athletes.

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Using Strength Training for Children

What many sports medicine professionals realize that parents do not is that strength training can do so much more for your child than simply giving them muscle mass. Important in helping to ward off injuries as well as building overall strength a proper strength training program can benefit your child both in long term and short term goals.

From the very first athletic attempt your child has, to the very last having the strength necessary to execute the sport effectively is one of their single most important needs. Ensuring the proper strength levels can be beneficial in both normal life, as well as the athletic field and provides a great way to children to help avoid injury as well as create healthy strength habits for life. While the exact type of strength training varies from child to child, the far reaching benefits are attainable to everyone.

Regardless of whether your child is playing soccer, basketball, football, or even running track or swimming having the proper muscle strength necessary can often help avoid overuse injuries that are so prevalent amongst young children. Forcing the muscles to strengthen up allows the muscles to work harder before an injury occurs. Experts have all agreed the children as young as six can safely work on strength training when closely monitored by an adult.

The ability to start strength training at such a young age helps to ensure that while children are busy learning about sports, they are also able to embrace the benefits of proper safety precautions rather than merely learning how to treat injuries. While not all children become huge fans of strength training it is still a wise idea to teach it.

Overall, it is very important for the adults involved in strength training to closely monitor the child. The sports medicine doctor working together with a fitness coach can usually advise about the correct amount of time as well as repetitions for each exercise to ensure that the maximum benefits are achieved, without potentially causing the child injury.

It is vital to also ensure that your child understands exactly what is expected of them. While the idea of allowing a young child to life weights may not seem appealing to many, it is something that does appeal to others. However, setting limits to the amount lifted, as well as how long is very important to ensure that the child is not injured in any way.

Parents can also work with children and a fitness coach to work out the best strength routine for them based upon age, sports, and body type. It is important to only allow a child to engage in strength training with proper supervision both by a doctor and by a knowledgeable trainer. Your childs doctor should be aware that strength training is going to be occurring before your child starts so that a through check up can be conducted to ensure that your child is well enough to handle the rigors of strength training.

Other considerations that are very important is the equipment that your child uses. Most sports medicine professionals can agree that while a child is encouraged to engage in strength training they should almost always avoid using the same equipment as adults. Instead, it is vital that children engage in exercises and training that is designed for their smaller bodies. Most children are not big enough to safely use the adult sized equipment. It is essential that you find a gym that can accommodate your child has needs, or consider purchasing small sets of weights for your home.

With proper precautions, and careful supervision strength training for children can reduce the number of injuries, increase strength, improve endurance and provide excellent health benefits overall. By focusing on age appropriate exercises and ensuring that your child is properly supervised you can be assured that you are helping your child develop into the strongest possible, while fighting off injuries and other problems.

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Using Caffeine to Your Benefit

Athletes are always looking for ways to improve upon their performance and doctors are always looking for ways to help athletes. In this world the amount of time and research that is put into helping achieve ultimate athletic goals is huge and those who are continuously working on research and development are always looking for ways to help athletes squeeze the last remaining drops of energy into an activity.

One such way to gather a small boost is to consume some small levels of caffeine. While it is not advisable to set off running a marathon with only caffeine as your energy source, using it to help jump start your body is a wise idea. Only a small amount of caffeine can get you started while your body allows time to properly process carbohydrates that take longer to convert into energy. The ultimate result is the ability to go farther, longer and faster.

Caffeine overall offers several benefits to athletes as long as it is used merely as a supplement rather as a sole energy source. These benefits include helping delay fatigue, increase body fat losses, improve overall athletic performance and even helping give a short burst of energy. Other benefits include helping increase fat burning due to the increased metabolism that is a result of caffeine.

The bad news about caffeine is that many athletes try to rely on it as the sole source of energy for athletic events and activities. This is almost always a sure recipe for disaster and will almost always result in the athlete being injured or running out of energy and being unable to complete the activity prematurely. In order to truly gain benefits from caffeine usage it is important to still consume appropriate levels of carbohydrates as well as protein.

One thing that you can do to help ensure that you are giving your body the most energy possible is to combine the use of protein, carbohydrates, and caffeine together. By ensuring that you keep the levels appropriate, you can keep the caffeine supplying your body with energy until the carbohydrates have been broken down, while the protein keeps your muscle mass firmly in place. This is a winning combination that has helped numerous athletes achieve the results that they desire.

However, it is best to keep your caffeine levels as low as possible so that you do not become dependent on the caffeine to provide you with all of your energy needs. This can be a very dangerous and risky problem if you are consuming too much caffeine and not enough carbohydrates. Rather than carbohydrates providing you with the necessary long term energy you may be using only short term caffeine energy which is ultimately unacceptable for long term usage.

Many doctors recommend avoiding the use of caffeine entirely to keep athletes from relying heavily upon it. Talking to your doctor can help you determine the exact amount that is suitable for your situation and based upon your overall athletic goals. You may discover that you are consuming enough carbohydrates at appropriate intervals that make caffeine an unnecessary need for you. Additionally, you may discover that you are not consuming enough caffeine to achieve the maximum potential that you have.

Talking to your doctor will help you determine exactly how much caffeine you need, and when the optimal time to consume it is. This is the best solution that athletes have to use caffeine to their benefit while keeping their overall energy levels in top condition. If you are unable to see your doctor immediately your coach may be able to offer some guidance in the meantime to help you move towards the most successful results possible. Remember, each person is different and the optimal caffeine intake is going to vary depending upon body type, energy levels and activity engaged in. Seek out your perfect caffeine level to achieve the results you want.

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Tips for Avoiding Sports Injuries

While it is not possible to completely avoid all types of injuries, by taking some precautions, it is possible to greatly reduce your risk of injury. However, simply reducing the risk of injury is not a task that is always easy to handle. By carefully following some precautions there are ways that you can avoid injuring yourself.

Tip 1. It is best to always ensure you are in the best physical shape possible before you begin playing a sport. Whether you are looking into tennis, football, baseball, or even basketball amongst the numerous sports available, it is best to be in shape. While playing sports will help get you into better shape physically, it is best to be in shape before beginning.

Tip 2. Ensure you know all of the rules and guidelines for the sport you are playing. Following the rules can help ensure that you can avoid injury resulting from playing inappropriately. In addition, make sure you play with others who follow the rules as well. If someone else breaks the rules while playing, it increases your risk of injury.

Tip 3. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment whenever playing sports. This should be applied regardless of playing a practice, scrimmage, tournament, or even just playing around with friends. The safety equipment exists for a reason and it is very important to help protect you from accidents and injuries. Without wearing the equipment, you are increasing your risk of being injured.

Tip 4. Do a through warm up before starting to play. If you are playing on a team, you should play on teams that ensure warm ups are done before the games start. This helps to stretch and slowly warm up your muscles and really reduces the risk of injuries. Skipping a warm up may seem like a great way to make up for running late for a game, but this is a huge risk to your safety.

Tip 5. If you are tired, sick or hurting do not play. If you play on a team ensure you tell the coach about any problems that you are experiencing and let them know you will not be playing. You should never agree to play when you are tired because it increases the risk of being injured since you are not fully alert. When you are sick, your body is always in a weakened condition and able to become injured much easier and finally when you are already in pain, you likely already have an injury of some form that needs some time to heal.

Tip 6. Ensure that you are getting enough rest. While the idea of playing your favorite sport 24/7 may seem like the greatest idea, it is vital that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a day as well as take frequent breaks to ensure you do not wear yourself out. While training is a vital aspect of sports, getting the necessary rest to allow your body time to heal and recover is just as important. By resting when necessary, you are ensuring that you will have a long and happy sports career whether you are simply playing for fun, playing for a team, or playing professionally.

Avoiding injuries is a very important consideration for athletes and by following the tips and suggestions mentioned above it should help to greatly improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury all at the same time.

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