Sports especially athletics
Trauma Muscle strain Sports injuries
Sports medicine, also known as sport and exercise medicine (SEM), is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field of health care.
Sport and exercise medicine doctors are specialist physicians who have completed medical school, appropriate residency training and then specialize further in sports medicine or 'sports and exercise medicine' (the preferred term). Specialization in sports medicine may be a doctor's first specialty (as in Australia, Netherlands, Norway, Italy). It may also be a sub-specialty or second specialisation following a specialisation such as physiatry or orthopedic surgery. The various approaches reflect the medical culture in different countries.
Specializing in the treatment of athletes and other physically active individuals, sports and exercise medicine physicians have extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine. SEM doctors treat injuries such as muscle, ligament, tendon and bone problems, but may also treat chronic illnesses that can affect physical performance, such as asthma and diabetes. SEM doctors also advise on managing and preventing injuries.
Specialists in SEM diagnose and treat any medical conditions which regular exercisers or sports persons encounter. The majority of an SEM physician's time is therefore spent treating musculoskeletal injuries, however other conditions include sports cardiology issues, unexplained underperformance syndrome, exercise-induced asthma, screening for cardiac abnormalities and diabetes in sports. In addition team physicians working in elite sports often play a role in performance medicine, whereby an athletes' physiology is monitored, and aberrations corrected, in order to achieve peak physical performance.
SEM consultants also deliver clinical physical activity interventions, negating the burden of disease directly attributable to physical inactivity and the compelling evidence for the effectiveness of exercise in the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of disease.
The Foresight Report issued by the UK's Government Office for Science, 17 October 2007, highlighted the unsustainable health and economic costs of a nation that continues to be largely sedentary. It forecasts that the incremental costs of this inactivity will be $10 billion per year by 2050 and the wider costs to society and businesses $49.9billion. Physical inactivity inevitably leads to ill-health and it forecasts the cost of paying for this impact will be unsustainable in the future. No existing group of medical specialists is equipped with the skills and training to deal with this challenge.
SEM physicians are frequently involved in promoting the therapeutic benefits of physical activity, exercise and sport for the individuals and communities. SEM Physicians in the UK spend a period of their training in public health, and advise public health physicians on matters relating to physical activity promotion. An example of published work includes the Royal College of Physicians publications.
Common sports injuries
Concussion – caused by severe head injury where the brain moves violently within the skull so that brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure
Muscle cramps – a sudden tight, intense pain caused by a muscle locked in spasm. Muscle cramps are also recognized as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax
ACL sprains – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament involved in knee stabilization. An ACL rupture can occur when the foot is planted and the knee twists to change direction.
ACL tears – The anterior cruciate ligament; one of four major knee ligament necessary for comfortable knee movement, tears, causing major pain and causes the knee to "give out". The knee ACL can tear for a number of reasons.
Ankle sprain – The ligaments that hold the ankle bones in place can easily be overstretched.
Shin splints – The tissue that attaches the muscles of the lower leg to the shin bone may be pulling away from the bone, or it may be inflamed from overuse.
Muscle strains – tears in muscle that cause pain and or loss of function
In recent years Western society has increasingly recognized the dangers of physical inactivity, and significant efforts have been made within the public health community to encourage the nation to become more physically active. To reflect this paradigm shift BASM has renamed itself BASEM (British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine) and the speciality itself has rebranded from Sports Medicine to Sport & Exercise Medicine. Since 2007 several deaneries across the UK have established training programmes in SEM, and recurrent funding for 50 National Training Numbers (NTN's) is available.