Ask a Sports Medicine Specialist About Exercise-Related Injuries, Tendinitis, Sprains and Strains, Rotator Cuff Tears, ACL Tears, Plantar Fasciitis, Ligament Injury, Bursitis, Joint Dislocation, Tennis Elbow, and Spine Injury. Get your answer in 3 easy steps

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Dr. Amit Agarwal
Dr. Amit Agarwal

Orthopedic Surgeon

Exp 19 years

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What Is a Sports Medicine Specialist?

A sports medicine specialist is a doctor whose medical practice is focused on prevention and non-surgical treatment of sports-related injuries and illnesses. To become a sports medicine specialist, after graduating from medical school, a doctor usually completes a residency program and becomes board-certified in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics or another specialty, followed by additional subspecialty training in sports medicine. Some may have surgical training as orthopedic surgeons.

Sports medicine specialists treat sports-induced injuries and illnesses including muscle tears, joint sprains, tendon injuries, rotator cuff tear, ACL injuries, meniscus tears, concussions, spine injury, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and Achilles tendon injury. They also provide education and counseling on training, competition, and recovery for professional and elite athletes, teens and children practicing sports, and people with physical disabilities.

Their area of expertise includes the physiological adaptations to exercise, prevention and management of sports-induced illness or injury, recovery and rehabilitation, promoting healthy lifestyles and fitness, and managing optimal nutritional requirements of athletes.

Sports medicine physicians may work in an ambulatory setting or as hospitalists, or they can be employed by schools, colleges, gyms, and sports organizations or sports teams. They work closely with other specialists including nutritionists, physical trainers, physiotherapists, and surgeons.

When Should I See a Sports Medicine Specialist?

You may contact a sports medicine specialist for symptoms of joint, ligament, tendon, or muscle injury following sports or exercise, including:

  • Severe pain resulting from an injury
  • Swelling, bruising, or bleeding
  • Numbness in the injured area
  • Difficulty putting weight on the injured area

You might see a sport medicine physician for these types of problems:
  • Torn cartilage, ligament, or tendon
  • Ankle, wrist, or other joint sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions
  • Concussions due to head injury
  • Fractures
  • Overuse injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Exercise-induced muscle pain, fatigue, or dehydration

Sports medicine doctors can also answer your questions on fitness, strength, exercise, and nutritional needs. They also serve as team physicians for professional or team athletes and provide sporting event medical coverage.

What Tests Does a Sports Medicine Specialist Perform or Recommend?

Your sports medicine physician may request several tests to diagnose the problem. These tests include:

  • Clinical tests such as reflex responses, gait analysis, manual muscle testing, range of motion (ROM), flexibility tests, cardiology examination, stress test, lung function tests
  • Imaging tests including x-ray, CT scan, MRI, DEXA, fluoroscopy, arthrography, ultrasound, and more
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Nerve conduction analysis

Doctors waiting to answer your question

Dr. Amit Agarwal
Dr. Amit Agarwal

Orthopedic Surgeon

Exp 19 years

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Dr. Krishna Kumar

Orthopedic Surgeon

Exp 16 years

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Dr. Herrick J. Siegel

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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Psychiatrist, Child

I have pain on heel of my foot. It is on back of heel. Very tight after sitting or sleeping but loosens up and feels good when running or walking What can I do to reduce tightness?

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