If you’ve been injured while running or playing tennis, it’s important to speak with a physician who specializes in sports medicine. There are a variety of medical professionals who specialize in sports medicine, including orthopedic surgeons and the physical therapists who work with them. You can often find these specialists by searching online using terms such as “athletic clinic near me” or “athletic doctors near me.” Alternatively, ask your coach or other individuals you know from the gym, track, or court for recommendations. While you can always look for someone with an athletic medicine degree or bachelor of science in sports medicine, it might be best to search for a licensed physician with a specialty in orthopedics or sports medicine.

High-level athletes should consider working with a physician with experience treating sport-specific injuries. Runners and tennis players, for instance, tend to have specific sorts of injuries and require different types of treatment plans. You might also consider looking for an integrated sports medicine practice that offers sport-specific physical therapy as well. Recovering from athletic injuries almost always requires rest, followed by physical therapy. Working with an integrated practice can streamline planning and increase the ease of obtaining the right care.

As an athlete, you know that you put your body at risk every day. There is no guarantee that when you step out onto the court or field, you will be safe from injury. At any moment, you could collide with another player, twist your ankle, or trip and fall.

This is why most sports teams have sports medicine physicians and other health professionals that are able to treat most types of injuries, and also aid recovery. Sports medicine clinics are also critical, as they provide a place for athletes to rest and rehabilitate after more serious operations, such as arthroscopic knee surgery, or posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Here are some of the benefits of seeing sports medicine doctors.

  • Expertise. Before becoming certified in sports medicine, doctors have to go through rigorous training. They take courses such as biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, and biomechanics; these classes prepare them for dealing with all types of injuries. Because of their training, they are able to pinpoint exactly what the problem is, and advise you on the best way to heal.
  • Faster Recovery. You probably already feel disappointed when you suffer an injury, because you can’t get back out there and help your team. When you work with a sports medicine doctor, he or she will know physical therapy exercises that will help to strengthen your muscles faster, making your recovery quicker as well.
  • Decreased Re-Injury Chances. Not only do these physicians make recovery a speedier process, but they know particular exercises that can prevent re-injury. Studies show that the first year after an injury places players at a high risk of sustaining the same exact injury, so for 12 months, any surgery or recovery will be fragile.

So, even if you do happen to break a bone or tear a muscle, these sports medicine clinics and doctors are there to help you. But, you still have to do your part in protecting your body as carefully as you can. Read more about this topic at this link.