What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is the field of medicine that focuses on the treatment and prevention of sports-related injuries. These injuries may be sustained during an organized sporting event, such as a soccer match or basketball game, or they may be sustained while working out or participating in a less formal physical activity, such as rock climbing or mountain biking.
Medical providers at all levels may specialize in sports medicine. Patients can find massage therapists, physical therapists, nurses, chiropractors and doctors who focus their services on the needs of athletes and physically active individuals.
Who Should See a Sports Medicine Specialist?
Everyone who participates in physical activity, whether it’s organized or unorganized, should consider seeing a sports medicine specialist. Specialists are often able to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts who have sustained injuries hasten their recoveries, and they have treatments that can help prevent injuries.
Is a Sports Medicine Treatment Covered by Health Insurance?
Whether a particular sports medicine treatment is covered by health insurance depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The type of injury and how it occurred
- Whom the appointment is with and the appointment’s purpose
- The terms and conditions of the athlete’s particular insurance plan coverage
Because every scenario and each insurance plan is different, athletes should contact their particular insurer to find out if their sports medicine appointment will be covered.
How Long Does a Sports Medicine Appointment Take?
Most sports medicine appointments take only part of a day. Some severe injuries require extensive treatments and possibly even surgery. In most cases, though, sports medicine specialists are able to use non-invasive treatments to help athletes recover from their injuries and prevent future ones. These non-invasive treatments are often performed as outpatient procedures, and athletes are free to go to their house, office or school afterward.
What Should Athletes Look for in a Sports Medicine Specialist?
When selecting a sports medicine specialist, athletes should look for a provider who offers natural and non-invasive treatments for injuries. These procedures typically have shorter recovery times than more involved ones.