Sports medicine is a topic worth revisiting. As I suggested last year when I first wrote about it (read it here: https://physicaltherapytucson.com/sports-medicine-what-is-it/), the term can be quite misleading.
Societies in our ancient history recognized how exercise and health were connected. Greece, Italy, and China are among the countries that recognized this intersection.
In the United States, it was not until the 1950s that organizations began to get on board with the idea that physical movement and overall healthcare had a place together.
Sports Medicine in the USA
In 1950, the National Athletic Trainers Association was founded. In 1954, The American College of Sports Medicine followed. The ACSM now boasts one of the largest membership populations in the world, at over 45000 members. Other organizations that focused on sports related injuries and treatment came together in the 60s and 70s. Orthopedic surgeons now have specific training to address sports related problems and the healing needs of athletes, whether casual, amateur, or professional. Some of these doctors will even specialize in this area.
What if I am not an athlete?
What if I told you that you are? It might be true that you don’t make a living by playing basketball or golf. What is also true, however, is that your body responds to physical activity regardless of your level of performance. This is the cornerstone of sports medicine. Most sports, if not all, require three things from your body that can potentially cause pain or injury:
- Repeated motions and gestures
- Unusual movements
- Physical exertion
If there is a sport you participate in, ask yourself if any of the above apply. I would imagine that they all do! You don’t have to compete professionally to be familiar with the needs and challenges your body has when participating in a sport. Even if you don’t participate in a sport, there are a number of occupations that require one or more of the above on a regular basis. Those of you who are in emergency response jobs, or public safety, or construction will recognize that there are some unique demands on your body and its joints.
I am an athlete. Why do I need PT if I am not hurt?
Over time, your body will respond to movement patterns. Some parts will wear down and other parts will compensate for the weakened areas. I have alluded to this before, but your body and its systems are not unlike a machine and some of the same rules apply.
It is absolutely worth the investment to change your car’s oil regularly, check the belts and tires for wear, and occasionally align the front end.
If that makes sense to you, then your body should be treated the same way. Physical therapy treatment can extend the life of your personal vehicle….and by vehicle, I mean your body.
If that isn’t compelling enough, read what Ben Kanute (Olympic athlete) and Stephen Pedone (professional cyclist) say about physical therapy and competition.
Consider our maintenance program. We won’t bill your insurance. It is a simple month to month agreement. And you can stay on top of potential problems by strengthening weak areas and getting professional feedback. Your body’s ability to move is important whether it is work or sport related. We want to help you stay agile and fit and in the game.
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