Dr. Thomas C. Namey, MD, FACP, FACR

Sports Medicine

Sports medicine is generally considered the treatment of one or more injuries of the muscles and joints commonly associated with physical activity. Common sports injuries include stress fractures of the foot, shin splints, tendinitis, runner's knee, hamstring injuries, tennis elbow, head injuries, foot injuries, and myriad other sprains and pulled muscles. In addition, certain sports, including weight lifting, can cause low back pain.

The most common cause of sports injuries is overuse, which is generally due to faulty training methods: The exerciser does not allow for adequate recovery after a workout or does not stop exercising when pain develops. Stopping exercise at the first sign of pain, which precedes most wear-and-tear injuries, limits the injury to these fibers, resulting in a quicker recovery. However, continuing to exercise with pain tears more fibers, extending the damage and delaying recovery.

Structural abnormalities can make a person susceptible to a sports injury by stressing parts of the body unevenly. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments tear when subjected to forces greater than their inherent strength. Many injuries are caused by chronic wear and tear, which results from repetitive motion that stresses susceptible tissues. Such is particularly the case in people with structural abnormalities that stress certain parts of the body more than others. In addition, sports injuries are more likely when people do not warm up properly (exercising muscles at a relaxed pace) before an intense workout. Improper technique while exercising is a major contributor to sports injuries.
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