Sports Medicine
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There are at least two central themes in sports medicine. One is the concept of overuse injuries. That really means pain or injury related to repetitive activities. Sometimes this is a result of improper equipment or improper technique in doing the activity or in training for the activity. A related concept is the importance of symmetry and equality in training or toning muscles or soft tissues. Imagine that the body is divided in half by a pain of glass that runs head to foot and is exactly midway between the muscles of the back and abdomen and exactly one half way between the muscles of front and back of the arms and front and back of the legs. If the muscles on one side of this plane are stronger and more contracted than the other, there is a good chance that the joints shared by theses two groups of muscles will have pain and injury associated with them.

Once the overuse and symmetry problems are identified and isolated, the solutions are common and fairly simple. Certain activities can contribute to known asymmetric muscle development. Cyclists have well developed anterior muscles of the thigh ("quads"); runners develop the posterior muscles ("hamstrings") more than the anterior.

For overuse problems the training schedules and repetitions are reduced. The techniques used in performing the activity and training for it are reviewed to insure that there is no correctible malpractice. The equipment is reviewed to insure that proper design and shock absorbance material has been used. An excellent example of this is the extensive development that has occurred in the running shoe industry. Good heel padding, arch support, and shock absorbance material on the soles are very important in correcting many problems with the back and lower limbs: hips , knees and feet. In fact, it is a good rule to use shock absorbance material on the feet whenever weight bearing in individuals who have back or lower extremity pain. Running around in stocking or bare feet is not a good idea.

For symmetry problems the strong contracted group of muscles are stretched and the weaker group of muscles are exercised and strengthened. For example, muscle spasm in back muscle is treated by stretching exercises for the back and strengthening exercises for the abdominal muscles. Tendonitis is first rested then stretched and the muscles on the other side of the plane are strengthened.

The experienced working of these two themes has developed sports medicine into a real industry.

A few common examples are presented here:

Knee Injury

Back Injury

Ankle Injury


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