Any form of athletic activity, whether it be exercise, team or professional sports, or extreme sports, carries the risk of injury. It’s important to understand that even the most minor injury can often progress into a major problem without the guidance of a medical professional familiar with sports injuries. Dr. Thomas Hackett is a sports medicine doctor who can help to prevent minor problems from progressing into larger issues. 

What Is A Sports Medicine Doctor?

Sports medicine doctors are well-versed in the many ways people can become injured. These are medical specialists with extensive education, knowledge, practice, and focus on the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries.

Your sports medicine doctor can even be an Orthopaedic Surgeon, like Dr. Thomas Hackett, who’s completed extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal trauma and fracture management, which are often components in sports-related injuries. 

While sports medicine doctors commonly see a lot of injuries related to extreme sports, they treat injuries from all walks of athletics, runners and joggers, weightlifters, aerobic classes, professional athletes, and so on.

Such athletic activities can result in ailments and injuries of the shoulders, elbows, hands, knees, back, calves, joints, muscles, bones, and so forth. The cause of sports-related injuries can be from overuse, repetitive use, overtraining, improper techniques, or impact injuries. Since these injuries are often complex and have the probability of progressing with continued use, it’s crucial to make an appointment with your sports medicine doctor as soon as an injury occurs. 

What’s A Sports Medicine Doctor’s Role In Your Injury?

If you suspect an athletic injury or ailment, your sports medicine doctor will begin your initial appointment with a thorough physical assessment. Your doctor may need to take x-rays to better understand your injury. This exam will enable your physician to determine the type, location, and severity of your injury and make a diagnosis.

Following diagnosis with a sports-related injury, you and your specialist will work together to determine how to proceed with treatment, which may include any of the following services:

• Designing short-term and long-term rehabilitation, therapy, equipment, and treatment plans.

• Surgical options and recommendations if necessary.

• Prescription medications to manage pain, swelling, healing, and/or infection as needed.

• Ongoing followup and recovery practices.

What Are My Treatment Options After a Sports Injury?

The prospect of surgery is a big reason that many people delay seeking medical attention for sport-related injuries. Yet, ironically, around 90 percent of all sports injuries can be treated non-surgically. These options include heat/ice treatments, medications, and several different therapy options.

For sports injuries that do require orthopedic surgical intervention, the innovations of modern medicine have advanced the field greatly. While extreme cases may still require major surgery, arthroscopic procedures, enable the surgeon to see inside the joint to pinpoint and repair the exact problem.

When Should You Schedule An Appointment With A Colorado Sports Medicine Specialist?

It is important to take care of your body if you wish to continue involving yourself in sports. Delaying proper and accurate diagnosis of acute injuries leaves you susceptible to not only worsening an existing injury but also creating secondary injuries as you try to accommodate for the first injury.

What are some examples of acute athletic injuries?

•Concussions

•Shin splints

•Muscle strains

•Sprains

•Bone fractures

•Joint pain, range of motion limitations, or swelling

•Tendon/ ligament tightness, pain, or function limitations

Immediate home treatment for many minor sports injuries can begin with RICE to the injured area, which consists of:

R – Rest

I – Ice

C – Compression

E – Elevation

If your condition improves within three to four days using RICE, further treatment may not be needed. Otherwise, if your condition worsens or doesn’t improve, it’s time to seek professional help.

What’s The Recovery Time For An Athletic Injury?

While recovery times vary based on the degree, location, and treatment of your injury, you can expect a four to six-week recovery for the typical mild-to-moderate injury. Under medical supervision, many injuries allow for continued limited athletic activity during recovery. Keep in mind that your doctor can help you manage swelling and pain during this time, too.

In conclusion, whether it’s an acute injury of concern, a recurrence of an old injury, or you’d just like to take steps to prevent further future problems, now is the perfect time to schedule with a doctor. Contact Dr. Thomas Hackett today to make an appointment. 

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