The application of first aid is relevant in the field of sports. The term referred to such is called sports medicine. It is defined as a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports medicine incorporates the clinical, educational, and investigational aspects of athletic injuries to treat athletes playing at the high school, college and professional levels, as well as recreational athletes from every age group. Also termed as “sports and exercise medicine”, it is now a distinct entity in health care. It focuses on improving the body’s performance, recovering from injury, and preventing future injuries.
Sports medicine is noted to be fast growing in comparison to other areas of health care. This is because health workers who specialize in sports medicine help many “regular” or non-athletes as well, aside from just the professional or even non-professional athletes. One does not have to be a professional athlete to seek help from a sports medicine professional. Preferably those who have undergone first aid courses, these sports medicine professionals treat patients who participate in sports just for fun or want to get better results from their exercise program. They also treat patients who suffered injuries and want to regain full function, and as well as cater to people who have disabilities and want to increase their mobility and capabilities. The health care team under sports medicine provides care for a wide range of patients, young and old, usually with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries of the knee, shoulder and other joints. The injuries experienced by these individuals and by non-athletes do not differ significantly from one another.
All patients under the care of sports medicine have the same or similar treatment goals. These are the following: to address the injury or condition that has prompted the patient to seek medical attention and, whenever possible, to help the patient return to pre-injury activities or level of play. In addition, everything is done to help patients remain as active as possible, for as long as possible.
Once the injury or ill condition has been dealt with by the health care team, prevention of re-injury becomes a primary focus for both patient and physician. Activity modification may be advised by the physician depending on a case to case basis. These changes may be as modest as the use of different shoes or running surfaces or as extensive as restricting or eliminating certain recreational activities. Some individuals may even need to go through a psychological adjustment as a well as a physical change. For example, those who relieve stress by running or jogging may be particularly reluctant to give up their favorite activity. Based on their experience with large numbers of athletes, physicians trained in sports medicine can be particularly skilled at helping these individuals find a safe, alternate athletic activity that delivers the same benefits with less risk of injury. It is important to remember that the majority of sports injuries are treated non-operatively with an emphasis placed on prevention. Rehabilitation of sports-related injuries incorporates proper education and training to prevent such injuries to occur in the first place.