Sports Medicine

Athletic injuries are simply part of the game. Whether you are an amateur, a weekend warrior, or a dedicated athlete, the sports medicine trained physicians at Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico can help you stay strong in a couple of ways. First, we treat athletic injuries through prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Our goal is to restore you to active health and fitness. Second, we help you compete at the highest level, as befits a professional athlete.

Primary Care Sports Medicine

Today, sports medicine physicians care for recreational athletes and people who strive to stay active and fit. Working with athletes from little leaguers to elderly exercisers, and all the weekend warriors in between, sports medicine is playing a key role in keeping athletes of all stages  healthy.

While sports medicine physicians have continued their traditional care of musculoskeletal injuries sustained by professional athletes, its range has exploded. Today, sports medicine influences millions of people. Primary care sports medicine physicians acquire special training in how athletics affect every aspect of the body — from cardiovascular and respiratory to dermatological and immunologic.

Some sports medicine physicians serve as team physicians to professional sports teams, or are personal physicians to elite level athletes. Through research, advanced fellowship training, and extensive hands-on clinical experience, primary care sports medicine physicians have acquired the skills to care for athletes of all ages, sports, and levels of competition.

All apply their broad knowledge – from team sports to extreme sports — to treat collegiate and high school athletes. Their interest is often a personal one, as sports medicine physicians were often athletes themselves with firsthand knowledge of injuries and illnesses and how they affect athletes. Injuries may be acute, chronic, or from overuse. In any case, sports medicine physicians lean on their expertise to properly evaluate the injury and develop a strategic plan of care.

Unless surgery is necessary to achieve the goal, the preferred plan of care is non-surgical. Rehabilitation is stressed, using casting, bracing, and injections as needed. This plan returns athletes to their previous level of activity after timely and appropriate injury management. With a special knowledge of return to play issues, your physician will also know when and how it is safe to return to your sport or activity.

Whether you are an amateur or a professional athlete, you can be assured that our orthopedic specialists will care for your orthopedic sports medicine needs.

Your Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico primary care sports medicine physician can help you:

  • By caring for all illnesses and medical conditions related to sports – from a football game concussion to running-related asthma.
  • By finding ways to help you improve your performance.
  • By optimizing your performance and maximizing aerobic and strength conditioning through sports nutrition and dietary supplementation.
  • By providing pre-participation physical examinations, including clearance for high school or collegiate sports, or evaluation prior to beginning an exercise program.
  • By starting you on a treatment plan for pre-existing or newly discovered conditions that might interfere with your sports participation.

Common Sports Injuries

Common injuries that require an orthopedic sports medicine physician or orthopedic specialist may include:

  • Low Back Pain. Lumbar strain is a very common injury for many athletes, especially weight lifters. Often injury occurs due to insufficiently warmed up or stretched muscles. Lumbar strain is often treatable with regular targeted exercises. More serious injuries including sciatica and bulging disks require immediate orthopedic medical attention.
  • Runners Knee. According to the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 1 in 4 injuries in sports medicine involve the knee. Runners Knee, or patellofemoral stress, can cause irritation to the tendons below the kneecap due to overuse, wear, or arthritis.
  • Pulled Muscles. Pulls or tears can occur in any muscle, however, they most often occur in the hamstring, calf, and groin area. Pulled muscles can most often be attributed to improper warm up.
  • Ankle Sprains. They account for approximately 1 in 5 injuries in sports medicine. Twisting an ankle is very common for an athlete during a sporting event. Although ankle sprains heal with time, get the injury x-rayed by an orthopedic sports medicine physician to make sure that there are no fractures or chipped bones.
  • Shin Splints. Refers to pain in the middle part of the shin. Shin splints can be caused by improper shoes for the activity and are often treated with ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching of the lower legs muscles.