One of the most common questions we hear in our practice is “Why should I see a Sports Physician? I walk the dog and do the gardening”, or “I’m 70 and haven’t played sport since I was 16.”
Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) is the branch of medicine that specialises in providing advice on all levels of physical activity and its benefits to general health. More specifically, Sports and Exercise Physicians (“Sports Physicians”) can advise each individual on how to safely maintain their physical activity, or return them to activity.
While all Sport and Exercise Physicians have experience looking after elite athletes, they are expert at managing the needs of all patients, whether they are recreational athletes, manual workers or those with chronic diseases simply wanting to safely increase their activity levels.
This diagram may help in understanding where Sport and Exercise Physicians fit in to your medical management.
Sport and Exercise Physicians have completed specialist level training (equivalent to other medical and surgical specialists such as cardiologists and orthopaedic surgeons), with expertise in general medicine, orthopaedics, radiology and rehabilitation plus allied sport sciences including nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology and sports psychology
At BallaratOSM our Sports Physicians work closely with our surgeons to best manage our patients’ orthopaedic issues. This may mean a rehabilitation plan after surgery, or there may be non-operative measures that are a better option.
These non-operative treatments are where the Sports Medicine team have their expertise; there may be injections that can help, or exercises, splints, taping or braces. If surgery becomes the best option down the track, a referral back to the surgical team can easily be arranged. We make sure there are urgent appointments available Monday to Friday, so seeing one of our Sports Physicians is usually the quickest way to get your injury assessed.