Connecticut Medicine

Mar 2015

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volume 79, no. 3 185 Sports Medicine: e Safest Way Matthew C. Katz, MS "If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." — Hippocrates S ports medicine is a growing field of medicine, sometimes also referred to as sport and exercise medicine. Sports medicine deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to exercise, sports, and wellnes. we often think of sports medicine in terms of professional or college sports teams and their team physicians, but the field of sports medicine is much broader, much more diverse than just the physi- cians who care for and treat college and professional athletes. In fact, sports medicine has emerged in the last half century as a distinct field of medicine that looks at exercise, public health and injuries and prevention of injuries related to traditional and nontraditional sports injuries. Generally, sports medicine physicians are specialists who have completed not only medical school and a residency training program, but also specialized further in sports and exercise medicine. ough many sports medicine spe- cialists are residency-trained orthopedists or physiatrists, they are also family physicians, internists, pediatricians, neurologists and cardiologists, as well as other physicians. ese physicians very often are asked to diagnose and treat everything from muscle, ligament, tendon and even bone problems to illnesses that are oftentimes chronic such as asthma or even diabetes that could have an effect on the physical performance of the patient engaging in sport activities. Sports medicine physicians also focus on prevention of illness and injury, and issues of nutrition and diet, as well as screening exams to rule out cardiac abnormalities or other conditions which could cause the athlete great harm if sport or exercise at a high intensity were to continue. Finally, especially for the injured athlete, sports medicine specialists also engage in evaluation and sometimes treatment of psychological or behavioral issues that may impact recovery or performance. with such a focus on exercise, sports medicine specialists are seen as one of the groups most often promoting the therapeutic benefits of physical activity and sport. So, while we often think of common sports injuries such as aCL sprains and tears, ankle sprains, muscle cramps and concussions, there are also eating disorders, the psychological and emotional impact of injuries and, of course, issues associated with congenital abnormalities that sports medicine physicians today often identify and help treat in their patients. today, the american College of Sports Medicine (aCSM), which was founded in 1954, works to promote the integration of scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and overall quality of life of the patient athlete. after all, it is not just about the student, college or professional athlete but the individual who wants to engage in physical fitness and exercise to maintain and promote better health and improve medical and general health conditions. It is about improving one's own health and life through exercise and exercise through sport, whatever that sport may be. I am very proud of the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee, its newsletter CSMS SportsMed, and all of its efforts to highlight the importance of exercise, fitness and sport in maintaining and promoting health in Connecticut. is committee, in existence as a standing committee of CSMS for almost three decades, has worked to educate from tHe executive vice president/ceo's office

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