How many times have you suffered an injury, maybe had a litte niggle or you just wanted to feel better within yourself and not known where to start to find someone to help?
So where do you start – let’s say you have an injury many people would make an appointment to see their GP only to be told to take some painkillers and stop doing exercise which is more frustrating than getting the actual injury itself !!
I thought I would give you a little insight to who is out there and what they do.
This list is by no means exhaustive and is not meant to be read as advice.
A sports – medicine doctor is a physician with added training in sports medicine they can give you a comprehensive evaluation that includes diagnostic tests, from blood counts to bone scans to MRIs.
They can help you resolve issues like vitamin deficiencies or exercise-induced asthma, and may refer you to a specialist to rehab injuries such as runner's knee.
Best for: Mystery ailments, fatigue, and health issues affecting your exercise.
Not for: Therapy for an already-diagnosed muscle or joint injury.
A physiotherapist helps people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.
Often a physiotherapist will work with orthopaedic doctor to diagnose problems. They most often design rehab programs and prescribe exercises to keep you injury-free.
Best for: Rehabbing known injuries, both acute and chronic
Not for: General health problems (fatigue, anemia, etc.) or if you suspect you have a fracture
An Orthopaedic doctor treats and examines diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system with surgery and corrective mechanical devices.
They take care of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves - everything that allows you to move, work and be active.
There are orthopaedic doctors who specialize in sports-medicine who work with athletes to prevent and manage injury. While an orthopaedic doctor often performs surgery you may want to look for one who is rehab-oriented and operates as a last resort.
Best for: All types of sports injuries—muscle strains and pulls, joint pains and sprains, stress fractures
Not for: General health problems (fatigue, anemia, etc.)
A Podiatrist specializes in issues of the foot and ankle.
During an exam, they'll check the wear patterns of your running shoes and watch you walk and run to look for biomechanical issues that could be contributing to your injury. Sports podiatrists may recommend a shoe insert or custom-made orthotics.
Best for: Foot and ankle-related problems like plantar fasciitis; chronic injuries that often result from poor foot mechanics (runner's knee, iliotibial-band syndrome)
Not for: Acute nonfoot injuries
In the next part of this series we will talk about alternative therapies.