By Jeffrey R. Dugas, MD
Simply put, sports medicine is the care of the active population. It’s not specific to those who participate in high-level competitive sports, and it is very definitely not age-exclusive. Try telling a healthy 75 year old that he or she is too old or out of shape to be treated like an active healthy person — and beware of the left hook coming your way. The practice of sports medicine is geared towards anyone interested in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, whether through recreational activity or elite competitive sports participation.
Regardless of level of “play,” active people have a certain urgency to return to their regular level of function after sustaining an injury. For instance, take a banker who enjoys playing recreational basketball. He may not wear a number on his t-shirt when he plays, but to him, this activity is an important part of his lifestyle, and a caregiver must recognize the level of importance he places on it. This is what differentiates the sports medicine specialist from other practitioners. The sports medicine specialist shares in the desire to return the “athlete” to his or her desired level of activity as quickly and safely as possible. The sports medicine specialist is experienced in the common injury patterns found in every type of active lifestyle. Even work-related injuries are sometimes the domain of the sports medicine specialist, because of the desire of the injured party to return to work or sport as quickly and safely as possible.
How does this apply to the cheerleading world? The popularity of cheerleading has exploded over the last 10 years, with participation continuing to rise […]