For many people, working out might mean a quick cardio class or a jog through the local neighborhood. Others find that walking a couple of miles gives them a sense of satisfaction and peace of mind knowing that they are caring for their health. An elite athlete, though, goes far beyond everyday workouts as they push themselves to near Olympian heights. For them, mountains are there to be conquered and hard to reach goals are the milestones along the way.
In their younger years, pro and amateur athletes seemingly push themselves relentlessly. Their bodies have an amazing ability to recover and they can call upon their reserves and summon peak performance nearly instantly. However, as the years go by the incredible wear and tear on their physical systems begins to catch up with them. Small problems can develop into potential chronic conditions if not properly addressed. It becomes even more important for elite athletes to take care of their health and to listen carefully to what their bodies are telling them.
Key Members of the Team
In order to help their patients recover quickly and perform at the top of their game, specialists in exercise and sports medicine often assemble a highly skilled, interdisciplinary team. Led by a physician who has years of experience and is trained in this specialty, the team may also include experts in nutrition, rehabilitation and even performance training.
Together, the team works to help the patient heal properly so they can return to their chosen field of play. They will also be able to provide important tips regarding injury protection so those in their care can avoid future damage and limit wear and tear.
Helping Heal Acute Injuries
Basically, there are two main categories of sport injuries, acute and chronic. Acute issues generally arise quite suddenly during moments when you are exercising, playing or training. Sometimes they aren’t recognized right away, though, as your body may be filled with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline at the time.
If you experience severe pain, redness or swelling around an area it may be a sign of an acute injury. Other key indicators to look for include the inability to place weight on the joint or limb, or to move the joint in a normal way. In order to begin the healing process, you should set up an appointment with your sports specialist so they can diagnose what’s going on and provide an appropriate treatment plan.
Reducing the Impact of Chronic Injuries
As an elite athlete you no doubt had times when you were hurt over the years. As you get older, you may also find that you are more susceptible to new ailments because your systems have broken down from the repetitive stress of years of strenuous and demanding activities. Healing can often take quite a while, and can leave you frustrated when you can’t quickly return to your activities.
It’s important to address any and all chronic issues so you are not sidelined and kept away from what you love. Signs of a chronic issue may include pain during your sports-related activities, tenderness and swelling and experiencing an aching or dull pain even during rest. When you work with your medical team, they can help you heal and can also provide insights into how to rebuild your body and work out in ways that will minimize future problems.
As an athlete, you can rely on your team of sports and exercise medical professionals to help you care for your body. With their extensive training and experience, they will be able to guide you on the healing path and can soon have you ready to return to action.