"I went to Dr. Chen for evaluation of back pain and sciatica. I saw an assistant doctor who asked a few questions. Dr. Chen came in and said, "sounds like you need an injection". He was in the room for all of 30 seconds. No explanation. I was told they would check with insurance and have an appointment in a week. I waited until two days before the projected appointment, and not having heard anything, began calling the office. The first day I got nowhere ("call back tomorrow"). The next day (the day before the appointment) I called twice more. I was told my insurance company would not approve the injection being done at the "Surgi-Center". They would do it in one of the doctor's three offices. The time was changed twice. I was originally told not to have anything to eat or drink, as I would have sedation. My appointment was finally scheduled for 1:00 P.M. I confirmed that I was still not supposed to eat or drink anything. Since I was supposed to have sedation, I would not be allowed to drive. I paid for an Uber ride there, and a family member would pick me up and drive me home. When I arrived, an assistant told me to lay face down on the table. The doctor would be in shortly. I asked, "am I going to receive sedation"? He said he would ask the doctor. Soon the assistant doctor from my first visit walked in, with two or three other men. No introductions were made, and no one asked if it was okay for them to observe. The doctor said, "there is no anesthesiologist here today, we will do it without sedation". I asked why no one had told me that ahead of time. He stated that anesthesia is provided at the Surgi-Center, not at the office. Again, I asked why I had not been told. No answer. I said that I had nothing to eat or drink all day, and had paid for an Uber ride to the office, and arranged for someone to pick me up. I could have just driven there myself. Lastly, I asked for an explanation of the procedure, which no one had given me. The only information I got was from You Tube videos I had watched the day before! At that point, I finally decided to leave the office without having the procedure. I did not trust anyone there to inject needles into my spine! It is the most disorganized and impersonal doctor's office I have ever been to. I definitely felt as if not one person there cared how I felt; I was just an object on the table and a payment in their pocket. It was a total nightmare. Now I am still in pain, and have to start all over to find another doctor."
Sports medicine is the specialty that promotes physical fitness and activity while managing, treating, and preventing injuries that happen during exercise or participation in sports. Sports medicine fosters wellness and fitness and works to inhibit injury. A sports medicine specialist may work with professional athletes, school sports teams, individuals who participate in sports on the weekend for fun, or someone who is just beginning to exercise for the first time. Although their main focus is on musculoskeletal function, sports medicine specialists also care for patients' full medical and nutritional needs as they relate to their active lifestyle.
Some examples of the kinds of injuries and issues that a sports medicine specialist might see in their work include:
Acute sports injuries (sprains, fractures)
Overuse injuries (tendonitis, bursitis)
Head injuries (concussion)
Heat injuries (heat stroke)
Athletes with chronic illness (asthma, diabetes, heart disease) and how their illness is affected by exercise
Nutrition and the use of supplements
Developing a safe exercise plan for obese or sedentary patients
Substance abuse of performance-enhancing drugs
Teaching proper form and technique to reduce the chance of injury
Sports medicine specialists often work closely with orthopedic specialists, and the scope of their work can have some overlap. The main distinction is that orthopedic specialists can perform surgery when it is needed, while sports medicine specialists focus on non-surgical solutions for injuries.
Whether they are the team physicians making sure every professional player is performing safely and at their best, or community specialists getting you back in the game after a sprained ankle, sports medicine doctors are there to make sure you're in good condition to lead an active life.