What is Sports Medicine?

By Matt Nohren, Outreach Athletic Trainer for ATI Physical Therapy

trainerAlthough the origins of sports medicine can be dated back to the Roman Colosseum and training gladiators of appropriate diet and exercise, sports therapy has vastly evolved over the past 100 years. The term “sports medicine” was coined in 1928, when various team physicians attending the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, met to establish the International Assembly on Sports Medicine. From this point forward more research and education has been conducted to help protect, treat, and identify sports related health conditions.

A current day sports medicine definition can be described as a multifaceted approach to preventing, treating, and rehabilitating orthopedic and musculoskeletal injuries or conditions. This concept can be applied to every age group from our youth to our elderly and every skill level from recreational to professional. Sports medicine’s goal is to keep you in your sport or activity you love. If an injury is sustained, helping identify and treat, or refer the injury are all areas of sports medicine. Sports medicine care can also provide emergency response should a critical situation arise during a game, competition, or in the workplace.

With today’s active culture, sports medicine is a multidisciplinary field that is growing rapidly!

Foot & Ankle Allografts; The NBA Combine; Spectator Sports & Long Flight Stretches

Episode 17.06 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (02:36): Dr. Brett Sachs for AlloSource discusses the most common uses of allograft transplants in treating foot and ankle defects; the evolution and new innovations in treatments; ongoing stem cell research at AlloSource.

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Dr. Sachs is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and part owner of Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center. Dr. Sachs studied biology at the University of Maryland and completed his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. He completed a 3-year podiatric surgical residency at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, followed by an orthopedic trauma residency at Kaiser Permanente.

For More Information Please Visit AlloSource.org


Segment Two (11:21): Dr. Cole talks with Steve about wrapping up the end of season with the Chicago Bulls, overview of injuries, off-season activities and the 2017 NBA Combine.


 Segment Three (19:44): Anne Bierman PT, DPT, SCS from Athletico talks about the importance of stretching and posture while at spectator sports and during long flights. The combination of cramped flights and sitting for hours on end during games often leads to back pain and muscle soreness for fans. What are the signs of injury and muscle strain from sedentary activity that you should be aware of. 

Anne Marie Bierman (“Anny”) received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, MPT, and DPT all through Saint Louis University.  At SLU, she was an All-Conference and All-Region soccer player, and Female Athlete of the Year in 2004.  She is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy and certified in Astym.  Anny represents the Eastern Central District of the IPTA on both Nominating Committee and as a State Assembly Representative.

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Recovery Modalities for Training

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In the search to maximize training and improvement performance, many are now looking at what is done during recovery as a component of the entire training/performance routine. Many recovery modalities have been touted as the answer to post-exercise fatigue and reduced performance. There are three potential benefits that may be considered: immediate recovery (right after the activity), short-term (between sets) and recovery between training bouts. We will focus on training recovery, as this is the most common question from athletes and those participating in recreational competition. Some of the modalities that have been used include vibration, whole body immersion (usually cold water or contrast; cold then warm, alternating), compression garments, massage, electrical stimulation, heat or stretching or pharmacologic measures, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).

In general, most of these modalities provide little, if any, benefit to recovery. Whole body cryotherapy (cooling) reduced strength loss at one hour post activity, with less pain than a passive recovery group, but by 24 hours there was no difference in strength or pain between recovery modes. Similarly, another study noted that athletes said their legs felt “lighter” at 24 hours when having used active recovery and cold immersion, but physical tests between groups showed no difference. Alternating cold and warm water immersion (contrast water therapy) showed the greatest decreases in soreness, but, as with the others, there were no differences in specific components, such as strength or range of motion.

Electrical stimulation (e-stim) is being marketed for pain reduction, and while advertisements may identify other benefits, the research suggests otherwise. E-stim does not seem to aid “restoration” of traits that are usually altered following intense activity, such as strength or fatigue. Cooling was shown to have a positive effect on aerobic activity. However, it has been noted that the results are variable and partially dependent upon the length of cooling and individual responses to the modality. While the prolonged use of NSAIDs is not recommended due to the potential for gastric issues, most of the recovery modalities do not have major negative effects when used appropriately.


Important components of recovery should include some relative rest, proper diet and rehydration. Diet and rehydration are especially necessary for longer activities and those in which the athlete is subject to high temperatures. In such cases, diet and hydration may help to restore energy resources to the muscle as well as restoration of electrolytes.


The evidence for physical benefits from recovery modalities is limited. However, many of the modalities appear to be useful for reduction of pain/muscle soreness. The noted reductions in pain/soreness may be temporary, but some have noted that this effect may allow an athlete to complete subsequent training, even if at a lower intensity. Furthermore, the psychological effect of any technique may be enough to promote improved performance or the ability to train at a desired level following previous intense bouts of training. Thus, the final decision regarding the use of a recovery modality will be based on your personal preference and the desired outcome. If pain/soreness reduction is important, then you may want to try a recovery modality. If the ability to do harder workouts in succession is the goal, a recovery modality will probably not help.

Successful Weight Loss; In sports, who’s really ‘old’?; The 3 Phases of Muscle Healing

Episode 17.04 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (01:38): Steven Mauk from Revolution Physical Therapy & Weight Loss talks about the definition of successful weight loss, sustaining weight loss, fitness vs. fatness and how to start with exercise and nutrition if you want to lose weight.

Why Revolution?Revolution PT & WL is very different: You will be treated as if you are their only patient, with a customized treatment plan that will allow you to progress at your own pace. Revolution is large enough to offer you all the rehabilitation and weight loss services you require…  but personal enough to offer you a very hands on specialized care. They care for amateur, high school, Olympic, and professional athletes as well as non-athletic patients.

START YOUR REVOLUTION | SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT


Segment Two (12:02): Dr. Cole and Steve discuss the changes that occur in aging athletes, types of injuries, nutrition, training and cardiac issues. Read more in the related post: In sports, who’s really ‘old’?

Tom Brady became the second-oldest NFL quarterback to win the Super Bowl this year, at 39. He also holds the record for most Super Bowl victories with five.


Segment Three (22:26): Brian Whittington PT, DPT, CMTPT from Athletico Physical Therapy discusses the Three Phases of Muscle Healing: Destruction, Repair and Healing through effective soft tissue techniques. Read more in the related post: Understanding the 3 Phases of Muscle Healing

Brian received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2008 from the Medical University of South Carolina, and has been practicing outpatient orthopedics since. He has a background in treating post-operative knees and shoulders as well as working with a variety of overhead athletes. Other extensive experience includes treating workers compensation and chronic pain patients. Brian has taken his orthopedic experience into the home healthy setting as well. Providing patient education and being a resource for overall health and wellness, is an important component of Brian’s patient care.