A recent article that appeared in the AMA Journal of Ethics offers a commentary on how doctors should advise patients recovering from a sports injury, most especially those who have their whole career ahead of them. They explain their rationale behind prioritizing the long-term health of the athlete.
When college admissions and scholarships are at stake, the recommendation of a sports medicine specialist or orthopedic surgeon for an injury affects more than their patient’s physical health. Although an expedited return to play may help an athlete reap the benefits of a collegiate scholarship and possibly playing in the major leagues, it could also place him at risk of adverse health consequences if he returns to play while his injury hasn’t yet fully healed.
A good physician-patient relationship will improve the chances of the patient listening to medical recommendations. The article explains how injury assessment and management need to take into account ethical considerations. By cultivating good relationship through effective communication, physicians can maximize an athlete’s long-term wellbeing.
Strategies for Preventing Sports Injuries in Young Athletes
There are several strategies that coaches, athletes, and parents can use to help prevent sports injuries. These include being in proper physical condition, knowing and abiding by sports rules, wearing the recommended safety gear, warming up before playing, staying hydrated, and refraining from play when very tired or in pain.
Promoting Healthy Competition
Coaches and parents are also responsible for promoting healthy competition that emphasizes teamwork and sportsmanship. Youth sports should be fun and devoid of the ‘win at all costs’ mentality that often lead to injuries. A young athlete who has this way of thinking may ignore signs of injury and continue to play, which could be detrimental to his overall health.
Where to Find Quality Sports Medicine in Denver
At trusted clinics, like Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, you are assured that your child’s long-term wellbeing is a primary concern. The orthopedic surgeons, medicine specialists, physical therapists, and sports performance experts at these facilities make it a point to protect your loved ones from the health problems that sports injuries can cause and help them enjoy their beloved game for many years to come.
Athlete Return-to-Play Decisions in Sports Medicine, AMA Journal of Ethics, Jun, 2015
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