Sports Medicine

Staying active through sports or exercise is one way to help keep your body healthy. But if you have a misstep or push yourself beyond your strength, physical activity can put you at risk of injury. If you injure yourself during a workout or game, our sports medicine doctors at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital can help you get back to your routine. 

Get Back in the Game

Whether you’re an athlete or a physically active person, you can take advantage of our Sports Medicine Program in Orange County, CA. We have a team of highly experienced orthopedic physicians, nurses, physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists available to treat your injury or improve your joint mobility and strength. We will explore nonsurgical options first for your injury. Then, if you need surgery, we have advanced techniques to help you recover faster with minimal scarring.

A sports injury doctor treats athletes and people who are physically active. Our sports injury doctors can provide you with resources to help you safely engage in physical activity and reach your fitness goals.

Some of the most common sports injuries we treat are as follows:

  • Achilles tendon rupture: this happens when the Achilles tendon ruptures, causing difficulty walking and sudden pain
  • Dislocation: a bone is forced out of its socket, resulting in pain and swelling
  • Fracture: a broken bone, including:
    • Acute fractures
    • Stress fractures
    • Growth plate fractures
  • Knee injuries: the most common of which are patellofemoral syndrome’s  and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. A repetitive thigh bone and kneecap movement may result in patellofemoral syndrome or pain around the kneecap, while ACL tears happen when there is a sudden change in direction
  • Rotator cuff injury: damage in one of the four muscles that form the rotator cuff, which keeps your arm in your shoulder socket, allowing you to lift and rotate your arm while keeping your shoulder stable
  • Sprains: tearing or overstretching of ligaments
  • Strains: tearing or overstretching of tendons or muscles
  • len muscles: your body’s natural reaction to injury

Sports injuries can happen during exercise or while engaging in a sport. Two types of sports injuries are:

  • Acute traumatic injuries: happen after a forceful blow, resulting in fractures, strains, cuts, concussions and sprains
  • Overuse Injuries, also known as chronic injuries, occur from repeatedly repeating the same physical movement

Individuals at risk for a sports injury are those who:

  • Play contact sports
  • Are overweight
  • Do not perform warm-up and cool-down exercises
  • Do not practice proper exercise techniques
  • Wear shoes not designed for sports or exercise
  • Are not using proper equipment
  • Increase their physical activity intensity too quickly
  • Have certain anatomical features that are not ideal for a particular activity
  • Are taking medicines associated with tendon rupture and tendinitis

Before engaging in a sport or physical activity, perform warmups and stretches. Keep the following tips in mind to prevent sports and exercise injuries:

  • Before your workout, do stretches and warmups and wear proper clothing, gear and equipment.
  • During your workout, make sure you use the correct form when performing an exercise, such as keeping your back straight as you squat. Ask a gym trainer or coach to guide you.
  • After your workout, rest for a while and do cooldown stretches before taking a shower. You can also relax your muscles with yoga, massage or sleep.

What Is Sports Medicine?

Also called sports and exercise medicine, sports medicine focuses on physical fitness and the prevention and treatment of exercise- and sports-related injuries. Its main goal is to promote safe and practical exercises to help people achieve their fitness goals. Sports medicine is not a medical specialty. It is a combination of different principles, such as:

  • What Is a Sports Medicine Physician?Biomechanics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Orthopedics
  • Sports nutrition
  • Sports psychology
  • Sports science

What Is a Sports Medicine Physician?

If you become injured from engaging in sports or doing physical activity, a sports medicine doctor may be able to help you. Sports medicine physicians have specialized training in the treatment and prevention of injuries. They can help you regain your physical function and minimize your time away from work, school or sports.

A sports physician is certified in:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation
Sports medicine physicians have obtained up to two years of additional Sports Medicine training through Sports Medicine’s Fellowship or subspecialty programs. They improve their expertise by participating in continuing medical education and a re-certification examination every ten years. Some sports medicine doctors specialize in treating non-operative musculoskeletal conditions. On the other hand, sports medicine orthopedic surgeons focus on surgery options for sports injuries.

You may find sports medicine physicians who work exclusively with athletes or sports teams, while others cater to all types of patients as we do at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. 

Sports Injury Symptoms

Your symptoms may vary depending on the intensity and type of injury. If you have an acute injury, you may experience:

  • Sudden and severe pain
  • Extreme bruising or swelling
  • Inability to place weight on a knee, leg, foot or ankle
  • Inability to normally move a joint
  • Extreme weakness of an injured limb
  • An obvious dislocated bone or joint

If you have a chronic injury, you may feel:

  • Pain when exercising or playing
  • Swelling and a dull ache during rest

Sports Injury Treatment Options

As soon as you get mild injuries like strains and sprains, do the PRICE method, which stands for:

  • Protection: protect the injured area by providing support to it
  • Rest: avoid intense activities until your injury heals
  • Ice: apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
  • Compression: Control swelling by using elastic compression bandages
  • Elevation: keep your injured limb's level above your heart or higher

Contact a sports injury hospital if your injury does not improve after doing the PRICE method. Other treatment options for serious sports injuries include:

  • Corticosteroid injection: to relieve persistent or severe inflammation
  • Medications: to relieve pain
  • Immobilization: to prevent further damage to the affected area, splints, casts and slings will be used to limit movement
  • Physical Therapy: the use of massage, exercise and other techniques to improve range of motion, strengthen the muscles surrounding the damaged area and regain the injured area’s normal movement
  • Surgery: the use of plates, wires, rods or screws to treat badly broken bones and other severe injuries


American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
University of Rochester Medical Center

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, CA, we want you to receive the proper sports or exercise injury treatment. Request a visit with one of our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists to get a second opinion on your condition or a really good first one.

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