Why You Should See a Sports Medicine Doctor Before a Big Competition

Any athlete entering a big competition knows that preparation is key.  Your equipment is in top working order; you are mentally prepared and know your competition; you are in the best shape you can be, both mentally and physically.  Or are you?  Athletes entering a big competition can definitely benefit from seeing a sports medicine doctor prior to the event.

An orthopedic doctor, specializing in sports medicine understands the wear and tear that a big competition can have on the body. Running a marathon for instance, takes a toll on the body and especially muscles and bones as feet pound pavement mile after grueling mile.

Additionally, an orthopedic doctor treats musculoskeletal conditions, including bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves and tendons. Orthopedists who specialize in sports medicine are especially beneficial to athletes and perhaps even more so in the weeks and days leading up to a critical competition.

Prior to the event, the doctor may perform an examination that will reveal potential problems that could arise while competing. If an abnormality or concern is detected during the examination, further testing might be ordered, including imaging.

Pre-competition Visit

The doctor will take the patient’s health history. If the patient has a history of broken bones, torn ligaments, ankle sprains, muscle strains etc., that haven’t healed properly, then the doctor will most likely advise against competing in an event that’s coming up soon so the patient can fully heal to prevent further trauma or recurrence from a sports injury.


A sports medicine doctor can also give an athlete a bit of an edge by educating them on how the musculoskeletal system works. If an athlete gains an understanding regarding the knee joint and how it is designed, then he will also understand the importance of protecting the knee from injury. The athlete will walk out of the doctor’s office and onto the playing field with how-to knowledge and translate that into performance by modifying some behaviors such as stopping too abruptly and twisting the knee/leg violently. A sports medicine doctor can help the athlete with balancing passionate play with caution.


To perform at an optimum level, serious athletes train their body’s to go beyond certain physical limits. However, the point of no return is on the horizon for athletes who consistently train the wrong way. Overtraining can be a problem. In fact, there is a name for it. Overtraining syndrome will result in the athlete experiencing exactly the opposite to how he wants to perform.

Overtraining syndrome is characterized by underperformance.  The US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health puts it this way: “Overreaching is considered an accumulation of training load that leads to performance decrements requiring days to weeks for recovery. Overreaching followed by appropriate rest can ultimately lead to performance increases.”

Can you imagine the value of knowing that if as an athlete, you work too hard, it will cause you to perform poorly? This flies in the face of the “no pain, no gain” adage. Competing, of course, takes hard work, but overworking isn’t acceptable. A sports medicine doctor can explain how overworking can hurt you. He can also get you started on a healthy lifestyle that includes an appropriate exercise regimen. The doctor can assign a healthy exercise and diet regimen that will kick-start positive results.


Including a sports medicine professional as part of your performance team can add benefit to your overall performance by taking medical recommendations and translating them into the game plan. For example, if your knees areas giving way and you are the catcher, your coach may move you to another position to relieve the strain on your knees and still allow you to contribute to the team. In fact, some elite coaches are as familiar with your sports medicine doctor as you are!

As the largest orthopedic practice in North Canton, Ohio, OrthoUnited is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of adult and pediatric injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. At our new facility, you’ll find all the orthopaedic services you’ll need – from digital X-rays and MRI to surgical procedures and physical therapy. Most important of all, you will find a team of medical professionals you can truly count on. If you have an orthopaedic or sports medicine concern, contact us today at (844) 469-2663 or request an appointment online.