What is Sports Medicine?

What is the difference between a Sports Medicine Specialist and an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Since our founding in 1998, we at Hanover Sports Medicine have heard this question from our patients throughout Richmond, Hanover, and Mechanicsville, VA and we’re happy to explain the difference. Both are well trained in musculoskeletal medicine, but since approximately 90% of all sports injuries do not require surgery, sports medicine specialists also focus on treatment of musculoskeletal conditions without surgery, whenever possible. We can also guide you to occupational and physical therapists appropriate for your injuries, and if surgery is necessary, refer you to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in your type of injury or condition. Our expertise has made us one of the primary practitioners of sports medicine in Richmond, VA, as well as Mechanicsville, Hanover, and the surrounding communities.


Sports Medicine Specialists are also trained in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine. For example:

  • Concussions (mild traumatic brain injury) and other head injuries
  • Chronic or acute illnesses that affect sports and exercise activities (such as infectious mononucleosis, asthma or diabetes)
  • Nutrition, supplements, ergogenic aids, and performance issues
  • Exercise prescription for patients who want to increase their fitness
  • Injury prevention techniques and suggestions
  • “Return to play” decisions in the sick or injured athlete
  • Recommendations on safe strength training and conditioning exercises
  • Healthy lifestyle promotion


Do Sports Medicine Specialists only treat competitive athletes?

No, sports medicine specialists are ideal physicians for non-athletes as well. For example, we often provide sports physicals for Richmond are patients who don’t currently play sports but are interested in starting, or for those who are thinking of beginning a new exercise program. A thorough sports physical can bring to light any issues, and we can then recommend a course of action to enable increased activity in a safe manner, to minimize the chance of injury.


For non-competitive athletes who experience an injury, sports medicine specialists can apply the same expertise we use for competitive athletes to decrease recovery time and get you back to a normal activity level as soon as possible.


If you think you need an experienced practitioner of sports Medicine in Richmond VA or the nearby areas, or if you have any additional questions about the other services we provide, including physical therapy, sports physicals, or orthopedic surgery, please contact Hanover Sports Medicine. We proudly serve the central Virginia area, including Richmond, Hanover, and Mechanicsville.


Source: What Is a Sports Medicine Specialist, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine http://www.amssm.org/what-is-a-sports-medicine-specalist.php