What’s Included in Sports Medicine?

If you're an athlete, you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to your health. Sports provide the physical activity that:

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease
  • Keeps your weight in check
  • Improves brain function
  • Strengthens muscles and bone
  • Improves your immune system

Athletes live longer than nonathletes, too, so keep doing what you’re doing — with caution. Despite all the health benefits sports provide, they also put you at risk for injury every time you play or practice. Annually, around 3.5 million kids and teens and nearly 2 million adults experience sports injuries, making it the healthiest, most dangerous game in town.

That’s why the field of sports medicine emerged in the 20th century, and the American College of Sports Medicine was founded in 1954. Since then, the field has evolved into a full-fledged specialty, but many athletes are still unaware of what’s involved in sports medicine.

Here, our expert team of sports medicine physicians at Southern California’s Coastal Ortho explains how this specialty can help you prevent and treat sports injuries and enhance your performance.

How sports medicine is different from other fields

Although your family physician can diagnose and treat an ankle sprain, our sports medicine experts have undergone extensive education and training that targets the specific needs of athletes. We specialize in physical fitness and the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries, so we’re your one-stop shop for staying in top physical condition.

Sports medicine draws from other medical fields, such as:

Our sports medicine team includes highly experienced physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons who understand athletes’ unique needs. 

When to see a sports medicine specialist

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, seeking the care of our sports medicine specialists can improve your performance and get you back in the game faster. Make an appointment with us for any of the following reasons:

Acute injuries

You can expect bumps and bruises when you play hard, but it takes more than simple self-care when you sustain a significant injury. We diagnose and treat all types of sports injuries, including:

  • Joint sprains 
  • Muscle strains
  • Bone fractures
  • Cartilage tears
  • Joint dislocations
  • Tendonitis

If you experience pain or lack of mobility, early treatment can get you back into action sooner and reduce your chances of re-injury.

Chronic injuries

The ability to repeat a movement perfectly over and over again is what makes you so good at your sport — but it can also lead to stress fractures, repetitive stress, and overuse injuries like tendonitis, runner’s knee, swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, shin splints, and Achilles tendonitis. 

Come see us any time you experience pain, swelling, stiffness, weakness, and/or redness in your joints or limbs.


We know your goal is to get off the injured list, but if you push your recovery, you could be out for good. Our team partners with you to keep you motivated and positive during your rehabilitation, designing a sport-specific physical therapy program geared toward your abilities. We also help you manage the pain so you can participate fully in your recovery.

Injury prevention

After an injury, you’re more susceptible to reinjury, but we can help you beat the odds. Sport-specific training ensures you strengthen the support muscles around your injury so you get back into the game as protected as possible. We can also help you prevent the injuries you have a higher risk of sustaining in your sport of choice. 

Enhanced performance

You’re good at your sport, but we can make you better. Our experts can evaluate your gait, swing, stride, stroke, or follow-through and determine how to make your movements more efficient and powerful. We also identify muscle groups you need to strengthen and support your sport, and help you execute cleaner mechanics.

Why choose Coastal Ortho?

Coastal Ortho has a reputation throughout Southern California for providing outstanding care and treatment for athletic injuries. With three locations in Torrance and one in El Segundo, we have become the go-to sports medicine resource for South Bay athletes. 

In addition to our extensive roster of board-certified specialists, we offer the most advanced technology and treatments, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to accelerate tissue healing. 

Contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists today.