Sports Medicine Services What is sports medicine? Sports medicine is the field of medicine dealing with fitness, injury treatment and prevention, and wellness as it relates to sports. Sports medicine providers strive to maximize function and minimize injury in athletes and other physically active individuals, by focusing on strength training, conditioning and healthy lifestyles. Bringing the best in sports medicine to western North Carolina For over 20 years, Mission Sports Medicine (MSM) has provided quality sports medical care in accord with our philosophy. MSM is a collaboration between Mission Health providers and the region's leading sports medicine practices, including 17 board certified sports medicine physicians, 9 fellowship trained sports medicine physicians and over 45 additional subspecialists. Thus, we form the most comprehensive sports medicine program for athletes in the region. MSM provides athletic training and other services in the region, including on-site medical coverage for injury evaluation at events, injury treatment/management, injury prevention and overall sports performance. MSM also provides educational programming throughout the region to share best practices and emerging care for athletes. Providers participating in the MSM program include: Primary care Neurosurgery, neurology and neuropsychology (complex concussion management) Musculoskeletal/orthopedics Perinatal Substance Exposure Knee, hip, shoulder, spine, upper extremity and foot/ankle Pediatric Trauma Cardiology Sports psychology Sports nutrition Mission Sports Medicine providers care for patients and athletes across a continuum of care, including athletic training, noninvasive, therapeutic and surgical interventions, rehabilitation and return-to-play guidance. Sports injuries not only jeopardize an athlete’s competitive career, but can also negatively affect their quality of life for years to come. At MSM, we have dedicated ourselves to minimizing the risk of serious injury by implementing a model of education and clinical treatment standards. Recognizing the risks and benefits There are multiple benefits to participating in sports. Beyond the importance of physical fitness, athletes learn valuable life skills such as goal-setting, team building, a strong work ethic and perseverance. Sport-related injuries, however, pose a serious risk, and youth sports injuries are being diagnosed more frequently. The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than 2,600,000 children are treated in the emergency department each year for sports- and recreation-related injuries. While strains and sprains are the most common injuries reported for youth athletes, broken bones, scrapes and concussions also top the list. Sports-related injuries can range from mild traumatic brain injury, such as concussion, to illness, such as infectious mononucleosis. As science continues to evolve, concussions continue to be a growing concern for young athletes. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that emergency room visits for concussions in children (ages 8 to 13 years) more than doubled between 1997 and 2007. Concussions have also risen 200 percent in the last decade among teens (ages 14 to 19 years). According to the CDC, "Cumulative sports concussions are shown to increase the likelihood of catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability by 39 percent." Whether a concussion, or a less serious sprain or break, Mission Sports Medicine is making sure that athletes in western North Carolina are educated about sports injury and injury prevention and have information about and access to varied resources across the region necessary to stay healthy.