sports medicine

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sports medicine,

branch of medicine concerned with physical fitness and with the treatment and prevention of injuries and other disorders related to sports. Knee, leg, back, and shoulder injuries; stiffness and pain in joints; tendinitis; "tennis elbow"; and dehydration are some common conditions that may be involved. Treatment and prevention include exercise programs for increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance; physical therapyphysical therapy
or physiotherapy,
treatment of disorders of the muscles, bones, or joints by means of physical agents—heat, light, water, manual and electronic massage, and exercise. Stroke, arthritis, fractures, and nerve damage are common conditions treated.
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; fitness tests; advice concerning nutrition and fluid replacement; and use of protective equipment. Surgery may be needed to treat some injuries. Sports medicine is also concerned with the abuse of so-called performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroidsanabolic steroid
or androgenic steroid
, any of a group of synthetic derivatives of testosterone that promote muscle and bone growth. Used to treat uncontrolled weight loss in wasting diseases, anabolic steroids have also been taken by bodybuilders and athletes seeking
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. The specialty was initially practiced primarily by physicians associated with professional sports teams, but with increased interest in amateur sports and physical fitness programs in the 1970s and 1980s, it grew rapidly.

Sports Medicine


the branch of medicine concerned with the health, physical development, and physiology of physical cultur-ists and athletes and with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related diseases and injuries. Sports medicine also studies sports rehabilitation, prepathological states, sports traumatology, and the control of the use of drugs in sports.

Sports medicine developed in the early 20th century. In 1928 the International Federation of Sportive Medicine (FIMS) was founded. (It was initially an association.) In 1975 its membership included more than 50 national federations. The discipline of sports medicine has been officially recognized since the late 1920’s. In the USSR, the term vrachebnyi kontrol’ (medical supervision) is sometimes used instead of sports medicine.

The development of sports medicine in the USSR has been associated with N. A. Semashko, V. V. Gorenevskii, B. A. Iva-novskii, I. M. Sarkizov-Serazini, V. N. Moshkov, I. A. Kriach-ko, S. P. Letunov, R. E. Motylianskaia, and others. These individuals laid the scientific foundation of sports medicine as an integral part of the Soviet system of public health, physical culture, and sports. Subdepartments, laboratories, and departments of sports medicine were organized in the 1920’s and 1930’s in scientific research institutes and educational institutes of physical culture. Dispensaries and stations for the medical supervision of all categories of physical culturists and athletes were established in the 1940’s. There were more than 300 dispensaries and about 1,500 stations in 1975. The Federation of Sports Medicine of the USSR was organized in 1946 and became a member of the FIMS in 1952. It is represented at international congresses on sports medicine sponsored by the FIMS. The All-Union Society of Medical Supervision and Kinesitherapy of the Ministry of Public Health of the USSR was founded in 1961, and the Kiev Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems in Physical Culture and Sports was founded in 1967. Laboratories (groups) on different aspects of sports medicine were created in the 1970’s in many scientific research institutes of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR. Research in sports medicine is coordinated by the Medical Problems in Sports and Medical Problems in Physical Culture commissions. As an educational discipline, sports medicine is part of the curricula at institutes of physical culture, medical institutes, and pedagogical higher educational institutions with departments of physical education.

In other socialist countries, sports-medicine institutions are also part of the state public-health system. There is no organized system of medical supervision in capitalist countries. Outside the USSR, research in sports medicine is conducted by universities in the USA, Sweden, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, and other countries. There are specialized institutes of sports medicine in the German Democratic Republic, Italy, and Poland. In some countries sports medicine includes physiology, the biochemistry of sports, and biomechanics.


Gorinevskii, V. V., and V. V. Gorinevskaia. Rukovodstvo po fizicheskoi kul’ture i vrachebnomu kontroliu. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Vrachebnyi kontrol’. Moscow, 1965.
Zabolevaniia i povrezhdenüa pri zaniatiiakh sportom. Edited by A. G. Dembo. Leningrad, 1970.
Ivanov, S. M. Vrachebnyi kontrol’ i lechebnaia fizkul’tura. Moscow, 1970.
Kukolevskii, G. M., and N. D. Graevskaia. Osnovy sportivnoi meditsiny. Moscow, 1971.
Mironova, Z. S., and L. Z. Kheifets. Profilaktika i léchenle sportivnykhtravm. Moscow, 1965.
Iakovlev, N. N. Biokhimiia sporta. Moscow, 1974.
Astrand, P.-O., and K. Rodahl. Textbook of Work Physiology. New York [1970].
Larson, L. A. [Editor.] Encyclopedia of Sport Sciences and Medicine. New York-London, 1971.
Venerando, A. Medicinadellosport. Rome, 1974. (With others.)
Sportivnaia meditsina. Edited by A. G. Dembo. Moscow, 1975.


sports medicine

[′spȯrts ‚med·ə·sən]
A branch of medicine concerned with the effects of exercise and sports on the human body, including treatment of injuries.
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