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§ 3. The concept of sports medicine

What is sports medicine, what is its place among other medical disciplines, what is its content and objectives?

We have already answered the first question - sports medicine is a part of clinical medicine. It has its clearly defined content and tasks, distinct from other disciplines, in particular physiology.

One of the main sections of sports medicine is medical control, which is, in essence, medical supervision of people engaged in physical culture and sports.

The tasks of medical control include determining the health status, physical development and functional state of the systems and organs of people engaged in physical exercises, and observing their changes under the influence of physical education and sports in order to study both the positive effects of these exercises and the possible negative with irrational their application.

After determining the state of health and physical development, the most important task of medical monitoring is to assess the functional state of the athlete, that is, to determine fitness. The correct solution of this problem is of paramount importance, since it allows not only to study the effect of physical exercises on the body, but also scientifically-medical points out the way to records.

The solution of this problem is an important link in the study of questions of theory, methods and techniques of sports.

It helps the doctor, trainer and athlete identify rational ways to improve sportsmanship.


Physical and pedagogical observations, that is, research conducted by a doctor together with a trainer directly at training and competition sites, are also essential in solving this problem. These observations often play a decisive role in the individualization of the training process and its proper planning.

This section of medical control is continuously being improved and developed. New, more subtle and accurate methods of research are being developed, old methods of researching the functional state of the athlete's body are being improved, more extensive integrated studies are being conducted, etc.

At the same time in sports medicine is developing, especially in recent times, an area whose task is to study the possible negative effects of physical activity during its irrational use. We are talking about diseases and injuries of various organs and systems of the body, arising from excessive or irrational exercise.

Previously, only sports injury was studied in this direction. Now, given the ever-increasing training loads that are sometimes on the verge of overload, it is important to also study the prepathological conditions and diseases in athletes that can occur during physical overload.

Thus, sports medicine poses the following tasks:
1) determination of the state of health and physical development and observation of their changes under the influence of physical culture and sports;
2) determining the level of fitness, or rather, the functional state, and its changes;
3) diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries, diseases and injuries in athletes and the development of measures to prevent them;
4) improvement of old and development of new research methods for more accurate assessment of health and functional status, as well as for early diagnosis and timely treatment of various health disorders involved in physical culture and sports, that is, the development of functional diagnostics;
5) the solution of issues of nutrition and sanitary and hygienic support of training and competition sites (these questions are outlined in the course of hygiene).

All these activities are carried out by a sports doctor. As it can be seen from the above, it faces large and complex diagnostic tasks that require, on the one hand, high medical qualifications, and on the other, a clear knowledge of the features of various sports specializations in light of the specific requirements they place on the athlete’s body.


The main ways to solve these complex tasks are as follows:
1. The diagnosis “healthy”, which a sports doctor must make before admitting to sports, is sometimes more difficult than the diagnosis of any disease. After all, an athlete must be a completely healthy person, but in order to determine this, one must be well aware of the manifestations of certain diseases. So, it is impossible, for example, to assert that a given person has a healthy heart, not knowing what symptoms there are when having a sore heart.

Various deviations in health status, which do not play a significant role for people who are not involved in sports, and do not prevent them from performing ordinary professional work, with an athlete at modern intensity of training can turn into a terrible disease, sometimes leading to disability and even death from physical overstrain.

Therefore, the term “practically healthy” is widely used by people who are not involved in sports, and indicates that the person’s illness does not prevent him from performing his usual professional activities (for example, heart disease or chronic bronchitis in the accountant or designer, etc.) d.), can not be used for an athlete, as he should not have deviations in health status. Practically healthy people should recommend occupations by improving physical training.

In addition, it is very important to know that good health, which athletes and coaches sometimes consider to be the main thing in assessing health status, cannot be the main criterion for such an assessment. Despite the fact that good health is always accompanied by good health, you can feel good at a time when the body already has signs of the disease.

It should be borne in mind that setting records also does not always indicate a good state of health. There may be cases of establishing a record in sport by an athlete who is not completely healthy. The fact is that the human body possesses enormous compensatory capabilities and the mechanisms for compensating for the defects arising in it during illness are very large. This makes it possible, due to the overload of other organs and the overvoltage of the compensation mechanisms, to mask the defect in the state of health. However, the compensatory capabilities of the body are not infinite. They are inevitably depleted and the sooner they are used more intensively.

Therefore, it is impossible to consider a person completely healthy only on the grounds that he feels good and sets records. In order to objectively establish the true state of health, a thorough medical examination is required.

2. Definition and correct assessment by a sports physician of the functional state of the athlete’s body, or fitness state, is complicated every year. This is due to the fact that the continuous growth of sports results, the increase in the volume and intensity of training loads significantly change the functional state of the body. Often, criteria that seemed previously unshakable prove to be untenable in solving the questions posed by life today.

Determining the functional state of the body of people of different ages and different health conditions, who are widely involved in physical exercise, is also not an easy task due to the lack of sufficiently objective criteria for their assessment.

In addition, a significant difference in the level of vegetative functions among athletes of different specializations is becoming increasingly apparent. This means that to achieve high results there is no need for the equally high level of the functional state of all systems and organs of all athletes without exception. These levels may be different, as well as morphological features, depending on its specific sports specialization.

Now it is obvious that each athlete is characterized by its own harmony of development (morphological and functional), specific for this sport, depending on the direction of the training process.

Indeed, it’s not the same with respect to morphology and function, for example, a heavy weight lifter and gymnast, a pusher of a nucleus and a swimmer, a basketball player and a skater. Representatives of each of these sports have their own, inherent, features both in the structure of the body and in its functions, which are significantly different and determine the specific harmony characteristic of a particular sport.
3. Diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries, as well as diseases and injuries during sports are one of the important and difficult tasks of a sports doctor, as they have certain specific features. This section refers to the so-called private pathology, that is, the study of human diseases.

It should be emphasized that sport is not and cannot be the cause of disease. However, athletes still get sick, and above all because, like all people, they are exposed to various harmful effects of the external environment. They can be sick of various infectious and other diseases. True, they are sick less often and suffer diseases more easily than people who are not involved in sports. In addition, in the case of irrational physical exercises that cause physical and emotional overload, conditions are created for the occurrence of acute and chronic diseases, as well as sports injuries.

That is why the trainer and the teacher need to have a clear understanding of the main manifestations, the essence and significance of these pathological conditions, since in many respects the occurrence of injury, disease and damage, as well as their prevention, depends on the actions of the trainer or teacher.
4. The development of functional research methods ensures the correct solution of the first three tasks of medical control. The trainer and the teacher should know the research methods used by the sports doctor, first of all in order to have a clear idea of ​​the possibilities that he has. At the same time, a number of research methods can be used by a trainer and a teacher to solve purely methodical issues of sports training.

This is the main content of the course of medical control with the basics of private pathology.

This textbook also includes medical physical culture - a medical discipline that studies the use of physical exercises for treating various patients.

The trainer and the teacher should be able to use physical exercises and for medical purposes. In order to make rational use of therapeutic physical culture, one must know the nature and manifestation of diseases for which its use is possible (this is described in the basics of private pathology in the section "Medical control").

The inclusion of sports massage in this textbook is due to the fact that in modern sports the use of massage is absolutely necessary. Therefore, every teacher or trainer, regardless of his sports specialization, must know the basics of sports massage, the basic principles of its application and techniques. Any athlete, and even more so a trainer and teacher should not only master the techniques of massage and self-massage, but also clearly understand the mechanisms of action on the body. Sports massage contributes to the preservation of fitness, increases the performance of an athlete, helps to quickly eliminate fatigue after exercise.

Thus, it is obvious how important medicine is in the formation of an athlete, and in the development of a scientifically based training system.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that without knowing the basics of sports medicine, a certain level of medical culture that a teacher and trainer get when mastering the course outlined in this textbook, there is not and cannot be successful work with athletes, a growth in athletic performance based on improving athlete .