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Sports Medicine in Costa Rica

The branch of medicine that deals with injuries or illnesses resulting from participation in sports and athletic activities.

A branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, protection, and correction of sports injuries, and the preparation of an individual for physical activity in its full range of intensity. It includes the study of the effects of different levels of exercise, training, and sport on healthy and ill people.

Originally, the main objective of sports medicine was the welfare of competitive athletes but it now encompasses treatment of anyone engaged in sport and exercise. It is becoming an increasingly important branch of medicine. More general practitioners are being trained in sports medicine than ever before. The training gives them a better understanding of the physical, physiological, and psychological demands of exercise. This helps them to diagnose sports injuries more effectively, and to prescribe the most suitable forms of exercise to improve the health of patients, for example those recovering from heart disease.

Some practitioners trained in sports medicine are employed by sports teams to help athletes improve their performance. Usually, this is by the legitimate and ethical application of their special knowledge. However, sometimes it involves the unethical use of ergogenic aids (artificial performance boosters such as drugs) which transgress the rules of sports governing bodies.