Sports Medicine: What Medicine is, that, magic drug, tonic or injection, which could boost the performance of sportspersons? The Government and the private sector should come forward and start mass production and distribution of this Medicine to help our sports persons overcome the drought of medals in international sports especially in the Olympic Games! Discussions and debates on these lines are not unheard of in the meeting rooms of policy makers. The concept of Sports Medicine is yet to sink in the minds of those who administer sports or health in our country. There lies the grit and determination of those who are relentlessly trying to keep the flag of Sports Medicine fluttering in the Indian breeze. The flag is struggling at half – mast, a grim reminder of our nondescriptive performances in the Olympic Games.
Illiteracy and lack of health awareness are two issues, which have been detrimental to our Nation’s progress on many fronts. Wherever we had brought in Science and Technology, the results were quite amazing. Agriculture and Communication areas are two examples. Sports in India are at the other end of the spectrum waiting for scientific back up to come in. Sports Medicine has to be heard, seen and felt by our sports fraternity.
Sports Medicine is not a magic drug or tonic when administered to an athlete will enhance his or her performance. It is a multi disciplinary speciality in the field of medical sciences, which can identify the peculiar demands and problems of persons involved in sports and physical activities and offer them solutions. Sports Medicine through the application of medical and scientific knowledge help people to attain, maintain and enhance their health & fitness levels beyond the conventional barriers and limits of human endeavour. Sports Medicine thus can mould human beings into super human beings, in other words into World Champions.
The multi disciplinary approach of Sports Medicine engulfs areas like Traumatology, Physical therapy, Rehabilitation, Exercise Physiology, Cardiology, Pharmacology, Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Psychology, Nutrition, Anthropometry, Medical evaluation for sports, Genetics, Performance diagnosis and many related fields. Exercise prescription to the common man and to the diseased and injured is a challenging area where the Sports Medicine specialists could make their presence felt. Thus the application of Sports Medicine goes beyond sports to patient care too. Policy makers in Health as well as in Sports who seldom come together on a common platform in our country, need to take serious note of this Specialty when they try to improve the health and fitness standards of the general population and sportspersons in particular.
The reach of Sports Medicine is very vast and somebody has to take up the job of marketing this speciality effectively. The Indian Association of Sports Medicine has taken the lead in promoting sports medicine on many fronts. Twenty three National Conferences in a span of 31 years of its existence, International and National level courses, Seminars and Workshops on Sports Medicine, Medical and scientific back up to national camps and national and international sports meets, publication of IASM Membership Directories, IASM Journal of Sports Traumatology & Sports Sciences and now the IASM Handbook of Sports Medicine, the achievements of IASM are many. The collaboration of IASM with the International Olympic Committee, International Federation of Sports Medicine, Indian Olympic Association and The Sports Authority of India in many of its programmes have enhanced its credibility and effectiveness.
This IASM Handbook of Sports Medicine is the first of its kind in our country, where Doctors and Scientists working in various areas of Sports Medicine have come forward and contributed their expertise. Thirty Authors and thirty-six chapters, not a small achievement for a book on a budding speciality. A lot of efforts have gone into this book. The book is expected to enhance the quality of work of our Doctors, Scientists, Coaches and Physical educationists who relentlessly chase the dream of World records and Olympics medals for our sportsmen and women. IASM proudly presents this Handbook of Sports Medicine to these Dream Merchants.