Posted 6/19/2017 by UHBlog
You might think sports medicine is reserved for runners who tear their ACL or football players who sustain a concussion, but the field also includes helping athletes improve their performance and reduce their chance of injury.
That’s why University Hospitals Sports Medicine Institute, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, offers a Performance Enhancement Program (PEP) for athletes who want to take their game to the next level. Athletes may participate in single sessions or register for an 18-session course. PEP is one of several offerings accessible through the recently launched sports medicine service line (216-983-PLAY or UHSports.org).
“We take a whole-athlete approach,” says sports medicine specialist James Voos, MD, who serves as head team physician for the Cleveland Browns. “It’s not just about the weight room, although that’s important, too. It’s about thinking about the entire body.”
Depending on their needs, PEP participants may work on:
“Maybe you say, ‘I need to become more flexible and find ways to train better,’” Dr. Voos says. “This is an opportunity to meet with a physical therapist or athletic trainer who can put together the safest program possible.”
Dr. Voos says improving athleticism also entails having annual physical exams to ensure you’re healthy enough to participate in your sport, eating a varied and nutrient-rich diet, and controlling stress.
“The main thing is we want you to play your sport and not worry about getting injured,” he says. “We want you to enjoy yourself and focus on your technique and your competition. If you put in the work preemptively, you put yourself in the best position with the least risk possible.”
Sports performance programs, such as PEP, are appropriate for athletes of any level – from a novice who is just starting to jog to professional athletes. Everyone can benefit from more intense training, says Dr. Voos, who enjoys running, cycling and providing medical support to Cleveland Foundry, a rowing, sailing and fitness training center.
“It’s for all ages and activity levels,” Dr. Voos says. “It’s not age- or skill-level-dependent. It’s motivation-dependent.”
Even with intense training programs, not all injuries are preventable, he acknowledges. Should one occur, the UH Sports Medicine Institute is equipped to support your recovery.
“The institute coordinates orthopedic sports medicine and medical sports medicine in all facets related to athletes – from a knee injury, to nutrition, to concussion care, to physical therapy and rehabilitation,” he says. “We can assure each of these needs is met through one group versus having to contact multiple different specialists.”
The Performance Enhancement Program is offered at three locations:
- Geauga (East): 440-214-3100
- North Royalton (West): 440-877-9120
- University Hospitals Avon Health Center: 440-968-6890
James Voos, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine director at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and head team physician for the Cleveland Browns. You can request an appointment with Dr. Voos or any other doctor online.