Growing up in Bethel Park, Elizabeth Herrman, DO, was an avid sports player. Now, she helps athletes and physically active individuals get back to their sport as quickly and safely as possible following an injury. An osteopathic physician with UPMC Sports Medicine, Dr. Herrman specializes in primary care sports medicine.
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What is Primary Care Sports Medicine?
Within the field of sports medicine is the subspecialty primary care sports medicine. Doctors who specialize in sports or musculoskeletal medicine can include physicians practicing internal medicine, family practice, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, along with pediatricians and orthopaedic surgeons.
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Who Can Benefit from Primary Care Sports Medicine?
Primary care sports medicine physicians provide comprehensive care to anyone who is physically active to enhance their health, improve their performance, and prevent injury. Primary care sports medicine physicians provide only non-surgical care.
Dr. Herrman sees many athletes in a range of ages – some as young as 10. In a sports town like Pittsburgh, it’s no surprise that Dr. Herrman is quite busy caring for athletes, such as the collegiate players at Robert Morris University.
But you don’t have to play sports to be treated by a primary care sports medicine physician. Dr. Herrman notes that she also sees patients of all ages with physically demanding jobs and lifestyles, such as construction workers and personal fitness buffs.
What are Common Conditions You Treat?
The most common ailments Dr. Herrman sees among patients are:
- Acute injuries to the knee, shoulders, and hips
- Chronic knee pain
- Sprains (primarily ankles)
- Muscle strains and injuries
In physically active individuals, she frequently sees patients for:
- Musculoskeletal issues, including arthritis
- Non-surgical fracture care and management (especially among children)
What Nonsurgical Treatments Do You Recommend?
Sports medicine physicians are trained in exercise medicine, which allows them to pinpoint weaknesses in the body. They then work closely with physical therapists to develop treatment plans for acute injuries and for preventing future injuries. “Teaching patients how to prevent reinjury is a crucial part of our role,” says Dr. Herrman.
In addition to physical therapy, nonsurgical options include injection therapies like cortisone shots and new biologics, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
At the new UPMC Outpatient Center on Clairton Boulevard, just off Route 51, patients also can receive the innovative technology of ultrasound-guided joint injections. Dr. Herrman sees patients on Fridays at the center. Along with seeing patients at the Pleasant Hills/West Mifflin location, she has office hours in Cranberry, Oakland, and the South Side.
To request an appointment, submit a form online or call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
About Sports Medicine
Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.