Daniel A. Clearfield, DO, MS, FAOASM, has stood on the sideline of hundreds of sporting events where he plays the important role of team physician.
In addition to using his sports medicine and orthopedic skills when an athlete departs the field with an injury, he often uses osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) to assist in the treatment of the athlete.
Dr. Clearfield, an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and a team physician for USA Wrestling and USA Judo, will share how he “integrates osteopathic principles and practices in every athlete encounter” during a session with the American Academy of Osteopathy.
In his presentation, “An Osteopathic Approach to the Athlete,” Dr. Clearfield will analyze and discuss case studies to show how he has approached unique athlete scenarios. His one-hour talk will start at 1:30 p.m. in Ballroom A, Level 300, Convention Center.
“Anyone who moves is an athlete, but we have varying levels of how athletic individuals are,” Dr. Clearfield said. “We can use this knowledge to develop the appropriate treatment plan to restore function and wellness within the individual, whether it be returning to sports or performing their activities of daily living.”
His application of the four osteopathic principles in sporting situations will help attendees better understand how to apply their knowledge to become more comfortable when treating different patients.
“If you know the principles, it’s very simple as far as the osteopathic approach toward the athlete, let alone any patient,” Dr. Clearfield said.
Athletes are unique cases to treat because they are unlike the majority of the population. In general medicine, physicians typically encourage the sedentary population to get moving and active. With athletes, it’s occasionally the opposite. Sports medicine often involves slowing athletes down or modifying their activity to facilitate recovery.
“We have to come up with creative ways of being able to keep them not just physically well, but mentally well in the setting of an injury,” Dr. Clearfield said. “They need to be able to return to full performance without getting too frustrated or too depressed in the healing process.”
With athletes’ often-rigorous workouts and schedules, other forms of treatment aren’t always enough to get them back in tip-top shape.
“We felt like the patients deserved better [care] than what they were getting,” Dr. Clearfield said. “By utilizing the osteopathic principles, we’re going to be giving our athletes the best care.”