Just a week ago in Rio the closing ceremony of 2016 Olympics, the Largest of gathering of world’s elite sportsperson has taken place. Participated by more than 200 countries, with a budget in excess of USD 10 billion, the global phenomenon has been in the news before the opening ceremony, albeit for all the wrong reasons related to Health and Medical sector if one might add. First it was the Zika virus scare, then it was the over budgeting of the venues despite the obvious lack of medicinal facilities for people who live in the area for far more than the telecasted 20 days’ period. But the biggest of them all is the Russian doping scandal, where 68 members of track and field team have been banned due to alleged state sponsored doping program, which was uncovered by report published by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Yet the Medical History of Olympics is not always concerned with Doping. Olympics has incorporated Doctors (and later nurses, physios, nutritionists and all other medical personnel) from the very beginning itself i.e. the 1896 Athens Olympics. The real revolution in sports medicine is brought upon by the event when in 1932 a dedicated sports village is constructed for incorporating the medical staff during the entirety of the games. From 1960 onward private companies also started to pitching in the field in the form of sponsorship due to the obvious reasons of profitable marketing. In the modern era sports medicine returned the favor by making the Olympics what it is. The congregation of not only the world’s elite sports-persons but also super-humans.
In addition to being awed, if one might care to analyze the success formula behind the staggering superhuman feats like triple-triple by Usain bolt, or the whopping 23 gold medals by Michael Phelps, or Simone Biles’ inspirational accomplishments or Katie Ledecky’s one-sided (lopsided) race for 400m gold, they get to know about the advancements that sports medicine brought about in this field. Be it the elastic therapeutic tape used by Ms. Biles which helps in pain relief and stimulation of proprioception or the alternative technique like cupping used by Michael Phelps which helps in treating local pain and relaxes the muscles, many athletes are trying to get every help they can get medically to excel at what to do. It’s not right to state that the sole reason but the no of “developed” countries in top of the medals tally strongly support the statement.
Through the last decade we have watched times drop, speeds increase, strengths grow and records break that can be attributed to advancements in training, nutrition and sports medicine which have enhanced both competitors and competitions. In times like these, injuries are equivalent to loss of revenue for both athletes and their clubs/sponsors/teams. Increasing incidences of sports injuries worldwide combined with growing R&D facilities made sure that there is a continuous influx of new products and techniques like minimally invasive procedures which helped in the mutual beneficial alliance of Sports and Medicine.
Tendon injuries which are fairly prominent among athletes of all sports. Platelet rich plasma therapy, a relatively new procedure is being used to relieve them of chronic pain and speed up the recovery process. Similarly, Tissue engineering, where in a healthy cartilage from patients’ body is transplanted to the affected area is being used to treat small cartilage defects but surely it seems to have potential for more in the future.
Although everything seems to be overtly positive, there are some negatives to use(misuse) of medicine in sports. Recently, sports illustrated published an article linking the excessive use of painkillers in young athletes to addiction of heroin. It states that athletes look towards heroin since it is easily available and generally costs less. It addresses a major issue for the sports medicine market. It must be perceived as a serious concern when someone prefer addictive drugs to off the counter medicines. Despite these small hiccups, the market seems to be poised for a significant change with demands for doping to be legalized increasing after failures to contain it. The ethics of this issue are debatable but it holds a monetary opportunity for the market nonetheless.
Interested in knowing more about the sports medicine market. Look no further. Our analysts have researched the heights and depths of this field and compiled an extensive report outlining the overall market along with in-depth analysis of market players. You can find the free research sample here. For getting latest updates in healthcare and revealing market insights make sure that you follow our blog and subscribe to our newsletters.