Sports medicine is the discipline of healthcare that uses medical knowledge and expertise for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of injuries that result from sports, physical exercise or other physical and recreational activities. The practice of sports medicine includes various medical and paramedical professions and multiple areas of medical expertise. Our intention is to give a brief overview of how sports medicine emerged, but we are aware of the fact that there are certainly many gaps in this summary.
In 4,000 BC spa baths and massages were used in China. The Chinese used massage to alleviate pain that resulted from heavy physical work. The development of massage ran in parallel with the development of medicine in ancient China.
Tui Na was and still is a form of massage that literally means push (Tu i) and grab (Na) and of which different forms exist. Often a method resembling shiatsu or pressure point massage was used. In other forms of Tui Na, the limbs and joints were manipulated.
Egyptian hieroglyphs describe the peripheral pulse and the mechanism of the heartbeat.
Long before Western man reached a level of culture that allowed him to spend his free time on games and sports, the idea of staying fit through exercise was already well established in East Asia. Almost five thousand years ago, the Taoist Priests and Monks in China established a close relationship between cult rituals and health exercises. They hoped to achieve the immortality of the soul this way. According to the Chinese priests, obstructions of the body organs were the cause of all diseases, and they tried to heal them with special breathing exercises, the so-called Kung-Fu. What emerged as "Swedish Gymnastics" in the beginning of the nineteenth century was already well established in China under the Emperor Huang Ti dynasty (2696-2598 BC). The resemblance of many Kung-Fu exercises with Ling Gymnastics is striking and to this day these exercises are still highly regarded in China.
Imhotep (2650-2600 BC), Pharaoh Djoser's (2680-2610 BC) visor and counselor was also a physician, author of medical work, high priest of Ptah and Ra and architect. Imhotep propagated feeling the pulse as one of the most important examiniations in medicine.
Notes about the pulse were found in the Nei Ching, a classic work on internal medicine, which many consider to be the bible of traditional Chinese medicine. The work was dedicated to Huang Ti (2696-2598 BC), the Yellow Emperor of China, but the author of the work remains unknown. Two specific and powerful approaches were important in diagnosing a disease: feeling the pulse and observing the patient. Breathing exercises were also prescribed as medicine.
Near the city of Saqqarah a bas-relief from the Egyptian VI ° Dynasty was found in Ankhamor's tomb on which two men clearly performed manipulation exercises on two patients. One massaged the foot, the other the hands.
According to this reproduction on papyrus roll, which is a duplicate of another Egyptian bas-relief, ancient Egyptians practiced massage techniques, in this case even reflexology. The Egyptians also used hot water baths and baths with flowers and oils to relieve painful conditions.
In the Indian Ayur Veda book, passive movements and body exercises were recommended, as well as massage by rubbing and washing the entire body.
In 1862, American Egyptologist Edwin Smith (1822-1906) discovered Egyptian papyrus rolls dating back to 1,600 BC, referring to the art of palpation and feeling the pulse. This showed that the ancient Egyptians knew the origin of the pulse and the pumping function of the heart as well. They were the first to suggest that air and blood came into the heart, and that the heart spread them over the rest of the body. The discovery of Edwin Smith described the following observations on the pulse and its relation to the heartbeat:
"... examining is like ones counting a certain quantity with a bushel, (or) counting something with the fingers , in order to know. It is measuring things with a bushel which -- one in whom an ailment is counted , like measuring the ailment of a man, in order to know the action of the heart . There are canals (or vessels) in it (the heart) to every member , Now if the priests of Sekhmet or any physician put his hands (or) his fingers upon the head , upon the back of the head upon the two hands , upon the pulse , upon the two feet , he measures the heart, because its vessels are in the back of the head and in the pulse ; and because its pulsation is in every vessel of every member. He says "measure" regarding his wound because of the vessels to his head and to the back of his head and to his two feet -- his heart in order to recognize the indications which have arisen therein ; meaning to measure it in order to know that is befalling therein . "
In the 'Atharveda', a collection of Indian hymns of about six thousand lines, attention was given to healing exercises used by priest/doctors in diseases along with magic spells and curses. Health and breathing exercises were also known among the Persians and Egyptians. But the true origin of sports medicine lie with the doctors of the old world, especially with the Greeks and Romans.