Expert Care for Everyone | Torrance Memorial

Published on April 01, 2022

Expert Care for Everyone

Sports medicine primary care physicians treat all ages at all fitness levels

Female runner with knee pain

Primary care sports medicine physicians help patients improve performance, enhance overall health, prevent injury and maintain their physical activity throughout their lives. Shintau Lin, MD, Matthew Mejia, MD, and Jason Alvarado, MD, are Torrance Memorial Physician Network primary care physicians who specialize in sports medicine.

What is the focus of sports medicine?

Dr. Lin: Sports medicine focuses on the treatment and prevention of injuries and activity-related illnesses. We treat athletes and nonathletes, from young kids to the elderly. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a patient suffering from arthritis, we can help tailor a treatment program individualized to your specific needs. Our goal is to have you return to your personal activity level as quickly and as safely as possible.

Dr. Mejia: We treat patients with physical issues by offering specialized treatment and training. Primary sports medicine deals with acute and chronic injuries. We focus on helping patients improve athletic performance, recover from injury and prevent future injuries. The field focuses on musculoskeletal injuries and other aspects of sports medicine such as concussions, nutrition, exercise prescriptions and healthy lifestyle promotion.

How do you know when you need to see a sports medicine specialist?

Dr. Mejia: If you have a nagging injury or pain that’s not getting better, it's time. Our goal is to get each individual back to where they want to be, whether it’s walking 30 minutes a day, swimming or running a marathon.

Dr. Alvarado: While sports medicine practitioners dedicate a large amount of time to work with athletes and various sports teams, everyone can benefit from seeing a sports medicine specialist. I practice with two beliefs: All patients are athletes, and exercise is medicine. Besides treating and preventing injuries, we help our patients lead the healthiest and most active lives possible. If a patient is experiencing a problem that is limiting their mobility, ability to exercise or daily performance in any activity, it’s a good time to visit a sports medicine specialist.

When a patient sees a sports medicine specialist, what does treatment look like?

Dr. Lin: Your treatment program will be individualized based on the type of injury and your personal goals. Treatment can include rest, bracing, physical therapy, home exercise program, medication, injections, surgical referral and more.

Dr. Alvarado: In primary care sports medicine specifically, we concentrate on nonoperative treatment options, attempting to care for the injury while also taking into consideration all aspects of the patient’s health. The treatment course usually entails a thorough evaluation to accurately diagnose the injury followed by a plan for long-term rehabilitation, including an exercise program and physical therapy.

How do patients get the most from their treatment?

Dr. Lin: Come see us as soon as possible after your injury. The sooner we get started, the better. Some treatment programs will require significant work and dedication on the patient’s part. For example, physical therapy may involve sessions multiple days per week, and you will need to do exercises at home as well.

Dr. Mejia: The biggest factor is the patient’s commitment to the plan. This can be a long process, but staying true to the treatment plan will help each individual overcome the injury, recover faster and get back to doing the things he or she loves.

What do patients need to know about sports medicine?

Dr. Lin: We are primary care physicians who completed an additional fellowship in sports medicine to gain specialized training in the treatment and prevention of injuries. We treat patients of all ages and all activity levels, whether you’re a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior or someone interested in taking their first steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. Alvarado: Especially when attempting to return to sports or physical activity following an injury, it is important for patients to realize it is a process requiring commitment and determination. Every patient is different, and it is our job to find the most effective treatment course in each patient’s specific case. Most important of all, proper treatment is a combined effort between the patient and physician. We have the ability and resources to provide the patient with a well-rounded plan, but their input and efforts are required for maximum success. 

If you already have a primary care physician, you should continue in their care and discuss with them the benefit and/or need for a sports medicine consultation.

Torrance Memorial Physician Network Contact Information:

Jason Alvarado, MD 
824 E. Carson St., Suite 101 

Shintau Lin, MD
3640 Lomita Blvd., Suite 200

Matthew Mejia, MD
855 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Suite 102 Manhattan Beach
(Coming soon to the new El Segundo Medical Complex)