To many, the sight of a red-breasted robin is the first sign of spring. To others—mostly weekend athletes, many of them aging Baby Boomers who have been hibernating all winter—it is the first pulled hamstring or the first painful case of shin splints. There's good news for the latter group because a handful of books devoted to sports medicine, the science of treating and preventing sports injuries, are about to come to the rescue.

"We certainly see fitness books and sports-related health books increasing in popularity," observed Tami Booth, editor-in-chief of Rodale's Women's Health Books. "I don't think it's necessarily that our readers are more active. Instead, our active readers are getting older!"

"There are an incredible number of sports injuries in the U.S. each year," said Tony Lyons, publisher of Lyons Press and v-p of Globe-Pequot. It made sense that we publish a sports injury handbook."

Lyons Press will be publishing The Sports Injury Handbookby Hans Kraus, M.D. "This book explains both preventive medicine and what to do in a crisis," said Lyons, who is personally familiar with the topic. "I've torn my hamstring twice in the last three years, so I know how valuable the advice in the book can be. As the U.S. population ages, the number of sports injuries has been rising dramatically—and the need for books on the subject. Hans Kraus was an internationally known pioneer in the field of sports medicine who helped many top athletes as well as two presidents."

Rodale will be publishing The Joint Pain Prescription: 8 Weeks to Dramatic Decreases in Pain and Increased Flexibility—Naturally! by James M. Rippe, M.D. "We were excited about the potential of this title because it addresses this audience on a topic of high interest," said Booth. "Aging baby boomers are active, but many are faced with joint problems and pain associated with either general overuse or osteoarthritis. Recent statistics from the Arthritis Foundation tell us that over 40 million people in the U.S. have arthritis, and they estimate that 60 million will have arthritis by 2020." Booth predicted The Joint Pain Prescription will be a frontlist seller not just because there is a large demographic interested in the topic, but also because of its new information. "It includes the first breakthrough scientific study that shows how gelatin-supplementation can not only reduce joint pain, but also could possibly rebuild and restore your joints," she told PW. Rodale plans a first printing between 75,000 and 100,000 copies. Rippe, familiar to many from his frequent television appearances, will be participating in a 20-city drive-time radio/TV satellite tour, a national author tour and a national consumer advertising campaign.

Sleeping Bear Press in Chelsea, Mich., is renowned for its golf titles, but it, too, is becoming involved with sports medicine with the publication of The Awakening of a Surgeonby David Janda, M.D. "Dave Janda has more passion—and in this case it's for preventing sports injuries—than anyone I've ever met," said Sleeping Bear publisher Brian Lewis. "He has worked 12 years starting and building the Institute of Preventive Sports Medicine, and never received a penny."