Sports medicine involves the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. A doctor who practices sports medicine already specializes in another medical discipline such as family medicine or orthopedic surgery. They must be Board Certified with one to two years of additional training related to sports medicine.
This branch of medicine is comprised of a team of medical professionals led by a physician including physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, and registered dieticians. Just as a group of athletes must work together, so must a sports medicine team in order to facilitate the best outcome for their patient.
Individuals who benefit from sports medicine include:
- Professional Athletes
- Children & Teens Participating in Sports
- Adults who Exercise for Personal fitness
When an athlete sustains an injury during a sporting match, a doctor who specializes in sports medicine will most likely treat them. A physical therapist will then work with that athlete to ensure they recover safely and effectively in order to return to their regular practice and tournament schedule.
Injuries treated within the realm of sports medicine are generally acute or due to overuse and do not require surgery. Examples include:
- Ankle Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Knee & Shoulder Injuries
- Injection Therapies for Osteoarthritis
Sports medicine involves so much more than treating and recovering from injuries. Additional goals include helping athletes:
- Maximize Performance
- Cope with Chronic Illness like Diabetes
- Understand Nutritional Education
- Implement Injury Prevention