What is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is a sub specialty of the medical field that is somewhat confusing to some people. Because of the fact that sports is not medicine, it is a bit of a misleading term however the term is intended to represent the doctors and other medical staff who are in the practice of treating and diagnosing athletes and sports related injuries.
The professionals who are actively involved in the sports medicine field ranges from standard doctors, physical therapists, surgeons, and even athletic trainers and other similar careers. Sports tend to be a highly competitive field, and as such most emphasis is placed upon speedy as well as complete recoveries from any injuries. This could mean that an injury that would take normally 3 months to heal can be reduced to only 2 months using the appropriate sports medicine techniques under a qualified doctor’s care.
Most doctors who practice sports medicine treat athletes both professional, amateur and often children for the various injuries that occur while playing any sport imaginable. The human body is designed to quickly heal following most injuries if an appropriate treatment is followed, and sports medicine is intended to speed the recovery process as much as possible. Many sports medicine doctors are also actively involved in giving athletes preventive care as well which is designed to reduce the occurrence of many common injuries.
Doctors who are interested in sports medicine come from a wide range of fields including cardiology, orthopedic surgery, biomechanics and even pulmonology just to name a few. The exact specialty of the doctor is often quite focused while the majority of patients are all involved in sports in one capacity or another. The roll of the doctor is often to work with the athlete to adjust training procedures to reduce the risk of injury while increasing the skill level of the athlete as much as safely possible.
There are some sports medicine doctors who are specializing in treating female athletes while others will treat both female as well as male athletes. Deciding upon the best sports medicine doctor for your needs can involve meeting several doctors before finding someone whom you are comfortable with. Many athletes develop a close relationship with their doctor so that the best possible athletic results are achievable.
By working together with training coaches and other athletic professional’s doctors in the sports medicine field are able to help athletes achieve the best possible results performance wise, while still maintaining healthy standards in terms of overall health. Achieving spectacular sports results is often meaningless if the athlete is always injured in the process, or if the overall health is neglected and the athlete is unable to continue in their chosen sport.
As you can imagine, the number of athletes who only work with a single sports medicine doctor are very slim. Most athletes work with a team of doctors that comprise of various sub-specialties such as surgical, dietary, cardiogologist and anything else that may be needed. Each doctor is responsible for helping the athlete, and this helps to ensure that each doctor is well trained in their specialty. Using a single doctor as opposed to the entire team can greatly limit the options that you have for treatment.
However, while an entire team is generally used to treat patients in sports medicine, there is usually a general care doctor who is given the task of heading the team and sending each patient to the specific additional doctors that they need to see based upon their individual needs. This helps to avoid confusion, chaos and other problems from occurring. Over all sports medicine is a fascinating and very necessary field that most can agree is quite helpful for athletes.