Types of Sports Medicine People Need To Know

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Sports medicine is a broad field that focuses on the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, sports medicine professionals prepare athletes for competitions by optimizing their physical performance using the latest scientific data.

Due to the variety of services offered by sports medicine, there are many sub-areas in which members of the health professions complete different training courses.

This article covers different types of sports medicine that specialize in different injuries and physical disabilities.

The different types of sports medicine

1. Sports physician (orthopedist)

Orthopedic sports medicine specialists go through several training phases. After completing their medical studies (4 years) they specialize in orthopedic surgery, which takes 5 years, followed by a 1-year additional training in sports medicine.

These healthcare professionals receive certifications from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the Sports Medicine Subspecialty Boards.

Here are the following conditions that are treated by a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon:

  • Deformities of the limbs and spine (e.g. scoliosis)
  • Gait abnormalities (limp)
  • Fractures
  • Apophysitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Sprains and strains
  • Dislocations
  • Ligament injuries
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Cartilage injuries


2. Certified sports trainers

A certified athletic trainer (ATC) usually works with schools and local teams. He / she is usually the first person to assess an injury; They help with injury assessments, first aid, rehabilitation, and referral to doctors.

To become an ATC, one must complete a 4 year college degree in athletic training and undergo a lengthy certification process.

3. Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists help patients recover from their injuries. These professionals have at least a bachelor’s degree; However, many have masters or PhD degrees to manipulate the musculoskeletal system.

Physical therapists can use electrical stimulation, massage therapy, ultrasound waves, and manual therapy to treat various injuries. They work closely with doctors to create personalized training programs to prevent injuries and treat musculoskeletal problems.

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Some physical therapists are also certified as athletic trainers so they can offer both services.

4. Podiatrists

Podiatrists specialize in foot problems. You will receive a 4 year postgraduate doctoral training followed by a 2-3 year residency.

Podiatrists are trained in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle problems using surgical and non-surgical methods. They also use X-rays to identify bone injuries. Once the problem is diagnosed, podiatrists may prescribe medication and / or physical therapy to address the problems affecting the foot.

Take away message

Sports medicine is a broad field that uses a variety of techniques and methods from various health professionals to prevent injury and treat active lesions.

We hope that this article has succeeded in introducing the different types of sports medicine and their cases.

Dr. Crawford Sports Medicine Surgeon

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