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What is Sports Medicine?

By Ken Black
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Sports medicine is a field of medicine that is specifically related to the treatment of sports conditions and sports-related injuries. Those involved in this field go through specialized training to help them further grasp some of the common issues associated with sports and physical injuries. It is becoming an increasingly popular field and the demand for sports medicine specialists is growing as the general population seeks to become more active.

While physicians are an important part of the sports medicine field, they are not the only ones involved in sports medicine. Others involved include nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches and sports psychologists. Depending on the specific field an individual is trying to get into, it may require a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree. Some may further wish to continue their education based on the competition for jobs.

The goal of sports medicine is to prevent injuries and optimize a healthy lifestyle. Once an injury takes place, the goal is to then make sure the injured person comes as close to a complete recovery as possible. In some cases, this may mean no noticeable loss of performance, but in others there may be a substantial loss.

Some doctors who already specialize in a form of medicine may further decide to specialize in this field. For example, an orthopedic surgeon, who is already a specialist, may decide to move into the field. As that physician works more with sports-related injuries, his or her skill in treating those injuries naturally grows as well. This could be very important, especially for professional athletes who are injured and depend on a good physician so that they can continue earning their living.

It should also be noted that sports medicine is not solely dedicated to professional athletes, even though that is what many people may think of when they hear the term. Many professionals work their entire careers without every seeing a professional athlete as a client. With the increasingly active lifestyles of individuals, sports medicine is becoming more important to the population in general.

In some cases, those with non-sports injuries will also seek out a sports medicine specialist, simply because the injury is of a type that would normally occur in sports. This especially applies to bone and ligament problems. Some of these injuries can be very difficult to deal with, and a specialist may be the best option available.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By ZsaZsa56 — On Dec 17, 2011

There are lots of sports medicine careers that offer generous pay and stable work. Sports is a huge business these days and often even high school sports teams will employ a professional training staff to look after the health of their athletes. When you think about all the college sports teams and then all the pro sports leagues you get a sense of how much work there is to go around.

But in order to get a good job you need a specialized sports medicine degree and many certifications. Competition for these jobs is stiff and the more you can do to set yourself apart as an exemplary trainer the better you will serve yourself.

By Ivan83 — On Dec 16, 2011

Sports medicine is more important and more advanced than every before. This is because athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than they have ever been before.

This places two demands on people who work in sports medicine. First, they have to figure out a way for these guys to push their bodies to limits never before possible. Training has become a very scientific activity and sports medicine pros are always developing new routines and supplements that can push the body further.

Second, because the level of play is so much higher the risk of injury is higher too. Big guys running full speed and crashing into things can lead to a lot of serious injuries. In order to protect the safety of the athletes and keep their bodies in shape to perform, sports medicine has to respond with expertise.

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