What is sports medicine?
Sports medicine is a field dedicated to treating and preventing injuries related to sports and exercise. Athletes of any level of skill or professionalism can benefit from sports medicine.
Sports medicine is not a board-certified medical specialty, and most healthcare professionals in sports medicine are actually certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, orthopedics, or another specialty. They then receive additional training in sports medicine.
A sports medicine team may consist of a physician, certified athletic trainer, physical therapist, or registered dietitian. The team works together to return their patients to physical activity as soon as possible.
Some common injuries treated with sports medicine include:
- Ankle sprains
- Eating disorders
- Knee and shoulder injuries
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Cartilage injuries
- Heat illness
Why is sports medicine important?
Sports medicine is a beneficial medical field for anyone who has been injured due to high activity levels. This can include children or adults playing a sport or professionals who work in highly physical fields.
An additional benefit of sports medicine is that it can help patients recover from sports injuries and quickly return to their routine physical activity level. Beyond treating injuries, sports medicine also supports healthy nutrition and injury prevention.