There are many ways to get involved in sports medicine. This article includes some careers that people who are interested in sports medicine may pursue! The sports medicine field includes various professionals that focus on injury prevention and recovery. According to HealthGrades, “Whatever your reason for seeing a sports medicine doctor, choosing the right one is a very important and personal decision.”

1. Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers mainly focus on the prevention of injuries, how to treat those injuries, and the rehabilitation of the injuries. Athletic trainers are one of the most common, yet important parts of sports medicine. These trainers can be under direction, or in collaboration with physicians to be sure of no serious or surgical injuries.

Some services provided by athletic trainers include: primary care, injury and illness prevention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Furthermore, athletic trainers sometimes work during games or during the actual participation in the sports, and other times can be found during or outside of practices.

Although there is a large difference between athletic trainers and personal trainers, they are sometimes confused or mixed up. Athletic trainers follow more of a medical model related to sports injuries, whereas, personal trainers help the patient stay healthy and are assessed individually for workout plans.

Because of athletic trainers, many athletes are able to quickly and safely recover from injuries or are able to prevent many injuries from sports.

2. Exercise Physiologists

Exercise physiologists are an important part of the sports medicine world, and aren’t always understood or acknowledged for their work. Exercise physiologists analyze the patient’s fitness to improve or maintain flexibility, cardiovascular health, or body composition. On occasion, these physiologists receive their patients from primary care physicians who recommend them depending on the injury.

Exercise physiologists need around 4-6 extra years of education after college and then need to be specialized or certified. They then have a choice of location, according to job offers: doctors’ offices, governmental agencies, college/university athletic offices, or rehabilitation centers.

The job of an exercise physiologist calls on a lot of responsibilities which include (According to Exploring Health Careers): “closely analyzing a patient’s medical history to assess any potential risks, performing fitness and stress tests on patients to determine their strengths and limitations, measuring and monitoring patient vital signs, educating patients about their injuries and health conditions (possibly lung disease and diabetes), and teaching patients how to perform exercises safely and effectively.”

Overall, exercise physiologists have a lot to offer towards the health and safety of each athlete (usually in college or professional) and to make sure they maintain a balanced lifestyle.

3. Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons are devoted to helping athletes with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders in the bones, joints, ligaments, etc. Although they perform surgeries, many help with non-surgical sports injuries in addition to surgical cases.

Orthopedic surgeons are involved in many procedures and work to their best ability to treat their patients as quickly but smoothly as possible. Some cases include: sports injuries (in general), back pain, ruptured discs, spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel, hand arthritis, hand injuries, clubfoot, bow legs, hip dysplasia, achilles tendon injuries, foot & ankle injuries, and osteoporosis. Based on the many injuries above, orthopedic surgeons focus on the musculoskeletal system of the body.

Depending on the type of work particular orthopedic surgeons do, some may generalize the surgeries or cases they treat, where others choose to specialize in a certain area. There are many common sports injuries found in areas including the hip and knee areas, or foot and ankles that orthopedic surgeons treat.

Since orthopedic surgeons help immensely in the surgical area of sports injuries, they should be recognized and appreciated for all their incredibly hard and long work.


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