A sports medicine doctor may also be called a sports doctor, and he or she is a specialist in the treatment of injuries that are caused by athletic activity. Additionally, a sports medicine doctor can work with athletes to help them develop strategies that prevent injury. Some sports doctors work directly for an athletic team, traveling with them to competitions and working with them during practices at home.
Many of the injuries experienced by athletes include bones, joints, and muscles, so sports medicine doctors will likely be especially knowledgeable about these types of ailments. Like any doctor, however, they will have a well-rounded medical background that encompasses more than just their sports medicine specialties. In addition to orthopedics and related subjects, some sports medicine doctors will have extensive training in the areas of cardiac, circulatory, and respiratory health and rehabilitation.
These doctors will usually have a primary specialty in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and will then gain and additional one to two years of sports medicine training. Sports medicine doctors will generally work with non-operative treatments for sports injuries, while orthopedic surgeons are more likely to conduct surgeries in the same arena.
Athletes may find they have need for a sports medicine doctor when they are faced with:
- Sprained Ankle
- Nutrition Guidance
- Exercise to Enhance Fitness
- Muscle Strains
- Stress Fractures
- Head Injuries
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