Sports medicine is an area of medical practice concerned with the treatment of injuries resulting from athletic activities. A physician practicing sports medicine focuses on sports-related medical services. This may include preventative measures such as conditioning and injury prevention, as well as treatments such as osteopathic manipulation, rehabilitation or injections. Sports medicine physicians will often treat athletes with back pain due to strain and injury placed on the back from various sports including bicycling, weight lifting, running and golf.
Sports medicine healthcare providers have special training to restore function to injured patients so they can get moving again as soon as possible. They are experts in preventing illness and injury in active people. Sports medicine healthcare providers do work with professional athletes. But they also treat children and teens involved in sports and adults who exercise for personal fitness. Plus, they treat people who have physically demanding jobs, like construction workers.
Sports medicine is not a medical specialty in itself. Most sports medicine healthcare providers are certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, or another specialty. They then get additional training. Others specialize in treating injuries in children and teens, whose growing bodies can be quite different from those of adults. They are generally board-certified in pediatrics or family medicine with additional training in sports medicine. Some, but not all, sports medicine healthcare providers have surgical training too, usually as orthopedic surgeons.
Other experts who are not healthcare providers may work with a sports medicine healthcare provider to provide care: