Have you heard of the term Sports medicine? Do you know what it means?
Sports Medicine is defined as all medical aspects surrounding the areas of sport and exercise. At a broad level it involves the medical team, coaches, and athletes. The field of sports medicine began to develop in the early 20th century, and today it is a very popular specialized approach of medical care. And sports medicine is not just for those individuals who compete at a professional level. Today, more than ever, individuals are involved in sport and exercise regardless of their age, gender, and capability.
Are you interested in a career in Sports Medicine?
Before pursuing a career in Sports Medicine, a variety of educational classes and degrees must be considered. Depending on the discipline of study, formal education can range from 2-3 years to 10-12+ years and include internships. But the learning doesn’t stop once a degree is attained. Techniques and treatments are continually changing, advancements are introduced, and continued education is important for all professionals.
The following fields of professions fall under the sports medicine umbrella:
- Physical Therapist
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Athletic Trainer
- Primary Care Physician with Sports Medicine specialty
- Orthopedic Surgeon
- Physician Assistant
- Exercise Physiologist
- Strength & Conditioning Specialist (strength coach)
- Sports Nutritionist/Dietitian
- Sports Psychologist
- And many more…
Taking a closer look at the ProEx Sport Medicine Professionals
At ProEx Physical Therapy, we employ Physical Therapists (PT) and Athletic Trainers (AT) in our eight clinics located throughout New England. A Physical Therapist’s primary role in the Sports Medicine team is rehabilitation, prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of injuries. Our physical therapists get extensive training focused on treating patients before and after surgery along with the management of all outpatient orthopedic conditions. Physical Therapists are required to have an entry level physical therapy degree with most colleges now offering a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) as their entry level degree. Once a degree is attained, a PT must pass the National Licensure Examination and then apply for State licensure in the state they wish to practice in.
Our Athletic Trainers are trained in skills to prevent, assess, and treat athletic injuries. ProEx AT’s also have an entry level degree and are all nationally board certified and state licensed. AT’s are a major component of the ProEx Sports Medicine umbrella.
The key to any successful Sports Medicine Program…Communication!
ProEx Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers are committed to working closely together with the athlete’s Physicians to provide optimal care. The athletic trainers work with sport teams at high schools and various athletic organizations, attending sport practices and events. In the event of an injury, athletic trainers are available onsite to assist with the emergency management, initial evaluation, injury assessment, and referral (If necessary) of the injured athlete to a physician. The physician would perform an evaluation and order any tests necessary for diagnosis (e.g. x-ray, MRI). Once a diagnosis has been determined, the next step would be for the physician to set a plan of care for treatment of the injured athlete, which could include undergoing surgery and/or attending physical therapy. The key to ProEx Physical Therapy’s successful Sports Medicine program is maintaining an open dialogue with physicians/surgeons and the athletic trainer during a patient’s rehabilitation phase with the ultimate goal of returning the athlete to sport in a safe and efficient manner. After the patient has progressed through physical therapy and is cleared by the physician to begin playing sports, the athletic trainer will work closely with the physical therapist and coaches while overseeing the athlete’s return to activity. To find a ProEx Sports Medicine Specialist, click here http://proexpt.com/content.php?l=66