The notion of ‘exercise as medicine’ is gaining traction worldwide our HPC sports doctors not only cater to professional or high performance athletes, they also take care of the health problems and the diagnosis of injuries and sufferings of amateur athletes or those people who perform physical and sports activities constantly, so they possess knowledge not only of traumatology and orthopaedics, but also of nutrition, psychology and sociology, this can offer athletes much more complete care than the mere treatment of their injuries, as well as determining when to channel them with another specialist.
Sports Medicine Professionals
Players may deal with many different types of medical personnel after an injury. Players also may be referred by their primary care doctors to a sports medicine doctor or other sports medicine specialists for further evaluation and treatment. The following is information about the most common sports medicine specialists.
Sports medicine specialist
- Exercise physiologists
- Athletic trainer
- Orthopedic nurse
- Physical therapist
- Sports psychologist
- Sports medicine nurse
- Primary care sports medicine physician
- Orthopedic surgeon
Primary Duties: An exercise physiologist analyzes a person’s medical history and current fitness level to determine an appropriate health and exercise regimen. This includes the administration of stress and fitness tests, monitoring of vital signs before and during exercise and designing a safe and effective exercise program. Exercise physiologists are most focused on cardiovascular health and metabolism.
Primary Duties: An athletic trainer supports the optimal athletic performance of an individual athlete or a team of Players. This includes recommending exercise and nutrition programs, modeling safe and effective exercise techniques, intervening early and effectively to prevent injury and timely recommendation of injury recovery techniques.
Primary Duties: An orthopedic nurse is a registered nurse that provides care to patients with musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. This includes conditions of arthritis, broken or fractured bones, osteoporosis and joint replacement. Their support can be in the form of psychoeducation, casting, pain management and or musculoskeletal exams. Orthopedic nurses also support orthopedic surgeons with surgery preparation and patients with post-operative recovery care.
Primary Duties: Kinesthiotherapists design, implement and monitor exercise programs for individuals recovering from an injury, with an emphasis on restoring strength and mobility. Some work with Players who are recovering from a specific injury, while others are generalists who support a range of injuries.
Primary Duties: A physical therapist assesses a patient’s current musculoskeletal functioning, diagnoses any issues requiring treatment and recommends corresponding treatment plans. This work focuses on helping patients recover from muscle, nerve or joint injuries, regain strength and range of motion and resume an active lifestyle. Physical therapists teach and model exercises for patients and provide active support until patients are able to execute the tasks independently.
Primary Duties: A sports psychologist helps Players develop and maintain mindsets and beliefs that are conducive to athletic success. This includes mental strategies for enhancing performance, coping strategies to prevent competition burnout, and patience and pain tolerance for injury recovery. Sports psychologists also work with coaches to create spaces that are challenging but fun for Players of all ages.
Primary Duties: A sports medicine nurse, typically credentialed as a nurse practitioner, supports the supervising physician in treating patients with torn ligaments, bone fractures, muscle strains, dislocation and more. This person may be responsible for obtaining the patient’s medical history, co-designing a treatment plan or educating the patient on effective recovery and injury prevention strategies.
Primary Duties: A physiatrist is a medical doctor that practices physiatry, also known as physical medicine. A physiatrist supports patients with pain and mobility issues. This career is similar to that of a physical therapist, but it usually requires more extensive knowledge of nerve, bone and muscle issues. The focus of physiatrists involves helping individuals restore physical functioning to improve their athletic performance and general quality of life. This includes mostly non-surgical treatment such as medication, exercise and other holistic options.
Primary Duties: A sports medicine physician focuses on injury prevention, diagnosis, non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation of Players and non-Players who are physically active. This includes providing training and information on nutrition and athletic conditioning, recommending physical or occupational therapy treatment and making “return to play” decisions.
Primary Duties: An orthopedic surgeon, or orthopedist, focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and surgical and non-surgical treatment of bone, joint, tendon and muscle disorders. Orthopedic surgeons are either generalists or specialists, with specialists focusing primarily on one part of the body such as the hip, wrist or shoulder.
The sports medicine industry is very diverse, with professionals performing a variety of job functions across equally diverse work environments.