Sports medicine is a field of medicine that is specifically related to the treatment of sports conditions and sports-related injuries. Those involved in this field go through specialized training to help them further grasp some of the common issues associated with sports and physical injuries. It is becoming an increasingly popular field and the demand for sports medicine specialists is growing as the general population seeks to become more active.
While physicians are an important part of the sports medicine field, they are not the only ones involved in sports medicine. Others involved include nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches and sports psychologists. Depending on the specific field an individual is trying to get into, it may require a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree. Some may further wish to continue their education based on the competition for jobs.
The goal of sports medicine is to prevent injuries and optimize a healthy lifestyle. Once an injury takes place, the goal is to then make sure the injured person comes as close to a complete recovery as possible. In some cases, this may mean no noticeable loss of performance, but in others there may be a substantial loss.
Some doctors who already specialize in a form of medicine may further decide to specialize in this field. For example, an orthopedic surgeon, who is already a specialist, may decide to move into the field. As that physician works more with sports-related injuries, his or her skill in treating those injuries naturally grows as well. This could be very important, especially for professional athletes who are injured and depend on a good physician so that they can continue earning their living.
It should also be noted that sports medicine is not solely dedicated to professional athletes, even though that is what many people may think of when they hear the term. Many professionals work their entire careers without every seeing a professional athlete as a client. With the increasingly active lifestyles of individuals, sports medicine is becoming more important to the population in general.
In some cases, those with non-sports injuries will also seek out a sports medicine specialist, simply because the injury is of a type that would normally occur in sports. This especially applies to bone and ligament problems. Some of these injuries can be very difficult to deal with, and a specialist may be the best option available.