What Is a Sports Medicine Specialist?
A sports medicine specialist is a highly trained physician specializing in the treatment and prevention of illness and injury. Their expertise lies in helping patients maximize their function and minimize disability and time away from sports, work, or school. These specialists undergo significant training and certification to provide specialized care.
Qualifications of a Sports Medicine Specialist:
- Board certified in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation.
- Completion of one to two years of additional training in Sports Medicine through accredited Fellowship Programs.
- Successful completion of a national Sports Medicine certification examination, earning a Certificate of Added Qualification.
- Commitment to continuous education and recertification every ten years to maintain expertise and stay updated.
What is the Difference Between a Sports Medicine Specialist and an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Both are well trained in musculoskeletal medicine. Sports medicine specialists often specialize in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.
Orthopedic surgeons are also trained in the operative treatment of these conditions. However, a large number of sports injuries are non-surgical. The Sports medicine specialist can maximize non-operative treatment, guide appropriate referrals to physical and occupational therapies, and if necessary expedite referral to an orthopedic/sports surgeon.
Common examples of musculoskeletal problems include:
- Acute injuries (such as ankle sprains, muscle strains, knee & shoulder injuries, and fractures)
- Overuse injuries (such as rotator cuff and other forms of tendonitis, stress fractures)
- Medical and injection therapies for osteoarthritis
Sports medicine specialists have also received specialized training in various aspects of sports medicine that go beyond musculoskeletal care. Some of these areas of expertise include concussions, illness, and nutrition.
Sports Medicine Specialists: Not Just for Athletes
Sports medicine specialists are not limited to treating athletes. They are also invaluable resources for individuals who want to become active or start an exercise program. Whether you're a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, or an industrial athlete, these doctors can apply their expertise to help you recover and regain full function as quickly as possible.
Schedule an Appointment With a Sports Medicine Specialist Near You
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