Sports Physical Therapy

Sports physical therapy. What is this concept? It is actually all about sports medicine and physical therapy combined to ensure the good functioning of sportspeople, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cure of the possible injuries and conditions in sportspeople. To understand sports physical therapy you first must know and understand what sports medicine and sports medicine specialists focus on.

Sports medicine deals with preventing, diagnosing and treating the injuries caused by participation in sports activities. The accidents occurring in such activities harm joints, muscles and bones. This is why sports medicine is so much interrelated with physical therapy. Actually the sports medicine team is formed of physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, coaches, and very important physical therapists, beside the sportsmen themselves. Sports physical therapy contributes greatly to the innovations in the field and this is because of the rapidity in the nature of sports.

There is a pressure, due to the competition, which influences the style of work in sports physical therapy. The fast recovery of patients is essential in sports physical therapy. Sports medicine is quite difficult to define and categorize because it comprises more than one specialty. So far there has been a misunderstanding in perceiving sports medicine. People considered it only dealt with the physical injuries; as a matter of fact, it is a wider area that also involves fields and factors of psychological, environmental and physiological nature along with those related to the musculoskeletal system and ortopedic treatment.

Sports physical therapy involves a lot of other medical specialties and specialized workers such as: cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology, traumatology, ophtalmology, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, dentistry,biomechanics, rehabilitation medicine, etc. Sports physical therapy in the USA employs sports medicine specialists, either orthopedists or primary-care medicine specialists, who are usually the leaders of the medical team. The other components of the sports physical therapy team are physicians, surgeon specialists, physiologists, trainers, physical therapists, coaches and other personnel.

If you are a doctor interested to specialize in the field of sports physical therapy you will have to start with a basic residency program in family practice, emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or physical medicine and rehabilitation. The next step will be to obtain another 1 or 2 years of additional training in accredited fellowship subspecialty programs in sports medicine. There are additional forums you can attend to get expertise as a sports medicine specialist. Sports medicine, and implicitly, sports physical therapy, has been accepted as a subspecialty of the American Board of Medical Specialties only recently (the late 80s).

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