Nearly all athletes are going to need to see sports doctors at some point or another. Athletes are going to experience some injuries in the field or during their practices. However, people should not just look at sports medicine in terms of addressing the problems that have already occurred. Ideally, sports medicine should be about preventing problems before they can occur. Many sports doctors specifically approach their field in that way. They will give athletes all sorts of tips on how they can improve their situation, allowing them to stay healthier for a comparatively long period of time.
There is a connection between sports medicine and physical therapy, given the nature of sports. It should be noted that ‘sports doctor’ is not a euphemism for ‘physical therapist,’ and a euphemism like that would not work in this day and age. A sports doctor is a physician with a medical degree and all of the usual training it takes to become a fully licensed medical doctor. They may have specialized in sports medicine, but they’re regular doctors in every other way.
The training to be a physical therapist is different. People specifically train to be physical therapists, and they do not need to attend medical school. A good portion of the training to become a physical therapist occurs on the job as well. However, the differences go well beyond the training aspect.
Physical therapy often involves massages and other non-invasive techniques that can get patients back to a state of health again. People usually see physical therapists following an injury, and seeing a physical therapist is part of the healing and rehabilitation process for them. Seeing a sports doctor is more about maintenance in many cases. Sports doctors can help people with recurring aches and pains and some of the chronic problems with being an athlete. Athletes will hopefully see sports doctors more often than physical therapists.
Some sports are more dangerous than others. Contact sports like American football, for instance, are going to cause people to get injured on a regular basis. Sports doctors can really help a lot of American football players through those injuries, allowing them to diagnose certain problems that might have occurred. They might be able to recommend certain training techniques or new regimens, but there is only such much any of them can do with certain rougher sports.
In other sports, injuries are less common. Sports doctors will recommend supplements, new forms of training, and others means of preventing the injuries that do occur. Athletes can injure themselves during training, of course, but this is less likely to happen. Sports doctors might tell athletes that they’re training too hard and give the right recommendations before other problems can arise.
Athletics are not without their risks. Sports doctors are not going to shame athletes for being willing to accept those risks in advance, knowing that this is what they’re passionate about and this is what they want to do right now. However, sports doctors can make the journey safer and easier.Learn More