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Sports medicine

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An Athletic Trainer provides treatment for an injury

Sports Medicine is the field of medicine that focuses on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sports related injuries. Specialist in Sports Medicine work with athletes and non-athletes to give them the best overall health possible. Herodicus, who lived in 480 BC, was considered to be the first teacher of Athletic Medicine. The Greeks were among the first to use Sports Medicine. Athletics were a major part of life and entertainment in Greek culture thus they had to stay in top physical condition. Hippocrates who lived in 460 BC was majorly accredited with the development of medicine. There are many different careers in Sports Medicine such as Sports Medicine Physician, Athletic trainer, Exercise Physiologist, Dietitian/Sports Nutritionist, Physical therapist, and Strength and Conditioning Coach.


Sports medicine is the practice and study of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries caused by sports. It also focuses on training methods such as exercises and specific workouts, nutrition, and sports psychology. [1] One of the main goals of sports medicine professionals is helping individuals achieve good health. [2] They usually work with injuries to the joints, muscles and bones. Now they are becoming more specialized in cardiac and lung procedures. [3] Traditionally sports medicine was for colleges, professionals, and Olympic athletes. Today, the sports medicine team specialists work with non-professional athletes and also with those that are participating in physical activities. All the jobs in Sports Medicine work together as a team in order to better understand and ultimately improve the health of a specific person.[4] Some Sports Medicine specalists work with sports team, at schools, in hospitals, and in private clinics.


There are many specific careers in Sports Medicine. Here are some examples of the most popular jobs.

Sports Medicine Physician

A Sports Medicine Physician promotes fitness and wellness to both athletes and non-athletes.They care for sports-related and general medical needs of athletes. They help prevent injuries and illness, and try to get the patient back to full function as quickly as possible. They educate on injury preventions, and work with athletic trainers, physical therapists, and personal physicians to plan the care and rehabilitation of patients. [5] The average salary for a Sports Medcine Physician is $235,045 a year. [6]

Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers help with the prevention and treatment of injuries for athletes. Their job consists of prevention, assessment, treatment, and the rehabilitation process of musculoskeletal injuries. Athletic Trainers work under a licensed physician meeting with them often to discuss treatment methods. They work either in a hospital setting or with a sports team. In a hospital setting there hours remain consistent, but with a sports team their hours very because they must be with the team for all practices and games. [7] The average salary for an Athletic Trainer with a bachelors degree is $39,096 a year. [8]

Exercise Physiologist

Exercise Physiology is the study of how the body reacts to physical activities. They focus on how physical activity affect the cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and musculoskeletal system. [9] They create an exercise program and run medical tests under the supervision of a physician. They interview those that are going through the exercise program and obtain important information regarding medical history and the progressive results through the program. [10] As well as how the body reacted to the exercises during and after the completion of the program. The average salary is around $40,000 a year. The more experience they have, the more the salary increases.

Dietitian/Sports Nutritionist

This boy is undergoing physical therapy to learn how to walk

A Dietitian/Sports Nutritionist finds what the best foods and drinks are for individual athletes. This helps an athlete's overall performance in there training and competition. With the help of a Sports Nutritionist the athlete is able to obtain better general health and immunity, higher energy levels, growth and body composition, and a faster recovery. They research the recent discoveries made by scientist, that have been found to help the body run at peak condition. Understanding the effects of carbohydrates and proteins on the body during workouts are very important. [11] The average salary for a Dietitian/Sports Nutritionist is $46,980 a year. [12]

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists restore, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit the permanent disabilities that would from an injury. They help to restore and maintain overall fitness and health. They work with a variety of people from those involved in an accident to those with arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. They usually work in a hospital or private clinic. The average salary for a Physical Therapist is $74,410 a year. [13]

Strength and Conditioning Coach

A Strength and Conditioning Coach provides a training plan for athletic teams to improve their overall performance in a specific sport. They create weight room and conditioning programs for the athletes based on their weaknesses, to increase their strength and speed. This is a relatively new career but because of the discovery of new training methods athletes have been able to increase there overall performance in sports. The average salary for a Strength and Conditioning Coach is around $30,000 a year.


A master of science in sports science is the most common path to careers in Sports Medicine. It involves a four year undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine, Exercise Science, or any career that Sports Medicine offers. Followed by two years of graduate school. [14] Schooling varies by what career is chosen. Colleges that have Sports Medicine departments offer classes and training in clinical practice, healthcare, and physical education. They also offer foundational courses in anatomy, physiology, psychology, chemistry, physics and biomechanics. After obtaining a bachelors degree students can go onto graduates school to specialize in a specific career such as Athletic trainer, Physical therapist, and Sports Medicine Physician. [15]


Physical Therapy in the 1950's

The Greeks were among the first to use Sports Medicine. Athletics were a major part of life and entertainment in Greek culture. Herodicus who lived around 480 B.C. was the first teacher of Athletic Medicine. Hippocrates who loved around 460 B.C. was accredited majorly with the development of medicine. He spent a lot of his time getting athletes ready for competition and treating their injuries. Aristotle who lived around 340 B.C., was another of many physician. The Greeks saw athletics as more than a sport, they built physical activity and training into a daily routine. In 150 A.D., Clautius Galen moved to Rome and became a huge leader in Sports Medicine. He was a physician for the gladiators. In the 1600's William Harvey discovered and described blood flow and circulation. Later A.V. Hill, an English physiologist, won the Noble Prize for all his work in muscle physiology and was considered to be the "First Exercise Physiologist." Two men studied under A.V. Hill named Bruce Dill and Joseph Wolfe. Together they established the Harvard Fatigue Lab, which was the very first exercise physiology lab in the US. In 1954, Joseph Wolfe went on to create the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). [16]

In 1913, Sports Medicine continued to grow in Dresden, Germany. At this time a laboratory was dedicated to Sports Medicine. The sports professionals of that time saw the need to promote the idea of Sports Medicine and during the Winter Olympics in St Moritiz, Switzerland in 1920, the Association International Medico-Sportive (AIMS) was founded. Their main purpose was to cooperate with the international sports federations and the Olympic Committee to provide the best medical care possible for the athletes that were competing in the Summer and Winter Olympics. During the Summer Olympics, in 1928, the first AIMS International Congress of Sports Medicine was held in Amsterdam. Over 280 sports physicians, from twenty different countries, came to the meeting. They studied many of the athletes and collected anthropometric, cardiovascular, physiological, and metabolic data about the individual athletes. In 1933, at the second meeting in Italy, AIMS changed there name too FIMS Federation Internationale Medico-Sportive. FIMS continues to grow as a community of sports medicine specialists. They research and practice the latest techniques in medicine to better help athletes. [17]

See Also


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