For everyone from children playing Saturday soccer games to professional athletes to weekend warriors, every one of them considers themselves athletes. And if they are injured, they all want to get back onto the field or court as soon as possible.
The difference is that professional athletes have immediate access to sports medicine doctors, whereas everyone else must seek out these specialists. The good news is that this is such a growing field that sports medicine physicians are indeed accessible by everyone now.
A sports medicine doctor has received thorough education and training via medical school, followed by a residency for several years, and then a fellowship in sports medicine. Sports doctors also work very closely with physical therapists for the full treatment of their patients; it isn’t approached as a secondary function as it may be with other areas of medicine.
What Do Sports Medicine Physicians Do?
These doctors specialize in the musculoskeletal system and in treating traumatic and repetitive injuries that tend to happen to active people. Some of them work as team doctors for professional sports, Olympic teams, collegiate athletes, and youth sports.
Sports medicine doctors have experience in getting a player from the injured list back to the game as quickly and efficiently as possible. A sports medicine specialist knows how to accurately diagnose the severity of an injury with a physical exam, and how best to treat it swiftly and properly with physical therapists as part of the medical team.
Physical Therapists Have Advanced Medical Training
Physical therapists have earned a master’s degree or a doctorate in physical therapy. They take in-depth courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, so they are ready to help a patient rehabilitate as quickly as possible after an injury and get them back in the game.
The difference between sports medicine physicians and physical therapists is that therapists do not attend medical school, so they do not diagnose injuries. Rather, they treat injuries by way of exercise therapy, electrostimulation, and specific stretches to return that athlete to game-ready normal functionality.
Most physical therapy sessions for sports medicine last from 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on the type of athlete and the type of sport or activity the person participates in, the sessions may be performed twice a week or more. The sessions will continue until the patient reaches normal playing shape again.
Sports Medicine Clinic in San Antonio
A doctor on a sports team is trying to work as closely with the injured athlete to get them better, back to their peak level, and back in the game. The sports medicine specialist will work with the athlete’s physical therapist to ensure complete healing and recovery from an injury, without pushing the patient all the way to the point of pain.
If you are in the San Antonio area and you or someone you know is experiencing musculoskeletal pain or an injury, contact our dedicated team at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine today. Call us at (210) 692-7400 or request an appointment online, and get off the bench and back into the game.