The field of sports medicine focuses on injuries sustained while someone plays sports, as well as on illnesses caused by various athletic performances. The field is heavily funded at present, and people like Dr James Devellis MD have taken the opportunity to research it, discovering a wealth of new information on the subject. Interestingly, one question many still feel that it is hard to define what sports medicine means in terms of actual practice. Yet, it is now clear that there are some key aspects to the field.

Key Aspects of Sports Medicine

There are two key areas of focus relating to the practice of sports medicine. Those are:

  1. The treatment of disorders, injuries, and illnesses.
  2. The prevention of illnesses and injuries, done mainly by promoting proper planning and preparation of athletic endeavors, while at the same time researching factors that can cause problems.

Sports Medicine Practitioners

In the past, athletes would simply receive care from the team physician, who were often family doctors or other such practitioners. While these physicians did often start to focus specifically on athletes, be they professional or amateur, they were still general practitioners. Today, however, there has been a metamorphosis in terms of what sports medicine is, and it has become a highly defined field of practice. Today, a sports medicine physician is trained in specific areas such as:

  • Biomechanics
  • Athletic training
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise physiology
  • Sports psychology
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition

Consumer Groups

Sports medicine has not just benefited athletes, but also a number of consumer groups. The main consumer groups that have been able to develop their own practices thanks to advances in the field of sports medicine include:

  1. Physical therapists, who can provide their patients, whether athletes or not, with better care by implementing elements of sports medicine. It is common for physicians in sports medicine to also qualify as athletic trainers, for instance, enabling them to work with coaches, exercise physiologists, and team physicians.
  2. Research specialists, with various studies now being conducted into the benefits of this field of medicine. Those with a focus on biomechanics can now find work outside of clinical settings, moving into research facilities. This, in turn, has enabled the field itself to develop more rapidly.
  3. Corporate entities and individuals, found in commercial settings. Thanks to sports medicine, people within the corporate world have better ergonomic tools and settings and are safer at work. Furthermore, programs have been developed to increase levels of fitness for workers, for instance through exercise programs and even desktop workouts.

There are various other professionals who benefit directly from the field of sports medicine, including, obviously, athletes. Others include health workers, people with acute ailments and diseases causing physical disabilities, and centers for the disabled. This is mainly due to the fact that sports medicine is so closely related to physical therapy, although it goes beyond that and focuses more strongly on sports movement. Athletes suffer from very specific injuries while at the same time being very healthy, and this can act as a type of model for other people.