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  • Writer's pictureShridhar Chiplunkar

What is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although most sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that sports medicine has emerged as a distinct field of health care.


There are many different types of sports medicine experts. They work together as a team to ensure the best recovery plan for the individual. The team can consist of an orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine primary care physicians, sports physical therapists, and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists.



Specializing in the treatment of athletes and other physically active individuals, sports and exercise medicine (SEM) physicians have extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine. SEM doctors treat injuries such as muscle, ligament, tendon and bone problems, but may also treat chronic illnesses that can affect physical performance, such as asthma and diabetes. SEM doctors also advise on managing and preventing injuries.


SEM consultants also deliver clinical physical activity interventions, negating the burden of disease directly attributable to physical inactivity and the compelling evidence for the effectiveness of exercise in the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of disease.


Exercise medicine: No existing group of medical specialists is equipped with the skills and training to deal with this challenge.


Public health: SEM physicians are frequently involved in promoting the therapeutic benefits of physical activity, exercise and sport for the individuals and communities. SEM Physicians spend a period of their training in public health, and advise public health physicians on matters relating to physical activity promotion.


Common sports injuries: Common sports injuries that can result in seeing a sports medicine specialist are knee and shoulder injuries, fractures, ankle sprains, concussions, cartilage injuries, and more. A sports medicine specialist can also be seen for advice in other areas of health, like nutrition, exercise, supplements, and how to prevent injuries before they occur. A sports medicine specialist works to help make the performance of the athlete more advanced, as well as ensuring their safety while performing the activity.


Athletic trainers: Athletic trainers are part of a sports medicine team, providing primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion, emergent care, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation to injuries. When an athlete is injured, an athletic trainer is key to treatment and rehabilitation working closely with the athlete throughout rehabilitation.

International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Sports Medicine (ISAKOS) The ISAKOS - International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine is an international society with over 4,000 surgeons members, dedicated to advancing of education, research and patient care in arthroscopy, knee surgery and orthopaedic sports medicine around the world.


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