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What is sports medicine?


It is not uncommon to hear sports medicine being only associated with sports injuries and at the most, sports psychology. Sports psychology has recently seen a lot of publicity as the determining factor in successful athletes. But this is a limited if not erroneous definition of sports medicine. The health of an athlete is broader than the general health of an ordinary individual.

Sports medicine is aptly defined as the practice (and study) of all the general medical principles related to sports. This encompasses the different broad domains of sport; sports injury diagnosis, treatment, injury prevention, and even performance related aspects. One need not be viewed as a physician in the general sense of the word as it is now a specialist field in medicine.

Though they are often deemed necessary only during injuries, sports medicine practitioners are required for both consultancy and delivery of their services. This includes both physical and mental preparation before matches or contests. Every top performing athlete or sportsman will either be affiliated to one or have a personal one. Due to the team nature of the sporting fraternity, these professionals will usually serve a whole team.

Sports medicine practitioners have to undergo specialized training for months or years depending on the certification levels. In truth, these specialists will have diverted from mainstream medical domains. Former orthopedics are a common lot among sports medicine practitioners perhaps owing to their experience in dealing with joints and spines. Nevertheless, other medical professionals have also ventured into this field.

These professionals are involved in the entire sportsmen’s itinerary. This means that they conduct fitness tests, give general advice on the proper exercises to be performed, and draw the nutrition plans for all the team athletes. They also involved in what is referred to as preventive medicine, a critical part of sports medicine.

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