Sport Medicine Physicians are specialist doctors that deal with the prevention and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise. They have completed medical school and then a specialist training program (i.e. Residency) in a discipline such as Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine. Following Residency, they do a Fellowship in Sport and Exercise Medicine to become certified and earn the designation Dip Sport Med.
The foundation of injury management begins with establishing a specific diagnosis for the problem. This may be accomplished with a physical examination in combination with imaging modalities such as X-ray, Ultrasound, and MRI. Once the specific diagnosis has been determined, treatment can be initiated. Treatments may include medications, injections, referral for therapy, or referral for surgery.
In addition to injury treatment, Sport Medicine Physicians also help manage medical problems like asthma or mental health issues that may affect performance or participation in exercise. They also help guide patients with exercise prescriptions to help with weight loss, to keep active during pregnancy, and to help manage chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Sport Medicine Physicians work in an integrated team that may include physiotherapists, dieticians, athletic therapists, coaches, massage therapists, chiropractors, and psychologists. Patients range from adolescents to elderly, and from weekend warriors to professional athletes.