Sports medicine – what is it and why is it important? Undoubtedly, human beings are athletic creatures. Because of this, injuries are inevitable. When it comes down to it, sports injuries run the gamut – from sprained ankles to broken bones. More and more, doctors are realizing that sports medicine is a vital field, especially as we gain in-depth knowledge of the trauma sustained. For instance, football players are showing more and more signs of traumatic brain injury as a result of crashing into other player’s helmets, so sports doctors and researchers are trying to find new ways to keep them safe on the field. And due to this burgeoning demand for sports medicine professionals, there are a plethora of jobs available. Here are five exciting careers in sports medicine.
- Sports nutritionist. Athletes need a very specialized diet. In fact, each and every sport requires a unique regiment of vitamins and nutrients to build up muscles and energy. As a sports nutritionist, it will be your responsibility to devise a customized nutrition plan for athletes. In the world of sports, it is all about the game and the competition – and for that matter, winning. So, a healthy and well balanced diet is a critical element in the overall formula for athletic success.
- Personal trainer. As a personal trainer, you will be working one on one with athletes to help build muscle mass and stamina. If you work with a professionally competing athlete, you may be doing a lot of traveling. In fact, you may be spending every single day with a certain athlete to help stretch muscles and to make sure he or she is ready to compete. As a personal trainer, you may also be working for an entire team of athletes – it’s just a matter of what you are willing to take on.
- Sports physician. As a sports physician, you will be working with athletes in a clinical setting. You will have an in-depth knowledge of not only human physiology, but also the athlete’s physiology. When it comes down to it, an athlete’s body is built a lot differently from everyday people, so it is important to know exactly how to treat certain sports related injuries and other issues that may be afflicting the athlete and getting in the way of his or her ability to compete in the game.
- Rehabilitation therapist. Sometimes, a certain sport can really take its toll on an athlete. Eventually, muscles start to give out and bones can break. However, some of these injuries can happen right in the middle of a player’s career, which requires intensive physical therapy. As rehabilitation therapist, you will usually be working at some type of sports medicine and orthopedic center with multiple patients in your caseload.
- Orthopedic surgeon. Bones break – with enough force. However, most people aren’t in a situation where their bones can break at any moment – athletes are. This is the reason why an orthopedic surgeon is so important. At the end of the day, a qualified orthopedic surgeon could be the difference between getting back in the game or retiring early, which is oftentimes an athlete’s worst nightmare.