The field of sports is one that attracts people from many different directions. Some want to become athletes, others want to manage facilities, others still want to be coaches, and so on. Then, there are those who are interested in sports medicine. However, even that is a huge and varied field. People like Dr James P Devellis are excited by this increase in interest in this particular field, and they want to make sure people understand how many different opportunities exist within it.
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine is a wide and varied field. It involves treating acute injuries sustained during sports, but also performing research into the cause and effect of injuries and coming up with new treatment methods. Ultimately, the goal is to bring knowledge together to avoid injuries and to increase healing time when they are sustained. Because any type of physical activity can lead to injuries, the field is incredibly broad. Some common types of injuries include:
- Sore muscles through overuse.
- Injured joints and broken bones.
- Strained muscles and backs.
- Minor impact injuries.
- Torn ligaments.
- Mental health problems.
Different Careers in Sports Medicine
With there being so many potential injuries to be sustained, there is a need for a variety of different specialists in sports medicine as well. Because of this, it has become a specialization within other medical fields. Some of the professionals who can specialize include:
- Physical therapists.
- Massage therapists.
- Athletic trainers.
- Personal trainers.
- Health and fitness specialists.
This is just a small sampling of the various careers that are available, and they also attract very different salaries. In fact, the salary range is from around $250,000 to $38,000 per year.
One of the key factors that influences salary expectations is the education that someone has received. A physician, for instance, will have completed a four year bachelor’s degree, followed by four years of medical school, followed by up to five years of residency. And that is often before they specialize in sports medicine! Someone like a personal trainer, however, only needs to complete a diploma, which can take as little as one year, and take an exam from an accredited body such as with the popular NASM certification or ACE certification. It is clear to see, from this, why there are huge salary differences as well.
The field of sports medicine is now so important that different associations exist to regulate it. This has given rise to different rules and regulations that someone must adhere to in order to work in the field. For physicians, this includes such things as having to have participated in research and holding membership of professional organizations to stay abreast of new developments. Generally, sports medicine specialists across the gamut of potential careers must keep their knowledge up to date by participating in regular continuous education credits.
If you want to be involved in the world of sports and athletics, a career in a field of sports medicine is within your grasps. It is an opportunity to do something meaningful, not just for the athletes you work with, but also with the community at large. Making sports enjoyable and safe, and promoting this, will be your main role after all.