A Look At The Different Specialisation Options In Sports Medicine Part 2March 4, 2015
If you are considering a career in sports medicine, take a look at some of the rapidly growing specialties that you can choose from.
Physiotherapy involves using an array of physical techniques ranging from massage and exercise to manipulation, hot/cold therapy, and traction to assess, diagnose and treat injury, illness or disability. In addition to working with athletes and sports related injuries, physiotherapists also work with patients recuperating from surgery or from any other type of injury. You will need to complete master’s level education to work as a physiotherapist. If you are not interested in spending the additional years required to complete a master’s degree, you can instead choose to work in a support role such as a physiotherapy assistant.
- Orthopaedic Surgeon
Orthopaedic surgery is one of the highest paying careers in sports medicine but it also requires the most extensive training and education. Orthopaedic surgeons are skilled in treating the most severe sports related injuries and musculoskeletal issues. If you have the skills necessary to be a surgeon and can work well under pressure, this may be the specialty for you.
- Athletic Trainer
Certified athletic trainers are highly qualified health professionals who undergo specialised training in preventing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from any kind of physical activity. They are employed by schools, professional and collegiate sports teams, occupational settings, law enforcement, rehab clinics, military, hospital emergency rooms and physician offices.
A kinesiotherapist focuses on developing and monitoring exercise programs that are designed to help people regain muscle strength and function lost due to injury or disease. These exercise programmes could involve a combination of aquatic therapy, therapeutic exercises and the use of prosthetics/orthotics amongst others. Kinesiotherapists have advanced knowledge of anatomy and how each part of the body works by itself and together with other body parts. Part of a kinesiotherapist’s tasks includes assessing the individual’s mobility and strength, developing targeted personalised treatment plans, monitoring the patient’s progress, modifying the plan as and when necessary to achieve specific goals, guiding the patient in performing the exercises correctly and educating the patient on how to manage their impairment and prevent further injuries.
- Sports Psychologist
Succeeding in the highly competitive world of professional sports can be extremely stressful. To win, sportspersons require more than just superior physical skills and athleticism. They also need to have the mental strength to stay strong and motivated even when faced with challenging circumstances and extreme pressure. Sports psychologists are mental health professionals who specialise in the mental health needs of athletes. They help athletes stay motivated and offer suggestions that help them improve their performance and ease their anxiety and stress.
- Physiatrist or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist
A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) specialist or a physiatrist provide non-surgical care such as physiotherapy, injections and other treatments for less severe orthopaedic ailments. They usually work in conjunction with orthopaedic surgeons.
- Dance Movement Therapist
Dance therapy uses various dance forms to treat an array of physical as well as psychological problems. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification required to practice as a dance therapist. If dance is your favourite athletic undertaking, then a career as a dance movement therapist may be an ideal choice for you.