There’s no question that exercising and competing in athletics is a great way to stay healthy, but sometimes when you exert pressure on your body, you can sustain an injury. Whether you have a concussion or a torn ACL, you’ll probably want to get back in the game as quickly as possible. Finding a reputable sports medicine clinic will ensure that you get the care and treatment you need to get your life back to normal.

Sports medicine involves any diagnosis, treatment, or pain management that occurs as the result of a sports or exercise injury. This could be a torn ligament, muscle spasm or cramp, tennis elbow, a strain or fracture, or any other type of injury. Sports medicine is generally covered under medical insurance but is a bit different than the kind of medicine practiced by your family doctor. Sports medicine recognizes these common injuries and experts will know how to treat them so that the patient can get back to their sports or exercise regimen as soon as possible.

A sports trainer is the first person involved in sports medicine. Trainers will work with your body and your family history to see what kind of exercise and diet will maximize your well-being. Trainers study medicine and parts of the body, but they also study nutrition and exercise and how these things affect the body. A sports trainer is the first person in sports medicine, because they are generally called on to prevent a sports injury.

In the event that you do experience a sports injury, the next person you’ll want to see is a medical doctor, or M.D. A legitimate M.D. will have completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited university and will take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) upon graduation. Once accepted into a medical school, the M.D. will complete their residency, where they learn to practice medicine under a professional, followed by an optional fellowship if they want to have a specialized area of medicine. Do not feel embarrassed to ask your medical doctor about their credentials, professional doctors will be more than happy to share this information with you.

A physical therapist will help to get the patient’s body back to normal. A therapist will get their undergraduate degree in either some sort of exercise science or sports therapy. They can then choose to go to grad school to complete their Master’s degree in physical education. Some therapists also go to school to get certified in medical massage as well.

If you’ve ever visited a doctor, dentist, or eye doctor, you might have seen their framed certifications or degrees hanging on the walls of the office. This way, they are showing you that they not only went to school and have the proper credentials, but that they are proud of their studies and skills. Before choosing the right sports medicine clinic, you should make sure these kinds of people are available and aren’t afraid to discuss how qualified they are.

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