One of the inevitable downsides of being involved in competitive sport is that there are frequent visits to the medical suites at local hospitals. Because competitive sport inevitably leads to knocks and injuries and plenty of wear and tear, somebody has to keep the athletes patched together. But there are plenty of different medical professionals within the sporting ecosystem and it is important that the right ones are consulted for the right conditions. To help paint a clearer picture, here are a few of the key personnel that most sports-people will find themselves encountering at some stage of other.
1. When it is Serious
Hopefully, you will not find your sports career, be it professional or amateur, overly blighted by serious injury. But in the event that you do, you will almost certainly find yourself at some stage sitting in the waiting room of an orthopaedic surgeon. This is a doctor who is focussed on issues involving bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. While they are by no means exclusively focussed on sports injuries, any athlete who has ever done something serious like an ACL or a dislocation will probably find that they have been treated at some stage along with their recovery by one of these doctors.
2. The Physiotherapist
Most sports teams will have a physiotherapist as part of their medical entourage. The physio is often the person who gives the player’s muscle rubs and massages, but the reality is that they are qualified to do so much more. Physiotherapists have important roles to play in both the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation process. Physiotherapists will often treat muscle injuries with dry needling, massage or ultrasound treatments. Typically, they will also be involved in the warm-up and warm-down routines for the team as well.
3. Sports Medicine Specialists
In some places,sports medicine is a speciality in its own right, allowing doctors to focus on creating healthy and active people. In other places, it is regarded as a sub-speciality of things like orthopaedics or family medicine. While many professional sports teams have long employed the services of a sports physician, it is only in more recent times that the role has got its own specialist recognition.
4. Even Sports People Need Head Doctors
To perform at the highest-level sportspeople often need mental coaching and, in this regard, sports psychologists are very important. It is the role of the psychologist to help a team or player to overcome any mental obstacles that may be in their way, preventing them to focus or believe in what they are doing. A lot of what a sports psychologist will tell their client might seem obvious, but it isn’t always the case. In short, they coach mental toughness, helping athletes to focus on their health and the areas of performance that they are able to control and to ignore the areas that are beyond their control. Sports psychologists like to suggest that the definition of mental toughness is the ability to ignore that which is beyond the control of the athlete.