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Sports medicine jobs are available in several different areas, so people with degrees in related disciplines, such as kinesiology, exercise physiology, and physical therapy, have numerous options to pursue a career in the field. Advanced sports medicine jobs are available for physicians, including orthopedic and chiropractic doctors. Some jobs focus on athletic training and fitness coaching, while others concentrate on rehabilitation and prevention of sports-related injuries.
Those looking for a career in sports medicine with an emphasis on training and fitness have many available options. Degrees and certificates are available for athletic trainers, fitness instructors, and personal trainers. Sports medicine jobs that fall into this category are available in many different settings. Some individuals work at schools or gyms, while others run their own fitness-related businesses or work with professional or semi-professional sports teams.
Individuals with kinesiology or physical therapy degrees often work in rehabilitation clinics, though they can also be hired to work for a specific team or location, such as a college or university. These types of sports medicine jobs focus on healing sports-related injuries, such as sprains and fractures, but therapists also teach injury-prevention strategies and may provide orthopedic devices, such as braces or special elastic bandages, to help support weaker joints and bones to reduce the risk of injury.
Chiropractors and massage therapists also help with injury rehabilitation and prevention. While many chiropractic doctors and massage therapists do not concentrate on sports medicine, some choose to specialize in helping athletes with their unique physical problems and injuries. Massage therapists and chiropractors do not perform invasive medical procedures, but they can manipulate soft tissues and joints to help relax muscles and provide relief from sports-related aches and pains.
Some medical doctors choose to pursue specialties that allow them to work in sports medicine jobs. Orthopedic doctors who specialize in sports medicine diagnose and treat joint and bone problems that result from sports-related injuries or the continuous stress that is placed on many athletes’ joints. Some doctors specialize as primary care sports physicians, which means they provide routine care and check-ups to athletes.
Researchers in the field of sports medicine often have advanced degrees, though they may not be medical doctors. Sports medicine jobs in the research field often focus on the effects of certain movements, injuries, or medications as they relate to athletes. They may also evaluate the effectiveness of certain treatment methods or medical devices used to treat or stabilize injured areas. Researchers may also work in jobs testing sports-related equipment, such as helmets or padding, to ensure it is safe, effective, and fits properly.