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sports medicine vs physiatrist

If you're suffering from a sports-related injury, you might be wondering if you should see a physiatrist or a sports medicine physician. While both specialists specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, their primary focus is different. A sports medicine physician specializes in non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. A physiatrist will examine the whole body and not just the individual injury. Ultimately, though, it's still necessary to visit a physiatrist if you're suffering from a sports-related injury.


Physiatrists specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation

Physiatrists treat medical conditions related to the body's movement, including neurological and orthopedic disorders. They often lead interdisciplinary teams of medical professionals that work together to improve the patient's quality of life and restore maximum health. Physiatrists are some of the fastest-growing and most comprehensive fields of medicine. Here are some of the key skills physiatrists must possess.


Physiatrists are fully trained medical doctors who complete a residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They have extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders and use a combination of physical therapy, medication management, and a variety of other treatments to help their patients regain optimum function. Physiatrists may also specialize in pain management, stroke and spinal cord injury care, neurological rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation, and hospice & palliative care.

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Sports medicine physicians specialize in non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions

A sports medicine physician is a specialty medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and non-operative treatment of musculoskelatal injuries. While 90% of injuries sustained during sports do not require surgery, they may be able to expedite the referral of patients to orthopedic surgeons and supervise rehabilitation. Sports medicine physicians also specialize in the non-musculoskeletal side of sports medicine, which includes treating such conditions as exercise-induced asthma and diabetes in competitive athletes.


Many people who lead active lifestyles prefer non-operative treatments when their condition is serious or requires surgery. In order to minimize the recovery time, many sports medicine physicians are now offering minimally invasive procedures that don't restrict their patient's mobility. Some of these procedures are called stem cell injections and can replace drugs and surgery. Some patients opt to avoid surgical procedures altogether if they find that stem cells are a better choice.


Physiatrists can help with function recovery

Physiatrists are trained to improve function and reduce pain in athletes and other patients who suffer from physical injuries. They are skilled in developing personalized treatment plans for a patient's injury, working with a team of medical experts and physical therapists to provide the right combination of therapy and non-operative treatment. These doctors focus on non-operative care, which is less invasive and less taxing on the body than surgery. They also work closely with physical therapists to develop exercise programs and assist with rehabilitation after surgery.


A physiatrist is a board-certified physician specializing in physical medicine. They often deal with injuries to the muscles, joints, bones, and ligaments of the musculoskeletal system. Their expertise in movement, gait analysis, and nerves makes them excellent candidates for the job. Physiatrists also have extensive knowledge of sports-related injuries and can identify problems that other physicians miss.

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