Athletic trainers are health care professionals that coincide with a physician to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers treat a variety of patients, including: professional, college, secondary school and youth athletes, dancers, musicians and military personnel. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of locations including schools, physician clinics, and hospitals. 1,2
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals, of all ages, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives. 1
PT Scope of Practice
- Examining (history, system review and tests and measures) individuals with impairment, functional limitation, and disability or other health-related conditions in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention.
- Alleviating impairment and functional limitation by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions.
- Preventing injury, impairment, functional limitation, and disability, including the promotion and maintenance of health, wellness, fitness, and quality of life in all age populations.
- Engaging in consultation, education, and research.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. They also work with physicians and athletic trainers to further a rehabilitation program for an athlete. 1,2
Each health care professional has a specific set of certifications and scopes of practice that they must follow to ensure the safety of every athlete. Though all are similar roles, each has an important part in the sports medicine staff and cooperation between these roles is key to ensuring the athlete’s best interest.
2 Athletic Training., NATA., Retrieved from http://www.nata.org/athletic-training