Friday, February 20, 2015

Differences in the Sports Medicine Staff

Differences in the Sports Medicine Staff
In honor of National Athletic Training Month coming up in a few weeks, this blog is being written to talk about one of the most common mistakes the public makes in confusing the roles of the Sports Medicine Staff. There are numerous amounts of health care professionals that can make up a sports medicine staff, but the ones that are mixed up the most are athletic trainers, physical therapists, and personal trainers.   

Athletic Trainers

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

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.

Personal Trainers

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.


1 Link, A., What’s the difference between a personal trainer, athletic trainer, and physical      therapist. (2011). ACE., Retrieved from

2 Athletic Training., NATA., Retrieved from


  1. Chelsee,

    This was a GREAT read. Most people do get the above three positions mixed up with each other. Athletic trainers can seem like physical therapists because they see the athlete more than anyone. Athletic trainers know their athletes, their injuries, and their history. Physical therapists are with the athlete a short amount of time and they usually don't interact with the athletes like an athletic trainer would. Being apart of the team between therapists and trainers is extremely important though. You all have one thing in common and that is the athlete and their best interest.

    Very factual and educational!

  2. Thank you for this valuable information, I have bookmarked your site for future and further references.
    I have some relevant information you can review below.
    Apotheke Langenhagen

  3. The medical staffs related with sports have a broad understanding of sports medicines, sports injuries and exercise prescription to maintain a healthy and disease free states. They also provide all the key points related to the musculoskeletal and sports injury, and the best way to prevent and treat diseases. Here, the blog provides a detail information about the sports medicine staffs and their basic responsibilities. The viewers can easily analyze their sports injuries and consult with the right medical staff for their issues. All the medical staffs have their own set of knowledge to deal with different types of sports problems and injuries.
    Court Surfacing

  4. Having some Physical therapists are consider as a great factors for injury treatment like sports injury. Some Chiropractic were trying to develop this methods for their patients for efficient recovery from pain due to injury.