What is “Sports Medicine?” What’s the difference between Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy? Orthopedics?
Consider a Sports Medicine doctor the foremost expert on your injuries and ailments; the person that diagnoses and plans your best road to recovery, which might include Physical Therapy or Orthopedic Surgery.
- Orthopedics are trained in and focus on surgery. While SPARCC has a great relationship with Tucson’s best Orthopedic groups and will refer to them when necessary, we encourage exploration of non-operative treatment and therapy as a first option.
- Many people confuse Physical Therapy with Sports Medicine. In reality these two professions also work together to comprise a complete care team. Sports Medicine is an MD Specialty (read: 4 years Medical School, 4 years residency, and in the case of our docs, additional years of training, fellowships, and research). Physical Therapists might be considered the front-line talent: The ones working hands-on with patient until full recovery under direction of Sports Medicine Physician.
- Sports Medicine specialists are thus the best-bet first stop for injured persons. They are best equipped to plan the best path forward toward recovery. Exceptions to this rule are very simple injuries (pulled muscle, etc), where a patient best go straight to Physical Therapy.