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You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.

Babe Ruth


Sports and exercise medicine includes:


  • injury prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation

  • management of medical problems

  • exercise prescription in health and in chronic disease states

  • the needs of exercising in special subpopulations

  • the medical care of sporting teams and events

  • medical care in situations of altered physiology, such as at altitude or at depth

  • performance enhancement through training, nutrition, and psychology

  • ethical issues, such as the problem of drug abuse in sport.


Because of the breadth of content, sports and exercise medicine lends itself to being practiced by a multidisciplinary team of professionals with specialized skills who provide optimal care for the athlete and improve each other’s knowledge and skills.17 The adage that a “champion team” would always beat a “team of champions” applies to sports and exercise medicine. This team approach can be implemented in a multidisciplinary sports and exercise medicine clinic or by individual practitioners of different disciplines collaborating by cross-referral.


The sports and exercise medicine team


The most appropriate sports and exercise medicine team depends on the setting. In an isolated rural community, the sports and exercise medicine team may consist of a family physician or a physiotherapist/physical therapist alone. In a populous city, the team may consist of:


  • physiotherapist/physical therapist

  • sports physician

  • massage therapist

  • exercise specialist for exercise prescription

  • athletic trainer

  • orthopedic surgeon

  • radiologist

  • podiatrist

  • dietitian/nutritionist

  • psychologist

  • other professionals such as osteopaths, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, biomechanists, nurses, occupational therapists, orthotists, optometrists

  • coach

  • fitness adviser.


In the Olympic polyclinic, an institution that aims to serve all 10 000 athletes at the games, the sports medicine team includes 160 practitioners (Table 2.1).

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 2.1

The clinical team structure for the preparation in advance of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games




The practitioners in the team have each developed skills in a particular area of sports and exercise medicine. There may also be a considerable amount ...

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