Sports medicine (also referred to as Athletic Training) and physical therapy are often used interchangeably. However, these two therapies aren’t exactly the same.
Athletic training, unlike physical therapy, deals solely with injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation specific to the athletic population. Where as, the clients with which physical therapy serves encompasses more than just athletes.
Athletic training professionals, also unlike physical therapists, are primarily providing acute and emergency care in settings where competitive sports and athletics take place (i.e. high schools, college/universities, professional arenas/fields, etc.).
Physical therapists will most likely not be seen in this setting, but in facilities that provide rehabilitative care, such as hospitals and private practices. Together, both of these health professionals work to provide quality interventions in order to help restore their patient’s athletic abilities, as well as, function.