Sports Medicine Occupations: Physical Therapy

When thinking about Sports Medicine, many career opportunities come to mind. From chiropractors to personal trainers, sports medicine is involved in many occupations. One occupation I am particularly interested in is being a physical therapist. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, a physical therapist’s tasks varies in many areas, but their main goal is to “help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain.”

Therapists work to rehabilitate and treat patients with chronic conditions or IMG_5249injuries through exercises that target problem areas such as the knee, back, shoulders, etc. Patients can range from athletes to accident victims. Anyone can benefit from meeting with a physical therapist once in a while. According to Explore Health Careers, when meeting with patients, a therapist may “perform tests and measures such as strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle IMG_5248performance, respiration, and motor function, to identify potential and existing problems.” A physical therapist’s work setting can range from a school, a hospital, or a physical therapy clinic.

I am interested in this occupation because I have found physical therapy to be beneficial for my athletic career. Physical therapy has not only helped me heal

Some stretches and exercises I have done at Presidio Sports and Medicine to strengthen my lower back.
Some stretches and exercises I have done at Presidio Sports and Medicine to strengthen my lower back.

from two surgeries, but it has also helped me improve my athletic performance. Through physical therapy, Adam, my physical therapist, targeted my weaknesses to help me prevent further injuries, increase my strength, and improve my vertical. Becoming a physical therapist is an occupation I would like to pursue in the future because it combines being a doctor with sports. In addition, I am interested in the innovative yet simple exercises that can improve the body, whether the goal is to strengthen or heal. The thought of helping athletes pursue their own athletic careers interests me as well!

Things to know about physical therapists

  • To become a physical therapist, a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree or DPT is required, which takes about 6-7 years
  • On average, a physical therapist makes $80,000