Sports Medicine

What is Sports Medicine?


For years, ProActive Physical Therapy has been on the forefront of managing injured athletes—whether competitive or recreational across a multitude of teams and individual sports. The term sports medicine refers to the multi-disciplinary approach to managing athletic performance and athletic injuries. The sports medicine team includes physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and athletic performance coaches to name a few.

The ProActive approach:

At ProActive, we work closely with the sports medicine team to provide early, convenient access to care through on-site and in-clinic injury screenings with a physical therapist. Through Direct Access in the State of Arizona, injured athletes can seek our opinion as a quick, cost-effective and convenient entry into the sports medicine system. Our highly trained therapists will work with each injured athlete individually to determine the best next steps, including a referral to the appropriate medical provider should the injury require additional evaluation.

Following injury or surgery, your sports therapy should be tailored specifically to returning you to your prior level of performance. Our physical therapists will work closely with your physician to outline a treatment plan that returns you to the highest level of performance safely and effectively.

Sports Medicine FAQs


  • Define a Sports Medicine Specialist. What does this mean?

    The term “sports medicine” is a rather broad term used to describe the medical evaluation and treatment of injured athletes. The sports medicine team in most cases refers to the physician, the athletic trainer, the physical therapist, the athlete, and the coaches who must work together to ensure rapid access to medical care, appropriate and timely intervention, and a team approach aimed towards recovery and return to sport.

  • Do I have to be an elite level athlete?

    No. As participation in youth sports has exploded across the United States, there is a greater level of exposure to the sports medicine team members, even at youth and recreational levels. Most, if not all, high schools have certified Athletic Trainers on the sidelines for all sports. Many club sports consult with or contract with organizations, like ProActive, to provide coverage for their youth athletes.

  • Does sports medicine just refer to sideline coverage?

    Not necessarily. While athletic event coverage is important for immediate assessment and management of injuries, that is only step one in managing the injured athlete. Management of an injured athlete is multi-disciplinary and includes the physician/surgeon and the physical therapist. Physical therapy plays a key role in returning athletes to prior levels of function through progressive rehabilitation and training programs.