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How Much Do Sports Medicine Doctors Make?

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The standard sports medicine salary is sitting at $246,400 in 2022. In general, it ranges between $210,000 and $310,000. Several factors can affect your salary range, including education, certifications, skill sets, and years of experience. These reasons and the individual workplace will determine exactly what your pay rate is going to be. Let’s take a look at these factors.

What Is a Sports Medicine Doctor?

Sports medicine physicians are those who possess specialized training and experience. They treat injuries and illnesses of the musculoskeletal system to maximize function and minimize disability, injury, and time away from sports, work, and school. They cover sports-related injuries, carry out physical examinations, and create a treatment plan suitable for your recovery.

There are many different settings a sports medicine doctor can work in and many different areas to branch off to. These include primary care sports medicine, internal medicine, surgical sports medicine, and even a director of sports medicine, just to name a few.

Physicians in Sports Medicine Make the Most Money in These States

Average Annual State Salary:

  • Alaska $264,558
  • California $271,442
  • New York $288,727
  • Massachusetts $270,414
  • Pennsylvania $257,094
  • Utah $228,080
  • Texas $236,046
  • Florida $233,648
  • Connecticut $276,189
  • Washington $262,422

A Sports Doctor Treats What?

Internal medicine physicians can treat a variety of injuries. Many people think sports medicine doctors only work on those who are athletes. However, anyone suffering from a sports injury can benefit from their assistance. It is possible to recover from an injury with the help of these medical professionals and even learn prevention methods for future injuries. You may need to see a sports doctor when the pain becomes unbearable or recurs. These experts treat a variety of injuries, including the following.

Muscle Cramps

A sports medicine doctor can treat muscle cramps and spasms. Muscle cramps are often caused by dehydration, so you should stay hydrated during physical activity. There are other causes as well, such as electrolyte imbalance, nerve damage, and blood sugar problems.

It is possible to get treatment options for muscle cramps from a family medicine physician or sports doctor after diagnosing the cause of your cramps. It depends on the underlying cause whether medication, massage, and stretching, are used to treat the condition. You should speak with your treatment team if you regularly suffer from muscle cramps.

Strains And Sprains

Sports doctors treat sprains and strains most commonly. For example, ligaments can sprain when their range of movement is suddenly limited, usually due to a fall or an awkward twist. In addition to strains, tendons that connect muscles to bones can also tear. Rest and physical therapy are often sufficient to treat these types of injuries, although surgery may be necessary depending on their severity.


An inflammatory condition of a tendon is tendinitis. It is usually caused by repetitive movements or overuse. Several symptoms are associated with this condition, including pain, redness, warmth, and swelling around the affected tendon area. Ice packs, rest, and compression bandages can manage symptoms. The affected area must be elevated, especially within the first few days after the injury occurs.

Plantar Fasciitis

Injuries like Plantar Fasciitis are common and can be treated by a sports doctor. Foot inflammation is caused by inflammation of the tissues on the foot’s bottom. As a result, you may experience heel pain, particularly in the morning, and difficulty walking. In some cases, patients may need to wear special shoes, take over-the-counter medications, and use heat or ice therapy.


Injuries such as fractures are also commonly treated by sports doctors. The term fracture refers to a break in a bone caused by an impact, such as falling or being struck. In addition to pain, there are other symptoms like bruising, swelling, and deformities starting at the spot of the fracture. Typically, fractures are treated with a cast or brace to prevent further damage to the bone. Some cases may also require surgery.

Achilles Tendon

No other tendon in your body is thicker and stronger than the Achilles tendon. The calf muscles connect to the heel bone, allowing you to walk or run. As a result of overuse, Achilles tendinitis occurs, causing pain and limiting mobility.

Several symptoms are associated with this condition, including weakness and swelling at the top of the ankle joint. When lightly touched while standing upright, there may also be redness and tenderness around this area. This could signify something more serious than just inflammation, so you should seek medical attention immediately. ·

Smiling medical doctor

How to Become a Sports Medicine Doctor

To obtain a qualification in the sports medicine area, one must earn a bachelor’s degree, usually in biological sciences.

Following completing your bachelor’s degree, you must complete a three- or four-year MD (medical degree) at an institution of higher learning.

After completing your MD degree, you must pursue additional postgraduate training in family medicine or a specialty such as emergency medicine, orthopedics, or pediatrics.

In addition to your medical specialty certification, a one- to two-year fellowship in sports medicine is required for your sports medicine diploma. These regulations and specific training can be different in many states and countries.

It can be off-putting the amount of schooling needed to be a sports medicine physician, but it does pay off in the long run.

Sports Medicine Specialists Have the Following Responsibilities

Specialists in sports medicine perform a wide range of jobs, including:

  • Detecting and treating a wide range of injuries, ligament injuries, bursitis of the knee, and sprains.
  • The creation of injury prevention strategies, such as stretching and warming up.
  • Planned workouts aimed at building muscle strength and preventing injuries to soft tissues and ligaments.
  • Repetitive motion injuries, such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, need special attention.
  • Joint pain can be relieved by this treatment.
  • Musculoskeletal medicine.
  • Reading of lab tests.
  • Head injuries and dealing with patients who experience concussions.

Should I Pursue a Job in the Sports Medicine Doctor Field?

It is ultimately your choice. However, a sports medicine doctor has many areas you can be involved in. You are not limited to working within a hospital setting. You can branch out to middle and high school, kids’ sports leagues, and college sports teams. You will need to start with an entry-level job, but you can go up to more high-profile positions.

Sports medicine specialists can enjoy an exciting career, no matter their path. Clients always have new issues and the work environment can be unpredictable. You can work with chronic, common, and cartilage injuries. It may also be possible for you to work with various clients, making your job more interesting. When you work for a team, you have a part to play in its success and something you can be proud of.

This type of job won’t leave you out of work. There are always sports injuries waiting to happen. Many athletes and schools participate in sports, and children and adults play community sports. Injuries will sometimes occur, and most injuries will need treatment by a sports medicine doctor.


If you have a passion for athletics, helping other people achieve a better quality of life, injury prevention, and helping others lead a healthy lifestyle, be sure to consider the possibility of a career in the field of sports medicine or exercise science.

Whether you plan to work part or full time, a sports medicine degree offers excellent preparation for many jobs. As you can see from the above, the salary and job opportunities are great for a career in sports medicine, so why not look into it as a career and start your athletic medicine journey?

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