Sports medicine was initiated in the ancient areas of Greece and Rome, where many young athletes were not adequately trained. An effort was designed to improve this training and provide better overall supervision of the physical education of the young athlete. In that era, sports medicine helps to increase athletes’ strength and skills carefully, allowing their progress to be carefully monitored.
In events dating back to the 5th century, it is possible to note specific training to help discourage injury, beginning with Herodicus, credited with using therapeutic exercises to help heal wounds, and Galen, a doctor assigned to monitor the gladiators of the 2nd century. Earlier attempts to use a doctor for preventative training were primarily ignored, with doctors and physicians only being used in the event of an injury.
Modern sports medicine has been convinced recently. During the 1928 Olympic Games, held in St. Moritz, a small committee was formed to organize the International Congress of Sports Medicine. Based on this concept, the idea of using real doctors to help prevent the occurrence of injuries came to light. Beginning in 1968, during the Summer Olympics, which took place in Mexico City, Dr. J.C. Kennedy organized a team of doctors who traveled with the Canadian athletes to ensure they were well cared for.
Additionally, Dr. Kennedy became the founder of the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Kennedy was appointed Medical Director of the first medical team officially associated with the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. This task showed that even the Olympics were beginning to value the idea of sports medicine.
Over time, the involvement of physicians and doctors in more than just treating injuries has increased. Many athletes visit their doctors regularly for check-ups and tests to ensure they are in the best possible physical shape while achieving their desired athletic goals. While wearing sports medicine equipment is still considered a luxury by many, for others, it is an essential aspect of being a responsible athlete.
Because the amount of care provided to athletes before injuries occur has increased, the number of injuries treated has decreased, leading to a better quality of life for many athletes. Being proactive in athletes’ treatment options distinguishes sports medicine from many other fields. Instead of waiting until an injury occurs, sports medicine aims to continually minimize the risk to athletes to achieve the best results.
This field has come a long way in recent years, and the continued research and growth are very detailed. Most athletic teams travel with a group of doctors, and most athletes, particularly professionals, are eager to work with a well-qualified sports medicine team to improve their health. From reducing injuries to improving performance outcomes, the field of sports medicine has made incredible progress since its beginnings in Ancient Rome and Greece.