Millions of people throughout the world perform physical exercise and play sport. These people have specific medical needs, To cater for these people a branch of medicine known as 'sports medicine' has evolved. Sports medicine includes: injury prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; performance enhancement through training, nutrition and psychology; management of medical problems; exercise prescription in health and in chronic disease states; the specific needs of exercising in children, females, older people and those with permanent disabilities; the medical care of sporting teams and events; medical care in situations of altered physiology, such as at altitude or at depth; and ethical issues, such as the problem of drug abuse in sport.
Because of the breadth of content, sports medicine lands itself to being practiced by a multidisciplinary team of professional with specialized skill who provide optimal care for the athlete and improve ache other's knowledge and skill. A sporting adage is that a 'champion team' would always beat a 'team of champions' and this also applies to sports medicine. Individuals who provide specialized skills and who utilize the skills offered by other members of the team provide the best athlete care. This team approach can be implemented in a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic or by individual practitioners of different disciplines collaborating by cross-referral.