SPORT & EXECISE MEDICINE
What is sport and Exercise Medicine?
Sport and Exercise Medicine consultants are specialists skilled in the delivery of Musculoskeletal and Physical activity medicine and Team Care. The specialty has a large scale application in managing and improving the health of the general public through exercise advice and prescription.
A consultant in sport and exercise medicine possesses excellent clinical history-taking and examination skills, enabling accurate diagnosis. They take a holistic approach to patient care and understand the specific physicall attributes required to participate in a variety of sports.
A multidisciplinary approach and a broad-based specialty, SEM practitioners, work in a variety of settings across primary, secondary and tertiary care.
Alongside treating sport and physical activity related injuries and common conditions, it aims to increase physical activity both to reduce and treat many non-communicable diseases. The role includes:
- providing accurate diagnosis for individuals with musculoskeletal injuries or illness who would like to exercise, or for whom exercise would be beneficial
- overseeing and implementing rehabilitation programmes
- workplace wellness and vocational outputs
- making their clinical expertise available to other clinicians and allied healthcare professionals in the broader multi-disciplinary team
- providing support to sportsmen and women to assist them in maximizing performance (within international rules), reducing injury time and minimizing the co-morbidity associated with sporting participation
- promoting the highest level of ethical standards within sport by contributing to sporting organizations and teams
- promoting improvements in public health through encouraging physical activity and exercise in the general population
- developing and implementing public health policy for physical activity programmes
- liaising with and supporting the work of health authorities, sporting organizations and other community agencies involved in the promotion of healthy lifestyles and safety standards in the sport
- participating in audits, research and training to contribute to the development of SEM as a specialty.
Doctors in sport and exercise medicine treat and are involved in treating a variety of conditions including:
- soft-tissue injuries of muscles and ligaments, including sprains (partial tears) and ruptures (complete tears)
- stress fractures
- medical conditions related to the musculoskeletal system MSK disorders and conditions
- osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions
- female athlete triad
- heart disease
- stress and mental illness
- exercise-induced asthma
Common procedures and interventions
- clinical history and physical examination
- musculoskeletal injections (often Ultrasound-guided)
- biomechanics and gait assessment
- musculoskeletal ultrasound
- compartment pressure measurements
- spinal injection skills
- cardio-pulmonary exercise testing
- physical fitness and anthropometric assessment
- physical activity programmes and exercise