What is Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM)?
It could have been musculoskeletal medicine, it could have been orthopaedic medicine, but with the emphasis on healthy exercise and injury management sport and exercise became a full speciality in 2005, though doctors had been working in sports injury clinics in the UK since before the 1980's. These early doctors tended to be the GPs with a specialist interest. In the last 15 years more Doctors have been working full time in exercise medicine and injury at elite and recreational level, but were not recognised as specialists by the General Medical Council until 2009. There is now an organised 6 year training programme for junior Doctors entering the speciality and in the future there will (hopefully) be NHS consultants in every health board looking after patients with non surgical interventions for limb and back problems and to give advice on the benefits of exercise and activity on general health.
It is a new speciality with new research evolving daily improving outcomes and revolutionising the treatment of many conditions e.g. tendon conditions.
SPORT and EXERCISE MEDICINE encompasses the diagnosis and treatment planning of all muscle, tendon, ligament, joint and ativity related problem and how simple activity of getting up from sitting in front of a TV screen can benefit health more than some activities.
e.g. "Sore shoulder or knee" Not sure whether you need to see a physiotherapist, osteopath, GP or a surgeon or just live with it?
e.g. that niggling sore pain limiting how you can work and stopping you from playing your golf, doing your garden, or going for walks... But this may be able to be fixed... not tolerated.
What EXTRA can a Sport and Exercise Clinic Offer?Who can benefit?
- Anyone injured or anxious re exercise
- Tradesmen with niggling injuries, recreational gardeners, weekend sports people, dog walkers, elite sports athletes... anyone and everyone
- Onward referral to other health professionals as part of a coordinated rehabilitation team (Physiotherapists, osteopaths, surgeons, psychologists, sports nutritionists, podiatrists etc)
- Medical assessment for sports or exercise
- Event medical cover advice
- X-Rays can view bones but not the softer tissues like muscle, tendons and ligaments, most often injured. Musculoskeletal dynamic ultrasound imaging is ideal for muscle and tendons and their blood flow and can be performed quickly (with no radiation risks) in the clinic with Dr Dunbar's portable scanner and used dynamically as joints move. It can also be used to direct image controlled injection therapy to the exact area of the problems if indicated. It is ideal for imaging achilles, patella and shoulder tendons.