What is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine deals with the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sport and exercise as well as maintaining physical fitness, improving athletic performance and encouraging activity. While traditionally most “sports doctors” were orthopaedic surgeons, sports medicine has now become a recognised medical specialty in a number of countries.
My interest in sports medicine stems from a combination of my own love of sport and my previous training in trauma and orthopaedic surgery. I enjoy football, swimming, golf, skiing, tennis and running – you may see me from time to time sweating along the Singapore River or MacRitchie reservoir.
Sports medicine encompasses elements of orthopaedics, rheumatology, cardiology and psychology. As well as doctors it involves physiotherapists, dieticians and sports scientists, requiring a truly multi-disciplinary approach.
Who is it for?
There is a common misconception that only elite level athletes require a doctor with an interest in sports medicine. This is not true! The lessons learnt from elite sport are now being applied to the whole population with the aim of enabling a healthy sporting life from childhood through to old age.
Singapore offers a rich array of sporting pursuits and at IMC we have an extremely active group patient population. Many expats find that greater access to facilities and good weather allows them to enjoy greater activity levels than they would in their home country. This has enormous benefits for their health but unfortunately can result in injuries from time to time. Often my advice is around striking the right balance between rest and recovery without delaying return to sport unnecessarily.
When should you come to see me?
The bulk of my work still involves seeing patients who have sustained injuries but I would encourage anyone who is thinking of starting a new or different exercise regime to arrange an appointment if they have any concerns or questions. At IMC we have an excellent network of specialists and physiotherapists built up through years of experience and listening to patient feedback, so we are well placed to find the best expert help for you if onward referral is required.
We have access to the best Singapore has to offer in terms of imaging and diagnostics so can get you the scans you need without delay in the best radiology centres. Rapid diagnosis can make all the difference in sports injuries where prompt treatment can have a significant effect on long term prognosis. I offer joint injections for those suffering with more chronic painful conditions, and can access the full range of cardiac and respiratory testing for those with concerns about their cardiovascular health or physical fitness.
Our goal here is to ensure all our patients can enjoy sport and exercise to their full potential – if something is holding you back then make an appointment to come and see us!
Dr Neil Forrest
MB ChB (Leeds, UK), MRCGP (UK)