It involves the medical care of injury and illness in sport. Solutions require accurate diagnoses, careful clinical examination and experience and knowledge of sport specific movement patterns.
Sports Medicine Physicians are the experts who have higher specialist training in sport and exercise medicine in the UK. Their expertise lies in dealing with injuries associated with sport and exercises. The EIS also trains doctors in sport and exercise medicine in their final year of learning.
Why is there a Sports Medicine at the EIS?
Sports medicine is particularly important at the EIS because the best athletes in the world require the care of the most highly trained doctors.
The EIS Medical Services team provide 24/7 support to the elite athletes they work with. This is vital because injuries usually get worse the longer they are left.
EIS doctors are specialists on the General Medical Council (GMC) Sport and Exercise Medicine Register. The EIS employ over 20 doctors, all of whom have great experience in elite sport from a wide variety of areas having in total attended more than 30 Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games.
Sports Physicians work best in multi-disciplinary teams which include physiotherapists and strength and conditioning coaches.
How does Sports Medicine have a performance impact?
Sports medicine impacts performance in numerous ways because it enhances athletic performance, assists the development of training programme, supports injury prevention and management and of course identifies and treats any underlying conditions that may be impairing sports performance.
EIS doctors work hard to look at the causes behind all injuries and illnesses in athletes. With the EIS multi-disciplinary teams, feedback evidence is provided to help inform sports on how best to reduce the days lost to training through injury and illness, this takes time and care in understanding training loads and factors which may make injury and illness more likely. More days spent training makes better athletes.
Every elite athlete understands the potential for injury is always present and the wisest step to take after the occurrence of an injury is to seek for the services of a sports medicine professional. Where appropriate the EIS sports medicine physicians refer to experts outside the institute including orthopaedic surgeons, medical physicians and medical professionals in a network that we have taken years to develop, with people who understand the requirements of elite sport. We have built up links with some exceptional specialists across the full spectrum of healthcare in the UK.
- Olympic Women’s Boxing Champion Nicola Adams said:
“We have a great team of sport scientists and medical staff from the EIS that work with us at GB Boxing. They are with us every day in training and travel to competitions with the squad so they are a critical part of the team and our preparations.
“From a medical point of view they have been really important for me in the Rio cycle as I had a shoulder injury in 2014. The medical team helped me to nurse it through the Commonwealth Games – where I won gold – and then got me in for an operation straight away so that I could recover in time to get myself in peak condition for 2016. It worked really well and even though I had to miss the European Championships in 2015, I have come back strong and won the World Championships for the first time in 2016. I owe a great deal to the medical staff for the way they have helped me to manage the injury and then with the rehab and getting back into top condition.”