Do I need to see a Sports Doctor?

Sports Doctors or to give them their full title “Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultants” are specialised Doctors who have reached consultant level in terms of their training, experience and expertise.

Although a relatively new speciality, they are becoming more and more prevalent in Elite sporting environments and are now also available to treat members of the general public who have sustained an acute sports injury or are managing a longer-term, chronic one.

Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultants often lead medical departments in elite sports clubs and organisations and can transfer those leadership qualities to deal with members of the public with sports injuries or those who are competing at an elite level but need an external specialist to review their case and provide a second opinion.

Sports Doctors work closely with the rest of the multi-disciplinary team to provide a holistic wellness approach and get to the bottom of any sports injury or sports-derived physical complaint.

At R4P, Dr Nigel Jones leads our Sports and Exercise Medicine consultancy services and as a CQC (Care Quality Commission) approved sports injury clinic, he can provide the exact level of clinical care for R4P clients as those he looks after daily as Chief Medical Officer for British Cycling.


What will a consultation involve?

A sports and exercise medicine consultation is a deep dive to get to the root of the problem. Building upon a Physio assessment (who may have referred you to the Doctor) or as the first point of contact, the appointment will involve an in-depth clinical interview and history to find out what is currently going on, what has happened in the past and what is the plan of recovery.

Following the thorough history, our Doctor will carry out a full physical examination and specifically assess the area of concern.

The aim is to provide a full diagnosis (what the problem is), prognosis (how long will it take to get better), further investigation pathway (such as Ultrasound scanning which can be carried out here at R4P) and a full plan of rehabilitation and recovery which can be carried out under the care and guidance of our team of Physiotherapists or elsewhere depending on your personal situation.


Other services

The services offered by our Sport and Exercise Medicine consultant at R4P Liverpool are

  • Sports injury diagnosis
  • Investigation and non-surgical management
  • Treatment of all musculoskeletal pain
  • Joint and soft tissue injections including new therapies for tendon and muscle problems
  • Advice on sport-specific rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies
  • Pre-contractual, pre-participation and insurance medicals including full musculoskeletal and biomechanical assessments
  • Concussion Clinic
  • Ultrasound scanning
  • Referral for other forms of Musculoskeletal imaging including MRI, CT, X-ray and interpretation of the results
  • Medication and Prescription
  • Blood tests


Areas of speciality (include but not limited to)

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Trigger Finger
  • Injections
  • Wrist pain, Strain, Sprain
  • Hip pain, Bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Heel pain
  • Foot pain
  • Sports Injury
  • Tendinopathy
  • Achilles pain and Tendinopathy
  • Patella tendon pain and Tendinopathy
  • Muscle injury including muscle strain, muscle tear and muscle or tendon rupture
  • Groin pain
  • Steroid injections
  • Viscosupplement injections


More on Concussion

Any contact sport activity can result in a concussive head injury.

A concussion is an injury to the brain, like any injury, that needs care and progressive rehabilitation with the consequences of not getting this right, potentially life changing.

The burden of concussion in recreational and adolescent sports is still unknown and knowledge of concussion management by both GPs and Hospital Doctors remains way off where it needs to be.

That is why, if you experience a concussion (or think you may have done), it’s essential you get assessed and managed by a doctor with experience in the field.

This was our motivation for launching the Liverpool Concussion Clinic at R4P.

As well as leadership and input from our Sports Doctor – the clinic gives access to other health professionals with expertise in this field including physiotherapy and neuropsychology.

Put quite simply, returning to sporting activity (either in the immediate aftermath of an injury) or before concussion signs and symptoms have completely resolved be it in the short, medium or long term is dangerous.


Some key points in concussion –

  1. Concussion is an injury to the brain. Like any other injury therefore you need an accurate diagnosis, appropriate investigations, and a robust management plan.


  1. Unlike other injuries, however, it can present with a huge variety of symptoms. A concussion can affect your concentration, emotions, memory, balance and vision. It’s not just about headaches. X-rays and scans often don’t reveal the injury’s extent and frequently don’t help the management.


  1. Just like other injuries – it’s really important that rehabilitation progression is based on functional markers and not on arbitrary time points. This is not just about a return to your sport but potentially about a return to your work and studies as well.


  1. If you return to your sport whilst still suffering the effects of a concussion your risk of a joint, tendon or muscle injury is increased. Also, of course, your technical ability and performance will be compromised which is the least important factor in these cases.


  1. Whilst research is ongoing around saliva or blood test markers to help the diagnosis and management – we’re still some way off from having these commercially available.


All of the above help stress the importance of getting concussion management right as soon as it is potentially diagnosed.

So, whether you’re a professional sports team looking for help with difficult cases or an individual with concerns , our Sports and Exercise Consultants should be the first point of contact.

Don’t risk your brain.

If you want more information on concussions, here are a couple of excellent resources





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