Sports medicine: what’s the goal?

Written by: Dr David Porter
Published: | Updated: 13/04/2023
Edited by: Lauren Dempsey

Sports medicine is a relatively new field in health, but what exactly does it do and who does it help? Globally-recognised, London-based football and sports medicine physician, Dr David Porter, explains how sports medicine aims, with the help of a multidisciplinary team of experts, to enhance sporting performance and reduce risk of injury in athletes and amateurs alike.


What is sports medicine?

Performing to the best of your ability is a priority for anyone involved in sport, whether professionally or leisurely. High-functioning joint mobility, a strong musculoskeletal system, and a strong cardiovascular system crucial to fitness levels all contribute to an athlete's capacity to perform. While sport can improve health, both mentally and physically, overexertion can often lead to injuries. The field of sports medicine advocates that by improving one’s mobility and fitness, one can reduce their risk of injury and maximise their performance.


How does sports medicine aim to reduce injury?

Sports medicine aims to combine the fields of exercise science and medical practice to ensure the prevention and optimal treatment of injuries, and begins by addressing the causes of the injury. Muscle weakness is a leading cause of sporting injury, which could be avoided by improving the strength of the muscles and the function of the joint. For example, the main cause of ACL injuries are quadricep and/ or hamstring muscle weakness. If these muscles were strengthened, the likelihood of an ACL injury decreases.


What specialists are involved in sports medicine?

A multidisciplinary team made up of physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified sports trainers, and led by a physician. By combining the skill set of each specialist, the sports medicine team will help patients return to sport safely.


What does sports medicine involve?

Sports medicine is comprised of a wide range of practices, from strength and conditioning to treatments like injections, rehabilitations, and osteopathic manipulation. Commonly treated injuries include fractured bones, tendonitis, dislocations, sprains, and, as mentioned before, ACL tears. Following an injury, sports medicine experts will work to ensure the injury doesn’t reoccur.


Is sports medicine only for professional athletes?

Many people who avail of sports medicine aren’t athletes but have sustained an injury from sport.  Sports medicine offers patients a holistic approach and emphasises the importance of the physical activity to improve one’s overall wellbeing. It is scientifically proven that sport and physical exercise can have a major positive impact on an individual's health. Physical activity can greatly reduce the risk of developing the following conditions:


If you have experienced a sporting injury and would like to book a consultation with Dr David Porter, you can do so by visiting his Top Doctors profile.

By Dr David Porter
Sports medicine

Dr David Porter is an internationally renowned, highly skilled senior football and sports medicine physician who specialises in knee pain, knee osteoarthritis, back pain, hip pain, hip osteoarthritis, ankle pain and instability, shoulder pain, platelet-rich plasma therapy, as well as musculoskeletal disease and pain. He is the founding director of Opus Biological and also currently practises at King Edward VII's Hospital and The London Clinic (at 20 Devonshire Place), which are all located in London. 

Dr Porter successfully completed an MBBS in 2004 at University College London, an MSc in exercise and sports medicine, with a specific focus on football, at the University of Birmingham in 2017, and also a sports and exercise medicine degree at the University of Barcelona in 2016. He was notably appointed club doctor of Chelsea Football Club in 2011, and during his nine-year spell at the globally established football club, he would also become the Chelsea men's first team doctor (at the beginning of the 2015/16 Premier League season). 

Dr Porter, who is deeply interested in researching and implementing various revolutionary non-surgical treatments for musculoskeletal disease, is at the forefront when it comes to the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy in the UK. 

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