Talking Sports Medicine with Northshore Medical and Aesthetics Centre’s Dr. Jeff MacLeod
What is your experience as a sports physician?
Coming from Australia, a country where people always enjoy and play a wide range of sports, sports medicine was always of interest to me. Growing up, I played everything from cricket to Australian rules football, as well as baseball, tennis, martial arts and a little bit of golf. When I was with the British Army and had the opportunity to sub-specialise in sports medicine, I jumped at the opportunity.
While there I gained extensive experience in diagnosing and treating sports and training injuries that soldiers obtained while training or in combat. Additionally, as clinical director for the health services there, I was the director responsible for rehabilitation and worked closely with my rehab team leaders to improve the rehabilitation service at a strategic, operational and governance level.
What are the most common sports injuries that you treat?
There are two main types of injuries—traumatic injuries from training or sport where you break, rupture or tear something, and degenerative conditions where someone has played sports for many years and over time caused injury to a part of the body.
Since being in Bermuda, one of the common conditions I’ve seen in patients is called tendinopathy, which is a type of long-term tendon disorder that results in pain and reduced function or mobility. Tendons are the fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. If you tear muscle or break bone it usually heals quite well, but if you damage the tendon itself it often doesn’t heal well and can be quite challenging to treat. The goal is to try to treat tendon injuries when they’re acute. A low-impact training regime is quite important for athletes to minimise wear and tear as much as possible.
What are some of the treatment options you offer?
At Northshore Medical and Aesthetics Centre we understand that no one treatment is right for everyone, which is why in addition to the best evidence-based pharmaceutical treatments, we also employ a wide range of additional therapeutic interventions to tackle a patient’s problem, thereby optimising their chances at healing success. There are several types of injection therapies that we use to treat both new and chronic injuries to joints, tendons and ligaments.
Other treatment options include cryotherapy, where we expose the injury to extremely cold temperatures to control pain, decrease swelling and slow nerve conduction. We also offer several different kinds of non-invasive therapies.
What is your greatest advice for injury prevention?
I try to encourage people, if at all possible, to pick one primary sport that they do. When people tend to play multiple sports like cycling and running, as is common in Bermuda, the body can struggle to adjust to the very different activities.
I also encourage people to come in for treatment sooner rather than later. Very often we will have someone who has been impacted by a condition for a number of years and over time it gets worse and might need an invasive solution like surgery to correct. At the first sight of pain and discomfort, people should come in to discuss their options.
Where do you see sports medicine in Bermuda in five to ten years?
Interesting question! I guess it will follow the path of sports medicine as it develops around the world. The new and exciting areas are more regenerative therapies such as stem cell injections for worn joints and other chronic injuries—a bit like PRP, but it may prove to be even more effective. The theory is that it will help regenerate and repair worn tissue such as cartilage. The evidence is still immature, but it looks promising.
Dr Jeff MacLeod brings over 20 years of experience in healthcare to NMAC, having studied medicine and surgery at Flinders University in South Australia, before completing the Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice in the United Kingdom. In 2013, he was awarded the Royal College of General Practitioner’s highest accolade—the Honorary Fellowship—a distinction bestowed on less than two percent of GPs. His special interests include sports and exercise medicine, having worked for eight years in British Army rehabilitation centres as a sports medicine doctor.
Led by medical director Dr. Kyjuan Brown, Northshore Medical and Aesthetics Center (NMAC) is Bermuda’s premier Medspa, providing Family Medical and Primary Care Dermatological services. 7 North Shore Road, Devonshire – 293-5476 – firstname.lastname@example.org