Dr Martin McConaghy

With over 22 years experience in Sport and Exercise Medicine, Dr Martin McConaghy specialises in the assessment and treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.

+44 (0) 7900 901 539


Lurgan Clinic
12 Fox's Glen, Lurgan, Co Armagh BT67 9ER

Dundalk Clinic
Carrick Road Medical Centre, Lis Na Dara, Dundalk, Co. Louth, A91 HTX3

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Lurgan Clinic

12 Fox's Glen

Dundalk Clinic

Carrick Road Medical Centre

+44 (0) 7900 901 539


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Dr Martin McConaghy  >  General   >  What is Sports Medicine?

What is Sports Medicine?

I work as a Sport & Exercise Medicine Consultant and have just opened a new Sports Medicine Clinic in Carrick Road Medical Centre, Dundalk. This is in addition to my longstanding clinic in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

Even having worked in the industry for over 22 years, there are still some regular questions people ask me  when it comes to Sport & Exercise Medicine. Some of these include:

  • What does a Sports Medicine Consultant do?
  • Why do I need to see one?
  • Can a Sports Medicine Consultant help with a non sports injury/condition?
  • What are the downsides of not seeing a Sports Medicine Consultant when I have a sports injury or musculoskeletal problem?

I wanted to take some time to answer some of these common questions…

What is a Sport & Exercise Medicine Consultant?
A Sport & Exercise Medicine Consultant is a Doctor who has completed general medical training for a number of years in hospitals –  I worked in Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Cardiology, General Medicine, General Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology – before then working in General Practice. Once this general medical training is complete, we then complete several years of additional specialist training in managing patients with sports injuries, musculoskeletal conditions/orthopaedic conditions and specific exercise-related medical conditions – I worked in various sports medicine and orthopaedic clinics.

It is this combination of hospital training, GP training and then Specialist sports medicine/musculoskeletal medicine training which puts Sports Medicine Consultants in the ideal place to assess patients with sports injuries or musculoskeletal conditions.

We continue to  add to our experience throughout our working careers by doing additional training eg in giving ultrasound guided injections, running concussion clinics, providing pitch-side emergency care for teams. We also attend regular National and International sports medicine conferences to keep up to date with the best worldwide advances in sports medicine.

Many Sports Medicine Consultants also work with sports teams where we  work as part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of Physios, S&C coaches, Nutritionists, Sports Psychologists, Team Coaches.  This sports team work is a different dynamic to working in sports medicine clinics. I have worked as Team Dr with Belfast Harlequins RFC, Team Dr County Armagh Mens Senior Gaelic Football Team, Head of Sports Medicine Munster Rugby, Chief Medical Officer Paralympics Ireland

In addition to working as a private Sports Medicine Consultant, I also  currently  work in the NHS as Clinical Lead for Orthopaedic ICATS SHSCT.  I bring 26 years medical experience with over 22 years experience working in sports medicine, to my clinics in Dundalk and Lurgan.

Why you should see a Sport & Exercise Medicine Consultant?

There are a number of reasons why you should see a Sport & Exercise Medicine Consultant:

  • If you have sustained an injury during any form of exercise, from a recreational jog to elite sport
  • If you have a musculoskeletal/orthopaedic condition not caused by sport
  • If you have a specific exercise related medical condition
  • If you require an ultrasound guided injection as part of your treatment

As an experienced Sports Medicine Consultant, I can provide an accurate diagnosis of your condition and then give you the best management plan to help resolve your condition as quickly but as safely as possible.

Sports Injuries

It is important for you to see an experienced Sports Medicine Consultant so that you can have a specialist assessment of your injury, get an accurate diagnosis and a detailed plan to help resolve it. As part of the assessment, where necessary, I refer patients for other tests such as xrays, scans, blood tests to help with the diagnosis. Sometimes as part of the treatment I give an ultrasound guided injection, refer for physiotherapy supervised rehab, refer to a podiatrist for a biomechanical assessment +/- orthotics, refer for specific exercise tests. If you require surgery, I have close links with many orthopaedic surgeons who I can refer you to.

Musculoskeletal/Orthopaedic Conditions

As a Sports Medicine Specialist I am ideally placed to assess joint and soft tissue conditions that are not caused by a sports injury. There are very many conditions but the common ones I see are – spinal pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis of different joints, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, tendon pain – and many more. Again, like a sports injury, it is important that you get an accurate diagnosis of your problem and be given the best treatment to resolve the condition or to get it under control.

Exercise Related Medical Conditions

There are a number of medical conditions related to exercise that a Sports Medicine Specialist like myself has additional expertise in managing. The common ones are:

  • Relative energy deficiency (RED-S) – which can be the cause of underperformance, fatigue, stress fractures 
  • Exercise related shortness of breath – which can be due to infection, asthma, gastro-oesophageal reflux, exercise induced laryngeal obstruction, cardiac conditions 
  • Exercise related abdominal symptoms such as heartburn, vomiting, abdominal pain, bowel upset 


Consequences of Not Seeing a Sports Medicine Consultant

Common issues I see in patients who have not initially been seen by a Sports Medicine Consultant:

  • Patients who have been given an incorrect diagnosis after their original injury
  • Patients who have been given incorrect treatment, so prolonging their return to sport or returned to sport too early, causing their injury to become recurrent.
  • Patients who have their joint pain, nerve pain, soft tissue pain under treated so causing unnecessarily prolonged pain and reduced ability to work, exercise, sleep.

For example, there is no such thing as a “simple concussion”, a “simple hamstring injury” or a “simple ankle sprain”.

  • A concussion not managed properly can lead to chronic symptoms like headache, poor concentration, dizziness, prolonged time out of school/work/sport and recurrent concussions.
  • If not diagnosed and managed properly the ‘simple” hamstring injury can lead to recurrent hamstring tears and destroy a promising sporting career. 
  • An ankle ligament injury, if not diagnosed and managed properly can lead to a chronically unstable ankle which then requires ankle surgery, extensive rehab and prolonged time out of sport.

Book an Appointment

With dedicated sports medicine clinics in Lurgan and Dundalk, you can book an appointment quickly and safely on my website. If you have any other questions or seeking medical advice, please phone +44 (0) 7900 901539.

Dr Martin McConaghy

With over 22 years of experience in the field of Sport and Exercise Medicine, I specialise in the assessment and treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. All views expressed on this website are my own and are not representative of any organisation

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