By Jagmeeta Thind Joy
Tall and upright with a spring in his step, it’s doesn’t take long to realise that this doctor takes being fit seriously. “I have been passionate about sports from the very beginning,” says Dr Satbir Singh as he formally introduces himself. A former doctor in the Indian army, Dr Singh is a sports medicine specialist and steers the Department of Sports Medicine at Cosmo Hospital in Mohali.
Having completed his specialisation in sports medicine from the prestigious National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala, Dr Singh has worked extensively as a doctor for Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Academy (CLTA) as well as with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). His expertise led him to work with the Indian women’s hockey team as well.
Having worked with a number of national and international sportsmen and women, Dr Singh realised the need for a specialist centre that could address the growing number of injuries. “What most people don’t realise is that a sports injury can be tackled by treating the muscle, through exercise and without open surgery,” says Dr Singh who has also specialised in arthroscopy and spinal endoscopy. “Arthroscopy is also called arthroscopic or keyhole surgery. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint,” explains the doctor.
“One of the most common problems that sportsmen face is either to do with their knees or their back,” explains Dr Singh. He also points out that different types of sports lead to the different kinds of injuries. “Unlike earlier where open surgery was the only solution especially for disc injuries, there are now new techniques with better results and are least invasive in nature,” explains Dr Singh.
But for full recovery, asserts the specialist, it is important to follow the doctor’s advice and rehabilitation programmes. Dr Singh has expertise in knee and shoulder arthroscopy and now performs all knee surgeries as well. “While I have treated a lot of bodybuilders, wrestlers, hockey players, cricketers, tennis players, there are a number of amateur fitness enthusiasts who are seeking help as well,” informs Dr Singh.
Most injuries now happen in the gym where people are either not aware of the right exercises for them or how to the use the gym equipment. “There is a lack of training and awareness among gym trainers as well and I am trying to address that through training workshops,” says Dr Singh.
His endeavour is to treat all sports injuries in their initial stages and focus on injury prevention, rehabilitation, flexibility and strength training so that sportspersons don’t have to end their careers.
For those looking to lead an active lifestyle and are keen to play a sport or head to the gym, Dr Singh shares a few mantras to keep injuries at bay.
- It is very important to start slow and then build up stamina and intensity of workout.
- It is very important to warm up well before starting and equally important to do “cooling-down” exercises.
- Listen to your body and take a break when it feels stressed.
- When lifting weights, it’s important to have the correct posture.
- Strengthening exercises are important.
“Often people get demotivated when they start to feel the aches and pains when starting an exercise routine. Therefore, it is important to go slow and then build it up. Always remember to do stretching exercises before you start any physical activity,” says Dr Singh who manages to pack in a game of squash when he can despite his busy schedule. “I would advise all parents as well as youngsters to make any sports or physical activity a part of their daily lives. It will be beneficial in the long run,” he sums up.