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Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre

Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre Research and Innovation

The benefits of exercise in the prevention and management of patients with cancer is becoming evident, and this is a rapidly growing field of research. Through the SDSC, Exercise is Medicine Singapore is collaborating with NCCS and CGH Rehabilitation Medicine on research in this area, and on introducing exercise prescription into oncology practice.


CGH Cardiology and SEM’s study was published in the July issue of the Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore.

Exercise-induced cardiac remodeling varies between ethnicities, gender and type of sports. This has been well studied in non-Asian athletes. However, to date, none has been published for South East Asian (SEA) athletes.

This is the first such study for SEA athletes, and the key finding is that cardiac remodelling, or Athletes Heart Syndrome, only occurs in elite athletes with significant high training load for years. In such cases, more advanced screenings are then required to differentiate athlete’s heart from other heart conditions.


Shepherd’s Fracture: Often Overlooked, by Dr Mandy Zhang & Dr Boni Rietveld - SingHealth Duke-NUS Sport and Exercise MedicineAdj A/Prof Kelvin Chew’s paper was published in the January issue of the PM&R, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The study is done together with Dr Cindy Lin (University of Washington Medical Center), Dr Ooi Chin Chin (Singapore General Hospital), and Dr Eric Chan (SingHealth Family Medicine).


A large proportion of chronic musculoskeletal injuries comprise degenerative lesions at various musculotendinous junctions. ESWT is often the first line treatment for such conditions. Two original studies in this area by Dr Victor Tan, Dr Fadzil Hamzah and Adj A/Prof Ben Tan were presented at the International Society For Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMET) Congress, which was attended by over 120 delegates from 20 nations.

Comparison of Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) Outcomes of Extracorporeal Shock-Wave Therapy-Treated Anterior and Posterior Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition affecting 10% of the population. This study is the first in the world to classify plantar fasciitis into two types – anterior and posterior; characterizing the morphological distinctions between the two.

The findings can help physicians refine treatment plans, leading to quicker recovery times and improved outcomes.

Observational Study of VAS and Plantar Fasciitis Thickness Outcomes in Patients Undergoing r-ESWT in a Single Centre

r-ESWT is used in the treatment of ligamentous, tendinous or muscular injuries. However, it has not been well-studied.

Findings of this study suggest that r-ESWT improves clinical symptoms of patients with plantar fasciitis, and should be considered as a clinical service that can be provided by physiotherapists.


In 2016, a joint-research by CGH SEM, Andalusian Centre of Sport Medicine, and University of Washington Medical Centre, titled ‘Injury and Illness Surveillance at the International Sailing Federation Sailing World Championships 2014’, was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Commissioned by World Sailing, this landmark study is the biggest study conducted on elite sailors.

From this study, CGH SEM followed-up with two projects to address the issue of high injury rate in competitive sailing.

1. Expert Panel On Sailing-specific Conditioning

World Sailing set up an expert panel to design and validate a sailing-specific conditioning programme, aimed at reducing sailing injuries. Dr Ben Tan, the World Sailing Medical Commission Chairman, also chairs the international panel which includes SEM physicians, sports scientist, physiotherapist, strength & conditioning coaches, from Australia, Portugal, UK and USA. Several countries have already volunteered to be part of a multi-centre trial.

2. Sailing Injury Prevention Device

To address the rise in lower limb sailing injuries, CGH is collaborating with the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) and Singapore Sailing to develop a novel quick-release foot-strap. Dr Ben Tan is the Principal Investigator; Prof Foong Shaohui from SUTD is the Co-Investigator, contributing his engineering expertise; and Singapore Sailing provides practical feedback and opportunities for on-water trials.

The prototype was unveiled at the 2018 World Sailing Annual Conference to a worldwide audience. The patent is currently being registered.

The above encapsulates how we bring together expertise and combine the strengths of strategic partners, to translate research into practical and impactful policies and solutions internationally.


The Effects Of Exercise Is Medicine Singapore (EIMS) Primary Care Physician Course On Exercise
Prescription Patterns In Participants, by Dr Leonard Lim & Adj Asst Prof Ivy Lim

The EIMS Course educates doctors on exercise prescription for chronic conditions. The study aims to elicit the effects of the course in changing patterns of exercise prescription in participants.

Presented at the Australasian College of Sport & Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) Scientific Conference.

Viscosupplementation For Knee Osteoarthritis – A Sports Medicine Perspective, by Dr Mandy Zhang & Dr Ivy Lim

The study profiles the demographics of patients receiving viscosupplementation, and also evaluates the safety profile of the treatment.

Presented at the ACSEP Conference and Scandinavian Congress of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Shepherd’s Fracture: Often Overlooked, by Dr Mandy Zhang & Dr Boni Rietveld

This joint-study with Dr Boni Rietveld (Medical Centre of the Hague, Westeinde, The Netherlands)
is believed to be the first report on a dancer for Shepherd’s fracture.

Presented at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Conference.

Incidence Of Musculoskeletal Pain Among Students In An Asian Conservatory Of Music, by Dr Leonard Lim, Dr Victor Tan, Dr Ivy Lim & Adj A/Prof Ben Tan

The study concludes that the incidence of musculoskeletal pain among conservatory students in
Asia is high, comparable to their western counterparts and professional orchestral musicians.

Presented at the International Conference On Performing Arts Medicine (ICPAM).


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