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As well as treating top-level athletes from across the sporting world, the ISEH’s experts are also able to help with injuries suffered by those for whom exercise is a hobby. Andrew Simms from Balham took advantage of the ISEH’s facilities after developing an Achilles tendon problem as a result of his passion for running. 

Andrew, 49, had an active upbringing but only took up running again a few years ago, and now runs with Herne Hill Harriers. “I get so much pleasure from running and competing,” said Andrew. “When I first went down there it was like opening a door on the world of my 16-year-old self.” 

However, in Andrew’s first year of competing he improved so rapidly that he bought new ‘spikes’ (running footwear), putting his feet and legs under a different pressure while increasing the volume and intensity of running. Andrew’s Achilles flared up and, after a few physiotherapy sessions didn’t solve the problem, he decided to seek further expert medical help. 

“My GP had never heard of the ISEH,” said Andrew. “I was aware of it as I’m interested in sport and my wife works in the NHS, and anything science-related I’m straight on to. My GP was enthusiastic about sport, and happy to help me with my choice.” 

After an ultra-sound prior to his appointment at the ISEH, Andrew met with orthopaedic consultant Aria Ghassemi at the ISEH. There he had an examination and was sent for both X-rays and MRI at the institute before discussion on next steps. 

“We’re not here just for elite athletes - we’re here for people who want to take part in all sports, from any age group, who are keen to be active,” said Aria Ghassemi. “That’s a huge number of people who can use our services. Of course we also work with high level sportsmen, but we bring that expertise and experience to bear on the weekend warriors – this is a service for everyone.”