Dr Polly Baker
Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine
MB BChir MA (Cantab) MRCP FFSEM Dip USS
I have been a Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine for six years. During this time I’ve worked across a variety of areas including military, elite sport and private practice. Given my ability to provide diagnostic ultrasound scanning, I can offer a one-stop service for musculoskeletal problems and sports injuries. I see patients of all ages with the aim of returning them to sport, work or any other preferred activity such as gardening - as safely and quickly as possible. I treat my patients holistically, working closely with a multi-disciplinary team to ensure optimal management and recovery.
I treat cervical spine related headaches, concussion and diagnosis and management of neck pain. I provide diagnosis and management of elbow and shoulder pain through ultrasound guided procedures including subacromial subdeltoid bursa (impingement) injection, biceps tendon sheath injection, ACJ injection and hydrodistension for frozen shoulder. I also diagnose and manage wrist pain through clinically guided injections including corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid - wrist joint (synovitis, osteoarthritis). I also provide diagnosis and management of thoracic pain.
I provide diagnosis and management of lumbar spine related pain with ultrasound guided caudal epidural. For hip and groin pain, ultrasound guided procedures including diagnostic and therapeutic hip injection, adductor tendon sheath injection, gluteus medius tendon/greater trochanteric bursal injection. I diagnose and manage of ankle and knee pain with ultrasound guided high volume injection of the patella and achilles tendons. Clinically guided injections including corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid injections for ankle and knee joints (synovitis and osteoarthritis). ESWT for achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciopathy/ fasciitis. I offer procedure for pain management including non pharmacological strategies such as pacing and prescription of neuropathic pain relief as well as acupuncture for relief of muscle spasm.
Currently, as well as working at Spire, I work at Stanford Hall - the Defence Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) - where I run a musculoskeletal and specialised tendinopathy clinic. DNRC is a residential rehabilitation unit and the tertiary referral centre for the Defence Rehabilitation Programme. It’s objective is to improve the function and independence of those military personnel, whether they be injured (commonly from battle), or affected by musculoskeletal conditions.
In addition to these roles I provide Sports Medicine expertise to the male and female players at the Eastbourne Tennis tournament. Historically, I’ve also been involved with a variety of other elite sports, such as Northampton Saints rugby, Arsenal Women FC, Chelsea academy, and GB handball. Involvement with the GB handball team led to my current position in Team GBs medical performance team. I am a pitch-side instructor for the Rugby Football Union.
In addition to my clinical work I am the research lead for the Brighton Marathon and co-chair the research arm for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine. I am also an honorary research fellow at the University of Brighton and I'm due to start a PhD on tendinopathy at Loughborough University in 2019.
Some of the principal treatments carried out by Dr Polly Baker at Spire include:
Research lead for Brighton Marathon
Research chair for British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
I am actively involved in research with a particular interest in tendinopathy and the effect of exercise on the heart. I have published on both subjects.
As part of my role within BASEM I am co-editing the March 2019 British Journal of Sports Medicine organising the 2019 Spring BASEM conference.
Barker-Davies R, Nicol A, McCurdie I, Watson J, Baker P, Wheeler P, Fong D, Lewis M and Bennett A. Study protocol: a double blind randomised control trial of high volume image guided injections in Achilles and patellar tendinopathy in a young active population. BMC Musculo Disorders 2017 May; 18:204.
Richardson A, Leckie T, Watkins ER, Fitzpatrick D, Galloway R, Grimaldi R, Baker P. Cardiac troponin T increases during a marathon are associated with relative exercise intensity. J Sci Med Sport 2018 Sept;21(9):880-884.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with the family and staying as active as possible (I often find the two occur simultaneously). I played tennis to a high level and now continue to play for fun.