We caught up with Thomas Barr, Irish Olympian and record holder, about his experience at the Affidea Northwood clinic, and why Affidea is such a valuable service for athletes.
Was this your first time with Affidea?
This was indeed my first time visiting an Affidea clinic. I had a full body composition DXA scan and I also got MRI scans on my hips, lower back and feet. Between getting setup in the machines, transfer between the DXA and MRI machines for my different procedures and getting the scans done it took about an hour in total.
Why a DXA scan with Affidea?
As an athlete the DXA body composition scan is one that I always love getting as I find it interesting and it is also important for me to monitor my weight – muscle and fat mass in particular. It gives an indication of bone health which is important in sprint events where impact in the lower limbs can be quite severe and stress fractures seem to be becoming more common in athletes.
Why a MRI scan with Affidea?
MRI scans have also been an integral part in aiding my physio in diagnosing injuries. I have had a recurring injury in my hip the past 4 years or so, and it was the MRI and MRA scans which indicated a labral tear in the hip joint which was causing the pain and discomfort. Emma, my physiotherapist, could then design a rehab program around this and knew what was necessary in physio sessions to keep me on track. Knowing the mechanism behind my injury took out the guesswork and saved time.
Time is of the essence for an athlete especially when it comes to summer and competition season when it is integral to be able to consistently train and compete. Having these kind of diagnostic tools can help significantly reduce time-out due to injury.
What aspects of Affidea stood out for you?
I had a very positive experience from the moment I walked in. I was met by extremely friendly and helpful staff at reception – this was a common trend with all the staff throughout my visit, and it made all the difference.
I was waiting no more than 5 minutes before I was brought in for my scans. It was clear the clinic was busy, which meant there was a tight time schedule, no messing about, in got the scans done and out again – this suited me perfectly as I always run on a tight schedule, and I never once felt rushed. The staff were always courteous and reassuring – in particular for the MRI scan, they went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable as this can be daunting if you feel any way claustrophobic. Overall, I was finished all my procedures within the hour and I got fast results from friendly staff.