Highgate doctor climbs into the cage fighting ring in the name of medicine

Climbing into a wrestling ring to take on a champion cage fighter might sound like a bizarre way to offer medical tips – but that is what one Highgate doctor did in the name of science.

Dr Jack Kreindler threw off his doctor’s whites and strapped on his grappling gloves to take on Nick the ‘HeadHunter’ Chapman in front of 3,000 screaming fans in a radical display to show how pain can be managed better.

Adopting the stage name ‘The Phantom Medic’, he squared up to his muscle bound opponent at the famous East End boxing club The Troxy.

“I was given the short straw and I became the sports injury,” said Dr Kreindler.

“When I found out I was going into a cage fight I was absolutely petrified.


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“I got into the ring with this top flight cage fighter who looks like an absolute animal.”

The 37 year-old, who has competed as an amateur in martial arts, lasted around two and a half minutes in the ring with his tattooed-foe, who is managed by celebrity cage fighter Alex Reid, before he was pinned to the floor.

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He said: “The atmosphere was incredible. People were screaming and seemed keen for me to make an impact on Nick, but I wasn’t going in there to inflict but to receive injuries.

“It was exciting but I was petrified. Nick looked after me well in a manner of speaking.

“It was incredibly exciting , unless anyone has been in a ring with 3,000 people cheering you on it is difficult to explain.”

Dr Kreindler, who lives off Archway Road and used to work at the A&E department at the Whittington Hospital, embarked on the formidable sporting challenge for a new BBC programme to highlight the different treatments people can adopt to manage their pain.

After the fight he treated his left leg with rest, ice and elevation, and left his right leg untreated. He discovered that despite using his right leg more often, it was 25 percent weaker because it hadn’t been treated appropriately.

Dr Kreindler, who is fronting the programme with fellow medic Professor Greg Whyte, said health messages were too often conveyed in a “dictatorial or patronising way”. He wants the tips that keep Olympic athletes fit enough to win gold medals to be shared with all patients.

He said: “We thought that if we did something truly different, it would be remembered by far more people. It really was in the name of science and medicine.”

How to Beat Pain is being screened on BBC1 at 7.30pm on May 28.

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