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Patient Education about Knee Pain

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that make the knee joint.

Tendons connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. Ligaments join the knee bones and provide stability to the knee:

  • The anterior cruciate ligament prevents the femur from sliding backward on the tibia (or the tibia sliding forward on the femur).
  • The posterior cruciate ligament prevents the femur from sliding forward on the tibia (or the tibia from sliding backward on the femur).
  • The medial and lateral collateral ligaments prevent the femur from sliding side to side.

Two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia.
Numerous bursae, or fluid-filled sacs, help the knee move smoothly.

Your knee joints serve a vital role holding up your bodyweight and are put through even more pressure when you walk, run or jump. Knee pain is very common, both from sport injuries and the wear and tear of day-to-day life.

Knee pain can come from injuries including sprains, swollen or torn ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament or ACL), meniscus or cartilage tears and runner’s knee.

Sports injuries tend to affect one knee at a time. Pain in both knees is more common with arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout or pseudogout, usually later in life.

Conditions that cause knee pain

  • Tendonitis. This is an overuse injury causing swelling of the tendons, the bands of tissue that connect your bones and muscles. This is sometimes called ‘jumper’s knee’ as it is common in sports involving jumping, such as basketball.
  • Bone chips. Sometimes, a knee injury can break off fragments from the bone or cartilage. These pieces can get stuck in the joint, causing it to freeze up. You may also have pain and swelling.
  • Housemaid’s knee or bursitis is caused by kneeling for long periods of time or repetitive knee movements. Fluid builds up in the bursa, the sac of fluid that cushions the knee joints. Swelling behind the knee is called a ‘Baker’s cyst’ and may be caused by injuries or arthritis.
  • Bleeding in the knee joint. This injury is also called haemarthrosis and affectsblood vessels around the knee ligaments causing the knee to feel warm, stiff, bruised and swollen. This may require hospital treatment in serious cases.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome. This is an overuse injury to the iliotibial band of tissue that runs from the hip to the shin past the knee.
  • Medial plica syndrome. This overuse injury affects the plica, a fold of tissue in the knee joint.
  • Osgood- Schlatter Disease. This overuse condition is common in teenagers playing sport and causes swelling and tenderness over the bony bump just below the knee.
  • Partially dislocated kneecap (or patellar subluxation). This is usually due to a physical condition with the legs rather than a sports injury. The kneecap slides out of position and causes pain and swelling.

Treatment for knee pain

Treatment will depend on the type and severity of the injury. Many knee injuries will get better on their own, or can be treated at home. Avoid putting weight on the injured knee as much as possible. Raise the leg with cushions and use an ice pack or bag of frozen veg wrapped in a towel held to the knee. Painkillers such asibuprofen can help with pain and swelling.

You may need to see your GP or seek medical advice if:

  • No weight can be put on the injured knee
  • There’s severe pain when no weight is put on the knee
  • The knee locks, clicks painfully or gives way
  • The knee looks deformed
  • There’s fever, redness or a feeling of heat around the knee, or there’s extensive swelling
  • The calf beneath the injured knee is painful, swollen, numb or tingling
  • Pain is still there after three days of home care treatment

A doctor will carry out a physical examination of the injured knee and may arrange some extra tests, including blood tests, an X-ray or MRI scan.

Treatment may involve physiotherapy, painkillers and sometimes an arthroscopy – a form of keyhole surgery that is used to look inside a joint and repair any damage that has occurred.

When will my knee pain feel better?

Recovery from knee pain will depend on the type and severity of the injury.

If recovery prevents you doing high impact sport such as running, try a low impact one like swimming.

Preventing knee pain

Knee pain cannot always be avoided, but good precautions include stretching, warming up and cooling down around a workout or playing sport. Having the right equipment, such as trainers designed for running and kneepads for jobs involving kneeling can help.

Stop exercising if you feel pain in your knee.

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Groin Strain (Groin Pulled)

A groin pull is an injury to the muscles of the inner thigh. The groin muscles, called the adductor muscle group, consists of six muscles that span the distance from the inner pelvis to the inner part of the femur (thigh bone). These muscles pull the legs together, and also help with other movements of the hip joint. The adductor muscles are important to many types of athletes including sprinters, swimmers, soccer players, and football players.

A groin pull is an injury to the adductor muscles called a muscle strain. When a muscle is strained, the muscle is stretched too far. Less severe strains pull the muscle beyond their normal excursion. More severe strains tear the muscle fibers, and can even cause a complete tear of the muscle. Most commonly, groin pulls are minor tears of some muscle fibers, but the bulk of the muscle tissue remains intact.

Symptoms of a Groin Strain

An acute groin pull can be quite painful, depending on the severity of the injury. Groin pulls are usually graded as follows:

  • Grade I Groin Strain: Mild discomfort, often no disability. Usually does not limit activity.
  • Grade II Groin Strain: Moderate discomfort, can limit ability to perform activities such as running and jumping. May have moderate swelling and bruising associated.
  • Grade III Groin Strain: Severe injury that can cause pain with walking. Often patients complain of muscle spasm, swelling, and significant bruising.

Groin pulls are often seen in athletics who participate in sports such as ice hockey and soccer. The injury appears to be related to factors including hip muscle strength, preseason conditioning, and previous injury. Because of this, proper conditioning is of utmost importance to prevent the occurrence of a groin strain injury. Athletes, especially hockey and soccer players, should incorporate adductor strengthening, pelvic stabilization, and core strengthening exercises into their workouts to prevent the occurrence of a pulled groin.

A pulled groin is usually a clear diagnosis. Most athletes know what the injury is before they seek medical attention. However, other conditions can mimic the symptoms of a groin strain. One condition that was previously not well recognized is called a sports hernia. Sports hernias have been found in patients who were diagnosed with chronic groin strains. The sports hernia is a condition similar to a regular inguinal hernia, and is due to a weakening of the muscles that form the abdominal wall. The symptoms of a sports hernia are often nearly identical to those of a groin strain.

Other conditions that may mimic the symptoms of a groin strain include osteitis pubis(inflammation of the pubic bone), hip joint problems (including early arthritis, labral tears, and other conditions), and low back problems (pinched nerves).

When do I need to see a doctor for a groin pull?
If you have symptoms of a severe groin pull, you should be evaluated for proper treatment. Some signs of a severe groin strain include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain while sitting or at rest
  • Pain at night

Severe groin pulls should be evaluated because in some very rare situations of complete muscle rupture, surgery may be necessary to reattach the torn ends of the muscle. This is rarely needed, even in patients with Grade III groin strain injuries, as these patients can usually undergo successful non-operative treatment.

If you are unsure if you have a groin pull or the symptoms do not quickly resolve, then you should be seen by your doctor. As described above, other conditions can be confused with a groin pull, and these should be considered if your symptoms do not resolve. Once a strain is diagnosed, you can begin treatment for your groin pull.

Treatment of a groin pull is usually guided by the severity of the injury. Resting a groin pull is the key to successful treatment. As a general rule of thumb, if you have a groin pull, you can do activities that don’t aggravate your injury. You should rest until you are pain free to allow the injured muscle to heal. Resting inadequately may prolong your recovery.

The following are the common treatments used for groin strains:

  • Rest
    It is important to rest following the injury to allowed the injured muscle to properly heal. Allow pain to guide your level of activity; this means that activities which cause symptoms should be avoided.
  • Stretching
    Gentle stretching is helpful, but it should not be painful. Stretching excessively can be harmful and slow the healing process.

    • Adductor stretches
  • Ice the Injury
    Apply ice to the injured area in the acute phase (first 48 hours after injury), and then after activities. Ice will help calm the inflammatory response and stimulate blood flow to the area.
  • Heat Applications
    Before activities, gentle heating can help loosen the muscle. Apply a heat pack to the groin prior to stretching or exercising. As a general rule of thumb, remember to heat before, and ice after.

    • Know when to ice and when to heat an injury
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications
    Oral anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin) can help relieve symptoms of pain and also calm the inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy
    Physical therapists can be helpful in guiding treatment that may speed your recovery. Some people find modalities such as ultrasound, therapeutic massage, and specific exercises particularly helpful. You should see your physician to determine if these would be appropriate for your condition.

What can be done to prevent groin strains?
New research is shedding light on factors that can be helpful in preventing groin injuries. Competitive athletes who participate in soccer, ice hockey, or similar sports that are prone to groin injuries should focus some energy on groin injury prevention. Exactly what exercises and stretches are most important in still being worked out, but some suggestions for groin injury prevention include:

  • Adductor stretching
  • Hip adductor and abductor strengthening
  • Pelvic stabilization exercises
  • Core stability, including abdominal and lumbar strengthening

Together, these exercises and stretches can help control the movements of the hip and pelvis, and hopefully prevent many groin strains.

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Osteoarthritis (Knee Pain Clinic)

Are you looking for effective way to manage and cure Osteoarthritis? You are at the right place. Stop your Knee Pain today! Call us at +65 6471 2744 or SMS to +65 92357641 to schedule for an appointment.

The most common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) affects an estimated 40% of the adult population. Of these, only 10% seek medical advice and only 1% are severely disabled.

Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee Osteoarthritis

Causes

Osteoarthritis (OA) means inflammation of the joints although it is better known as a degenerative disease due to the inflammation of the joints with thinning of the articular cartilage. The cartilage in our joints allows for the smooth movement of joints. When it becomes damaged due to injury, infection or gradual effects of ageing, joints movement is hindered. As a result, the tissues within the joint become irritated causing pain and swelling within the joint.

Symptoms

In OA, you will have no problem in the morning on arising but as the day progresses your discomfort will increase.

In the evening, there will be a dull ache in the area of the affected joint.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling of the affected joints
  • Changes in surrounding joints
  • Warmth – The arthritic joint may feel warm to the touch
  • Crepitation – A sensation of grating or grinding in the affected joint caused by the rubbing of damaged cartilage surfaces
  • Cysts – In OA of the hand, small cysts may develop, which may cause the ridging or dents in the nail plate of the affected finger

The changes associated with degenerative arthritis tend to involve similar joints. Whereas in post-traumatic degenerative arthritis where there is a history of acute or chronic trauma, the changes tend to be isolated to the specific joints injured.

Risk Factors

Old age
As a person grows older, it becomes more likely that the cartilage may be worn away. OA is uncommon in people below 40 years of age.

Gender
Women are more likely to suffer from OA, especially after menopause.

Previous joint injury
Someone with a previous injury to the cartilage within the joint, e.g. after a fracture involving the joint or after a sporting injury to the joint will have a higher risk of developing OA later in life.

Weight
A greater than normal body weight puts more stress on the weight-bearing joints such as the hip and knee, increasing the likelihood of developing OA in these joints.

Bone deformities
People born with deformed joints or abnormal cartilage have an increased risk of OA.

Other diseases that affect the joints
Bone and joint diseases that increase the risk of OA include other arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Genetics
Genetic factors may predispose to the development of OA.

Diagnosis

The specialist will begin by taking a detailed history of your problem and past medical problems, followed by a physical examination. He may then proceed to other tests, such as:

X-rays
This is the most commonly performed test to evaluate the status of the affected joint and the alignment of the joint. Normal x-rays are safe, simple and pain-free.

Blood tests
Depending on the clinical findings, blood may be drawn for special testing, to rule out other causes of joint pain, e.g. due to rheumatoid arthritis, gout or infection.

Joint aspiration
Occasionally, especially when the joint is very swollen, the doctor may choose to suck some fluid out of the swollen joint for special testing. Removal of joint fluid also sometimes relieves pain.

Treatment Options

The goals for treatment for osteoarthritis are:

i. Pain relief
ii. Maintenance of function
iii. Prevention of associated deformities
iv. Patient education

The treatment for OA depends on the severity of the disease and the patient’s own lifestyle expectations.

Early cases of OA can generally be treated with:

  • Rest and lifestyle modification, such as weight loss and cessation of smoking
  • Use of aid (e.g. a walking stick). Use of good shoes is also helpful for relieving symptoms in some
    cases of OA
  • Exercise and physiotherapy to strengthen muscles and improve joint flexibility
  • Medication

In OA of the hand, rest can be accomplished by selectively immobilising the joint in a splint. Splinting is initially done for a period of 3 – 4 weeks, during which the splint is worn continuously.

This is usually combined with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) taken at the same time. If there is improvement in symptoms, use of the splint during the day is progressively diminished over the course of the coming month/s.

Use of NSAIDS
Gastrointestinal intolerance remains one of the major factors limiting the prolonged use of NSAIDs and may require temporary or permanent discontinuation of the anti-inflammatory agent. Concomitant use of H2 blockers, omeprazole, or misoprostol, a prostaglandin analogue that counteracts the mucosal effects of NSAIDs, may mitigate some of the gastrointestinal effects. Nephrotoxicity is a well-known complication of NSAIDs, and patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency should not take NSAIDs for extended periods.

Types of medication
There is presently no medication that can cure OA or regrow the cartilage in osteoarthritic joints.

The most commonly prescribed medications are painkillers. The type of painkiller prescribed depends on
the severity of the pain. For early disease with mild and occasional pain, simple painkillers, although more severe pain may require the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) for relief. Analgesic (painkillers) creams and adhesive patches can also be used.

Glucosamine, with or without chondroitin, has also become a popular drug treatment in recent
years. It can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.

However, it is ineffective in many patients, especially those with severe OA. The duration of its symptomatic relief also tends to be temporary. There is no evidence that glucosamine or chondroitin is able to result in cartilage repair.

Injections
For the treatment of OA, your doctor may sometimes recommend a lubricant injection to coat the cartilage and stimulate the healing process.

Surgery
Surgery is usually only offered for severe disease that has not responded to conservative treatments mentioned. Both the type of surgery and the decision for surgery are made following careful discussions between you and your doctor.

For many joints in the hands, arthodesis or fusion of the joint is the method of choice. In joint fusion, the arthritic surface is removed and bones on either side of the joint are fused to eliminate movement from the problem joint.

There may be some loss of movement but the pain ablation and stability may functionally improve the joint that is severely affected by the degenerative joint disease.

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Knee Pain Clinic

Most athletes will experience some knee pain from time to time. Overuse, long training days or bumps and bruises from contact sports often result in minor knee pain that heals within a day or two with some rest and ice. But there are some clues that indicate more serious knee pain and injuries that may need to be seen by a doctor for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.

When to See a Doctor for Knee Pains

You should see a doctor for your knee pain if you have any of the following warning signs:

  • Pain that lasts more than 48 hours
    If you have knee deep within the knee joint for more than a day or two your should get checked by a doctor. The knee joint isn’t covered by muscle so pain here is rarely of muscular origin.
  • Swelling that lasts more than 48 hours
    The first thing that happens after an acute injury is swelling around the site of the injury. When soft tissue is damaged, it swells or possibly bleeds internally. This swelling causes pain and loss of motion, which limits use of the muscles or joints. Swelling is usually obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may just feel as though something is swollen even though it look normal. Swelling within a joint often causes pain, stiffness, and may produce a clicking sound as the tendons snap over one another after having been pushed into a new position from the swelling.
  • Loss of range-of-motion in the joint
    Reduced range-of-motion can indicate significant internal swelling, as well as other joint injuries. If you have limited range-of-motion for more than a day, you should contact your doctor.
  • Instability: feeling that the knee will give out
    Any instability in the knee joint or any sensation that the knee may give out or collapse may indicate a ligament injury to the knee. The knee ligaments provide support and stability to the joint and instability; if they are stretched or torn due to an injury, instability is one of the most obvious warning signs.
  • Inability to put your full weight on the leg
    A difference in your ability to support your full body weight on one leg,compared to the other, is another tip-off to an injury that requires attention.
  • Deformity of the knee joint
    If the knee joint looks deformed compared to the pain-free side, you should see a doctor. A fracture, patella tracking injury or a dislocating kneecap might sound obvious, but there are varying degrees of injury.
  • Knee joint pain in an active child
    If a child has knee pain it should be checked out be a doctor to rule out Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

Find the Right Doctor for Knee Pain

If you have any of these signs, you may want to see a specialist for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.

Get your Knee Injury checked and cured today. Call +65 6471 2744 or SMS to +65 9235 7641 for Appointment (24 Hours)

Common Cycling Injuries

Since the 1800s when bicycles first made their appearance, cycling has become popular for commuting, recreation, exercise, and sport. Studies estimate that large numbers of these cyclists experience physical problems: 48 percent in their necks, 42 percent in their knees, 36 percent in the groin and buttocks, 31 percent in their hands, and 30 percent in the back. No matter why they use a bicycle, young people can follow some basic safety principles to avoid common cycling injuries.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CYCLING INJURIES AND HOW CAN THEY BE PREVENTED?

Knee Pain

The knee is the most common site for overuse injuries in cycling. Patellofemoral syndrome (cyclist’s knee), patella and quandriceps tendinitis, medial plica syndrome, and iliotibial band friction syndrome are a few of the more common knee overuse injuries. The first four injuries mentioned involve pain around the kneecap, while the last condition results in outer knee pain. Shoe implants, wedges beneath the shoes, and cleat positions may help prevent some overuse injuries.

Head Injuries

One of the most common injuries suffered by cyclists is a head injury, which can be anything from a cut on the cheek to traumatic brain injury. Wearing a helmet may reduce the risk for head injury by 85 percent. The majority of states have no laws governing the use of helmets while riding a bicycle, but helmets are readily available for purchase and typically low in cost.

Neck/Back Pain

Cyclists most likely experience pain in the neck when they stay in one riding position for too long. An easy way to avoid this pain is by doing shoulder shrugs and neck stretches that help relieve neck tension. Improper form also leads to injuries. If the handlebars are too low, cyclists may have to round their backs, thus putting strain on the neck and back. Tight hamstrings and/or hip flexor muscles can also cause cyclists to round or arch the back, which causes the neck to hyperextend. Stretching these muscles on a regular basis will create flexibility and make it easier to maintain proper form. Changing the grip on the handlebars takes the stress off of over-used muscles and redistributes pressure to different nerves.

Wrist/Forearm Pain or Numbness

Cyclists should ride with their elbows slightly bent (never with their arms locked or straight). When they hit bumps in the road, bent elbows will act as shock absorbers. This is also where changing hand positions will help reduce pain or numbness. Two common wrist overuse injuries, Cyclist’s Palsy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, can be prevented by alternating the pressure from the inside to the outsides of the palms and making sure wrists do not drop below the handlebars. In addition, padded gloves and stretching the hands and wrists before riding will help.

Urogenital Problems

One common complaint from male riders who spend a lot of time riding is pudendal neuropathy, a numbness or pain in the genital or rectal area. It is typically caused by compression of the blood supply to the genital region. A wider seat, one with padding, a seat with part of the seat removed, changing the tilt of the seat, or using padded cycling shorts will all help relieve pressure.

Foot Numbness and Tingling

Foot numbness and tingling are common complaints, and shoes that are too tight or narrow are often the cause. In addition, foot numbness can be due to exertional compartment syndrome. This arises from increased pressure in the lower leg and resulting compression of nerves. The diagnosis is made by pressure measurements and is treated with surgical release.

Get professional consultation and treatment about your Cycling Injury. Call +65 6471 2744 or SMS to +65 9235 7641 for Appointment

You don’t have to Live with Joint Pain!

Most people assume that having pain in the joint is a normal process of ageing, and they just have to learn to live with it. All too often, instead of seeking professional advise, many turn to pain killers or assume the pain will just go away.

The causes of joint pain are diverse and range from inflammation, traumatic injuries, infections, overloading or even genetic factors. It is also commonly perceived that severe joint pain comes with age. However, this is not necessarily true as people in their twenties and thirties can also start to experience joint problems.

Take 35 years old Ling, an administrative executive, as an example.

As a running enthusiast, Ling jogs regularly and leads an active lifestyle. So, when she felt stiffness and aches in her knees, she thought it might be due to long periods of sitting at work or over exercising.

After many visits to the general practitioner and consistent taking of pain killers, her condition worsened and affected her daily life as she gradually found difficulty to get out of bed. She visited a specialist for advice when she noticed some swellings in her wrists and knees. From the results of a blood test and x-rays, she was told that she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“Rheumatoid Arthritis is not a benign joint disease and this inflammation usually occurs in joints in a symmetrical fashion. If left untreated, it can cause her to develop cartilage and bone damage leading to joints deformities and may also cause an early death” In Ling’s case, by seeking timely professional treatment, she was able to prevent disability.

Arthritis is a catch-all term that simply means inflammation of the joints. However, it is not a simple diagnosis as generally perceived. There are many different forms of arthritis and getting the right diagnosis and treatment are crucial in helping sufferers to minimise discomfort and prevent permanent damage to their joints.

While medications can relieve pain, they may also cause side effects such as stomach intolerance and kidney problems. Some other medications used to prevent further progression of the disease can also affect blood counts or the liver systems.

It is therefore recommended that sufferers of joint pain have a doctor monitor their condition regularly throughout the treatment process. Other than taking medications, they will also need to make some changes to their lifestyles by exercising and losing weight if they are overweight. They can work with a physiotherapist, who can develop an exercise programme that will aid them to improve strength and relieve pain.

Some joint aches and pains should not be overlooked as they can signal more sinister conditions. They can be related to connective tissue diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren’s Syndrome or underlying inflammatory muscle disease. These autoimmune disease may also be associated with inflammation or other organ systems such as the kidney, lung, brain and heart. However, with early detection and diagnosis, the sufferer can receive appropriate treatment and reduce the risk of serious complications.

Although usually non-threatening, it is important to seek help from a specialist when one experiences any kind of persistent joint pain or other unusual symptoms, for instance, prolonged joint stiffness which lasts through the day or persistent swelling of a joint as these can be features of an inflammed joint.

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Tips to keep your joints healthy

Move to Help Prevent Joint Pain

Keep joints healthy by keeping them moving. The more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have. Whether you’re reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and move around.

Joint Pain and Arthritis

With overuse or injury, cartilage on the end of the joints can break down, causing a narrowing of the joint space and the bones to rub together. Painful bony growths, or spurs, may form. This can lead to swelling, stiffness, and possibly osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease characterized by extreme inflammation.

Protect Your Body and Your Joints

Injury can damage joints. So protecting your joints your whole life is important. Wear protective gear like elbow and knee pads when taking part in high-risk activities like skating. If your joints are already aching, consider wearing braces when playing tennis or golf.

Healthy Weight for Healthy Joints

Joints hurting? Lose just a few pounds and you’ll take some strain off your hips, knees, and back. Extra pounds add to the load placed on these joints, increasing the risk of cartilage breakdown. Even a little weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes four pounds of pressure off your knees.

Don’t Stretch Before Exercise

Many arthritis experts believe that stretching is the most important type of exercise. Try to stretch daily but at least three times a week. However, it’s important that you don’t stretch cold muscles. Do a light warm up before stretching to loosen up the joints and the ligaments, and tendons around them.

Low-Impact Exercise for Joints

What exercise is good? To protect your joints, your best choices are low-impact options like walking, bicycling and swimming. That’s because high-impact, pounding, and jarring exercise can increase your risk of joint injuries and may slowly cause cartilage damage. Light weight-lifting exercises should also be included. But if you already have arthritis, first speak with your doctor.

Strengthen Muscles Around Joints

Stronger muscles around joints mean less stress on those joints. Research shows that having weak thigh muscles increases your risk of knee osteoarthritis, for example. Even small increases in muscle strength can reduce that risk. Avoid rapid and repetitive motions of affected joints.

Full Range of Motion is Key

Move joints through their full range of motion to reduce stiffness and keep them flexible. Range of motion refers to the normal extent joints can be moved in certain directions. If you have arthritis, your doctor or physical therapist can recommend daily range-of-motion exercises.

Strengthen Your Core

How can strong abs help protect joints? Stronger abs and back muscles help with balance. The more balanced you are, the less likely you are to damage your joints with falls or other injuries. So include core (abdominal, back, and hips) strengthening exercises in your routine.

Know Your Joints’ Limits

It’s normal to have some aching muscles after exercising. But if your pain lasts longer than 48 hours, you may have overstressed your joints. Don’t exercise so hard next time. Working through the pain may lead to injury or damage.

Eat Fish to Reduce Inflammation

If you have joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), eat more fish. Fatty coldwater fish like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may help keep your joints healthy, as well as reduce inflammation, a cause of joint pain and tenderness in people with RA. Don’t like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead.

Drink Milk to Keep Bones Strong

Calcium and vitamin D help keep bones strong. Strong bones can keep you on your feet, and prevent falls that can damage joints. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.

Protect Joints With Good Posture

Stand and sit up straight. Good posture protects your joints all the way from your neck down to your knees. One easy way to improve posture is by walking. The faster you walk, the harder your muscles work to keep you upright. Swimming can also improve posture.

Be Careful Lifting and Carrying

Consider your joints when lifting and carrying. Carry bags on your arms instead of with your hands to let your bigger muscles and joints support the weight.

Use Ice for Joint Pain

Ice is a natural — and free — pain reliever. It numbs pain and helps relieve swelling. If you have a sore joint, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes at a time. Don’t have ice or a cold pack? Try a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Never apply ice directly to the skin.

Glucosamine for Knee OA

Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound found in healthy joint cartilage. Some studies have shown glucosamine — combined with chondroitin — may provide some relief for moderate to severe pain caused by knee OA. Yet the results of other studies have been mixed.

Other Supplements for Joint Pain?

Health food stores are filled with supplements promising to relieve joint pain. In addition to glucosamine, the best scientific evidence is for SAMe. Some studies have even shown it to work better than anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen) for osteoarthritis pain. Acupuncture is another complementary therapy that may also help. Talk to your doctor if you want to give supplements a try as they may interact with other medicines.

Treat Joint Injuries

Physical trauma can contribute to cartilage breakdown and OA. If you injure a joint, see your doctor right away for treatment. Then take steps to avoid more damage. You may need to avoid activities that overstress the joint or use a brace to stabilize it.

Heal Injured Joints

While ice helps injured joints, heat may worsen the problem

If you have ever sprained your ankle, you probably would have been given conflicting advice and been caught in this dilemma: apply heat or ice?

The correct answer is ice, experts say.

Early application of heat may result in a longer healing time.

“Heat application is not recommended in the early stage of an injury – within the first two to three days, when there is active inflammation.”

Applying heat to the affected area may cause blood vessels there to expand and increase blood flow to the area which, in turn, will increase swelling.

Heat is useful only in situations involving painful muscle spasms, such as back injuries or chronic joint injuries, that are slow to heal. In such cases, heat helps to reduce stiffness and provide relief.

For common joint injuries such as sprains, dislocations and ligament tears, the Rice (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) technique is the best immediate treatment.

The most commonly injured joints are the ankle and the knee.

For these joints, injury symptoms may include a “pop” sound, followed by pain, swelling and in some cases, feeling unstable while walking.

The patient should first stop exercising that joint and rest it. He should then apply ice wrapped in a towel to the joint.

This involves pressing the ice firmly onto the affected area for 15 to 30 minutes or using the ice to massage the area for seven to 10 minutes.

The patient should then use a bandage to continue applying pressure to the injured joint.

An indication that too much pressure has been applied is when the part beyond the bandage looks a little blue or feels numb or painful.

Finally, keep the limb with the injured joint elevated by placing supports, such as pillows under it.

The injury is usually serious if the pain persists for more than a week or if there is severe swelling or bruising.

In general, you should get an injured limb checked by a doctor early. Injuries should be assessed by a doctor as you do not want to delay taking care of potentially serious injuries that could have benefited from early intervention.

Call us at +65 6471 2744 to make appointment with Dr Kevin Yip