Put Your Joint Pains To Rest

Body aches and joint pains are the last things on your mind when you’re in your sprightly 20s.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Body aches and joint pains are the last things on your mind when you’re in your sprightly 20s. But in your late 30s, your daily routine may suddenly get disrupted by chronic pain.

You are reluctant to climb the stairs or go out for long periods of time because your back and knees are killing you. What you don’t know is that these aren’t necessarily signs of old age. Chances are, your food intake and lifestyle are contributing to your discomfort.

Women are naturally more susceptible to various joint problems as they have lower peak bone mass and musculature than men do. Childbearing and menopause also take a toll on bone strength and density. Furthermore, dieting fervently or having too much of your favourite collagen hotpot will put you at risk of gout and various vitamin deficiencies. Add an inactive lifestyle to all that, and your body will start sending you warning signs.

On the other end of the spectrum are women who are “too active”. High intensity sports can put a strain on your knees and ankles. According to Dr Henry Chan, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, 80-90 per cent of patients undergoing joint replacement surgeries are women, and one in three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.

Landing awkwardly after a strenuous leap is enough to tear our meniscus (a C-shaped structure that stabilises and evenly distributes our weight) and ligaments in our knees. Tears in your meniscus and ligaments will result in persistent pain, swelling and limited range of motion.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is the latest and most advanced method that harnesses your body’s natural healing power to treat less serious musculoskeletal issues.

PRP injections are applied directly to the injured tendons and ligaments. The process is simple: Blood is drawn from the patient, and the “goodies” extracted from it are injected directly to the injured tendons and ligaments. The injections are reputed to be 100 per cent safe with minimal downtime, and can be done as an outpatient clinic procedure.

Don’t allow chronic pain to continue, or you’ll be plagued by a stiff back, painful knees and aching heels. Instead of reaching for over-the-counter medication, consult an expert for a thorough examination.

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“Broken bones = broken lives; 20 per cent of patients die within one year after an osteoporotic hip fracture.”
– Dr Henry Chan 
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Dr Henry Chan of HC Orthopaedic Surgery is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in bone health. He offers in-depth consultations, bone-screening services and PRP injections.

You may visit www.hcortho.sg or call 6732-8848 for more information.