Special Feature: Injuries Prevention by Dr. Anand Vichyanond, M.D.
Injuries from sports or exercise can occur at any age. We have invited our Member Dr. Anand Vichayanond to offer professional advice on how to prevent these injuries and get relief from them:
Physical activity is necessary for healthy growth in children. To avoid injuries, it is very important for the young athlete to use proper and suitable equipment, and to make sure the activity level is not too excessive.
Many injuries in children have been caused by not using the proper equipment. For example, young athletes who play tennis should use a tennis racket adapted to their height and age.
When a young athlete’s activity level becomes too excessive, tissue breakdown and injury can occur, leading to stress fractures which can greatly impact growth development.
There are a couple of things parents should do and pay attention to. The first one is to listen to your child. If they often complain about pain after playing sports do take action, as nagging injuries can lead to chronic problems.
The second one is to watch out for stress fracture growth plate injuries, as this type of injury can cause the plate to close prematurely and stop bone growth.
This group is in their physical prime or in “golden shape”, and at their strongest. The one piece of advice for this age group is to try and avoid accidents and forceful collisions during physical activities, and not to be negligent about injuries and recovery.
For Members who suffer from Office Syndrome, I recommend that they exercise regularly, particularly full-body exercises such as swimming and yoga. Exercises that stretch and strengthen core muscle groups, as well as improve posture, are preferred.
Members in the age group 35 and over are more likely to get injured as their energy level may remain stable but their body starts to deteriorate i.e. muscle strength and condition start to decline.
Members who do sports with repetitive movement such as tennis or golf should monitor themselves as those sports tend to lead to more injuries than full-body sports.
Members in the age group 35 and over are more likely to get injured as their energy level may remain stable but their body start to deteriorate i.e. muscle strength and condition starts to decline.
I would recommend to keep a consistent exercise routine, otherwise muscles and skills will weaken further, increasing the risk of injuries.
By the time we reach 50, all our body parts such as our tendons and muscles are degenerating. The older our body becomes, the higher the risk of getting injuries. Another important type of injury that can occur is from overuse, caused by repetitive trauma or too much sports or exercises. Seniors should also be cautious when playing with younger players.
For fitness-lovers, my advice is to be cautious about overuse such as too much heavy weight training or miscarriage, which can cause torn tendons. Severe cases of overuse injuries can range from chronic inflammation to stress fractures and torn muscles or tendons. The important thing for everyone is to observe your body symptoms and “what your body is telling you”.
If you have any muscle injuries after playing sports or exercise, you can relieve the pain and swelling, and promote healing and flexibility, using the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).
Step 1: Rest
After an injury, you need to rest the injured place immediately to avoid any delay in healing. The usual recommendation given to a patient is to refrain from weight-bearing activities for 24-48 hours.
Step 2: Ice
Ice the injured place for 10-20 minutes, every 1-2 hours, to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. An ice pack wrapped in a towel is easy and effective. However, make sure to not to place the ice pack on the injured place for more than 20 minutes in one sitting.
Step 3: Compression
Reduce the swelling and chance of internal bleeding by wrapping the injured place with an elastic bandage. The bandage needs to be snug but avoid wrapping it too tightly, so that blood can still circulate properly around the joint. If you believe that the injured place will need to be bandaged for more than 48-72 hours, medical attention may be necessary.
Step 4: Elevation
While resting, icing and compressing the injured point, elevate the joint on pillows to reduce swelling by keeping the joint at, or above, the level of your heart.
Please note that if the injured place has become deformed or is in excruciating pain, you need to urgently consult with a medical doctor. Another indication that you need to observe is a feeling of numbness, as this anesthetised feeling may mean a broken bone that pressing on a nerve.
Dr. Anand Vichyanond, M.D. is an orthopaedic surgeon at Bangkok hospital, who is highly specialised in Sports Medicine, and Arthroscopic Knee and Shoulder Surgery. He is a member of the RBSC since childhood and often seen on a tennis court.
“When I started studying, I became very interested in sports injuries and enjoyed learning about how to manage them. I graduated as a Doctor of Medicine and then furthered my studies in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. I also attended an Arthroscopic Knee and Shoulder Surgery course in Osaka, Japan.”
With his 14 years of extensive experience, Dr. Anand shares some interesting advice about injury prevention and immediate healing methods should you get an acute injury in this article.