What We Treat
Pain is our body telling us that something is not right. Pain can be caused by a number of things including trauma, fatigue from over exercise or disease. It is best to get it checked and get treatment especially if it persists over a few days.
This section is a general tool to help you identify the kind of pain you are experiencing. The information here is not designed to replace a physician’s consultation but will help you to communicate to him or her the nature of your condition.
Knowing the area: The back is the body’s main support and is made up of vertebrae (the spine), muscles, nerves, ligaments and shock-absorbing discs.The spine has three natural curves: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. The cervical spine supports the neck and allows you to move your head; the thoracic spine supports the middle back and protects the lungs; the lumbar spine supports the lower back and contains the largest and strongest vertebrae. When all three curves are in their normal positions, the body is ideally balanced with your weight evenly distributed.
Common Problems: Pain in the back can come from misaligned vertebrae, slipped discs, pinched nerves, sprained muscles or ligaments. The most common complaints are lower back pain, muscle spasms, sprains and strains.
Common Cause: Poor posture like slouching or hunching, poor sleeping surfaces or positions, incorrect sitting or standing positions, strain from improper lifting techniques, trauma from sports like golf and tennis, obesity, frequent use of high heels. Falls where you land in a sitting position also almost always hurt the back. Back pain is usually the result of years of accumulated abuse.
Knowing the area: The neck, or cervical spine, is made out of 7 vertebrae connected by shock-absorbing discs. The neck allows your head to move as well as gives it support and balance.
Common Problems: The muscles and ligaments can be sprained, pulled or torn when they are stretched beyond their normal range of motion or subjected to sudden movement. Waking up with a stiff neck is also a common occurrence.
Common Cause: Sleeping in an awkward position, pillows that are too high or too flat, poor posture, general wear and tear. Discs also degenerate with age, losing their shock-absorbing ability and pinching the nerves.
Knowing the area: The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body and can rotate a full 360°. It is made out of 3 bones attached by ligaments, tendons and muscle.
Common Problems: Because the shoulder has little ligament attachments and a shallow socket, one of the most common complaints is shoulder dislocation where the joint ‘pops’ out of the socket. Other problems include tendonitis, sprains, torn ligament, torn muscle and fractures.
Common Cause: Sports where arms are raised over the head like volleyball, badminton, tennis and swimming can often injure the joint. Daily wear and tear through frequent use can also erode the cartilage around the socket and cause pain.
Knowing the area: The elbow is a joint that allows two different kinds of motion – bending and straightening (up-and-down) and supination and pronation (turning). The elbow links the upper arm bone to the forearm bone and is bound together by ligaments.
Common Problems: Tennis or golfer’s elbow where pain develops on the outside of the elbow as the muscles and tendons become inflamed. Another common injury is hyperextended elbow where external forces extend it beyond its normal range and tear the muscles.
Common Cause: Incorrect stroke technique i.e. using the elbow instead of the arm and shoulder particularly in sports like golf and tennis, frequent and intensive yanking of the elbow particularly during practice. Forceful jerking of the hand or twisting the elbow too much to the left or right can also cause a tear in the muscles.
Knowing the area: The wrist and hand make up one of the most complex structures in our bodies, consisting of more than 25 separate bones and a maze of muscles, nerves and tendons.The wrist gives the hand up-and-down and side-to-side movement.
Common Problems: Sprains, ligament tears, fractures, tendonitis, tendon inflammation and ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ which is characterised by burning pain and numbness.
Common Cause: Daily wear and tear, external forces which force the fingers and wrist out of the normal range of motion, heavy pressure on the thumb and fingers, actions that twist or swing the wrist such as using a screwdriver, repeated unsupported wrist movement such as typing and using a mouse. Incorrect stroke technique i.e. using the wrist instead of the arm and shoulder particularly in sports like golf and tennis can also cause injury.
Knowing the area: There are two main muscles in the thigh: the hamstrings, located at the back of the thigh, and its opposing muscle, the quadriceps which are located on the front.
Common Problems: The most common complaint in this area is a hamstring pull. Occasionally, the quadriceps can tear or pull as well.
Common Cause: Pushing the body too hard especially during sports that involve a lot of running and jumping or athletics. The hamstrings can pull or rip when the body is tight and unyielding before exercise.
Knowing the area: The lower leg area, i.e. the calf and shins, is comprised of two major muscles – one attached to the back of the thigh and one behind the knee.
Common Problems: Muscle strains, aching shins.
Common Cause: Aching shins or ‘shin splints’ are usually problems of joggers or runners who have switched shoes, changed running surfaces or have stepped up the pace of their workout.
Knowing the area: The knee is a large complex joint that joins the upper and lower leg bones and allows the leg to bend. Cartilage is found in between the joint to allow the bones to glide smoothly while ligaments, tendons and muscles keep the joint aligned, strong and flexible.
Common Problems: Overuse injury like runner’s knee or walker’s knee, ligament sprain, dislocation, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Common Cause: Overuse can cause the knee to misalign and the cartilage to quickly wear out, causing friction and pain to the knee. Daily wear and tear can also wear out the cartilage. Age is particularly a factor when it comes to knee injury as the cartilage gradually breaks down, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling. Overuse can cause the knee to misalign and the cartilage to quickly wear out, causing friction and pain to the knee. Daily wear and tear can also wear out the cartilage. Age is particularly a factor when it comes to knee injury as the cartilage gradually breaks down, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
Knowing the area: The ankle is one of the most basic joints in the body and allows only up-and-down movement. The ankle is made up of three major bones, two sets of ligaments and the main tendon – the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body.
Common Problems: Sprains, torn ligament, fractures and Achilles tendonitis.
Common Cause: Weak ligaments and muscles, sports-related injuries like landing wrongly on the ankle especially in sports like football, volleyball and basketball.