Osteoarthritis is very common and affects most of us as we get older. It is the most common form of arthritis in people over the age of 65. Men are more likely to be affected than women before they reach 45, but, in the over-55s, the balance shifts so more women are affected.

Osteoarthritis is sometimes called ‘wear-and-tear arthritis’ and ‘degenerative arthritis’, but wear and tear and degeneration are not the whole story. Lots of people who have done heavy work all their lives do not develop osteoarthritis and it is not confined to older people.

Does Osteoarthritis Run in Families?

Osteoarthritis can run in families and, if your parents had it, you have a slightly greater chance of developing it too. It can also develop early in any joint that has previously been seriously injured. Footballers, for instance, often suffer repeated cartilage injuries and may develop osteoarthritis in their knees. Besides the knee, osteoarthritis is common in hip, the knuckle joint of the big toe, the joint at the base of the thumb, the spine, especially the lower back, and the neck.

How Osteoarthritis Develop?

Doctors think that Osteoarthritis may be a disorder affecting the cells responsible for making cartilage. The cartilage loses its slippery surface, cracks develop and it becomes roughened.

Knee Osteoarthritis

Over time, the cartilage becomes thinner and the joint may not move as freely as it did. The bone at the edges of the joint may change shape and bony lumps, or osteophytes, may form. In advanced cases, the cartilage may disappear entirely and the bone forming the joint may become deformed.

Bilateral Osteoarthritis Knees

Common Symptoms in Osteoarthritis

  • The joint is painful after exercise and at the end of the day.
  • The joint is stiff first thing in the morning or after a daytime rest.
  • The joint creaks or grinds when you move it – this is known as ‘crepitus’.
  • Tender lumps may appear on the small joints at the ends of your fingers and the bases of your thumbs.

 Treatment for Osteoarthritis

  • Anti-Inflammatory medicines
  • Anti-inflammatory injection
  • Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
  • Synvisc Injection
  • Joint Replacement

 Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 hour) to make an appointment to treat your Osteoarthritis today.

While rarely fatal, gout can be a debilitating health condition.

Gout is getting increasingly common in modern society, partly due to our increased life expectancy, and also our changing diet, which is rich in red meats, seafood and alcohol. While gout is rarely fatal, it can be debilitating, with the affected joints becoming tender and swollen, resulting in excruciating pain even to the slightest touch.

What causes Gout?

Gout (known as hyperuricemia) is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. This could be due to two main reasons: inability to get rid of uric acid or creating too much uric acid, or both, leading to a build up in the body. However, not everyone who has hyperuricemia will develop symptoms, and only those suffering need to be treated.

In order to further lower your uric acid level, your doctor might start you on a long-term treatment. In general, there will be two groups of medicines available (prescription required). These are Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitor, such as Allopurinol, and Uricosuric Agent, such as Probenecid.

How can I Better Manage my Gout?

Lifestyle changes are highly recommended in order to better manage your condition. Here are a few tips for you to follow:

  1. Consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol will both increase your production of uric acid and decrease the ability to excrete uric acid. More than two standard alcoholic drinks a day for men and one standard drink for women increases the risk of developing gout.
  2. Drink more water. Two to four litres of water each day is recommended water intake for a healthy adult. This would help your kidneys excrete uric acid more efficiently.
  3. Control your diet. Avoid foods high in purines, as uric acid id the final product of purine metabolism. Examples are red meat and seafood.
  4. Review medication with your healthcare professional. If you are on the other chronic medications, go through the list with your doctor to ensure that the medication isn’t increasing your risk of gout attacks.

Call +65 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to see our orthopaedic specialist for your Gout treatment today.

Although they are much less common than the mechanical causes of back pain, certain diseases can contribute to back pain and are likely to need long-term treatment.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that causes pain in the joints that is usually accompanied by swelling and sometimes changes in their structure. Although arthritis usually affects the knees, ankles and wrists, it can also affect the spine and hip joints, causing chronic back pain.

There are two major types of arthritis:

  • osteoarthritis – caused by wear and tear of the joints
  • rheumatoid arthritis – caused by inflammation in the joints

Ankylosing spondylitis

An extremely rare disease, (affecting about one person in every 1,000) the cause of which is largely unknown. Spondylitis means inflammation of the spine and ankylosing means fusing. The disease is characterised by low-back pain that may spread to the buttocks or thighs but never below the knee. It mainly affects people under the age of 30 and is more common in men than in women.

Fibromyalgia

A muscle disease that cause pain all over the body, but mostly affects the neck, spine, shoulders and hips. It can occur as a result of stress, muscle injury or muscle overuse.

Fibromyalgia is more common than ankylosing spondylitis and affects between 4 and 20% of people in the UK. People with fibromyalgia often have trouble sleeping.

Osteoporosis

Although osteoporosis itself does not cause back pain, its long-term consequences can result in significant pain. Vertebral osteoporotic collapse, in which a vertebrae breaks down because of underlying osteoporosis, is an example of this.

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects bones and makes them more likely to fracture or break. Our bones are made of a thick outer shell and a strong inner mesh filled with collagen, calcium and other minerals.

Osteoporosis occurs when the holes in the mesh becomes bigger, making it more fragile and liable to break easily. Osteoporotic fractures  occur most often in the hip, wrist and spine. Spinal fractures are also called vertebral fractures,

Women who have gone through the menopause are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis because they have lower levels of the hormone, oestrogen, which normally slows down the deterioration of bone.

Vertebral fractures can cause back pain, immobility and muscle spasm, to the extent that turning over, sitting up and getting dressed, for example, can become extremely difficult. Interestingly, however, many people with vertebral fractures do not complain of pain and may be unaware that they have a fracture in the first place.

Treatments for your low back pain includes:

Call +65 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to treat your back pain today.

Herniated Disc

Mechanical problems are by far the most common cause of back pain. There are many possible reasons why mechanical pain – in which a specific part of the spine, like a disc, a ligament or a joint, does not work correctly – can occur. As well as strains, knocks and other accidental injuries, a number of diseases can contribute to, or worsen, the mechanical causes of back pain. Remember, underlying diseases is not the most common cause of back pain. Some of the mechanics of back pain are discussed below.

Growing older

Sometimes, back pain is a natural consequence of the ageing process. As we get older the discs that separate the vertebrae lose their flexibility and shock-absorbing properties and are damaged more easily.

Herniated discs

This is the process by which one of the discs ruptures and its inner core bulges out through the outer layer of ligaments that surround it. This is painful enough in itself, but if the bulge presses on a spinal nerve, the pain may spread to the part of the body that is served by the nerve. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back and most often affect people between ages 25 and 45. Only about 1 in 25 people who have pain in their lower back that is caused by a physical problem have a herniated disc.

Herniated Disc in Top VIew

Facet joint problems

Like the discs, the facet joints that connect the vertebrae together can wear down, or degenerate, and the two halves of the joint can grate against each other, causing back pain.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis describes the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal which then exerts pressure on the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is usually associated with feelings of weakness or tingling sensations. Another type of stenosis is that of the nerve root canal. This can be linked to the narrowing of the foramina., the space between two vertebrae through which the nerve root passes.

Treatments to Back Pain

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 hr) to make an appointment to see our specialist for treatment to your back pain today.