Bones play many roles in the body. They support us and allow us to move. They protect our brain, heart, and other organs from injury. Our bones also store minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, which help keep our bones strong, and release them into the body when we need them for other uses. Which is why it is super important to keep them strong and healthy.
But did you know that bones typically reach peak bone mass before age 30? Of course, this varies from person to person but after age 30, it is safe to say that the bone building balance naturally shifts and more bone is lost than gained.
Now I know why my bones feel like shattering after an hour's worth of jumping at the trampoline park!
In all seriousness though, I learnt that there are many things we can do to keep our bones healthy and strong: Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting plenty of exercise, and having good health habits are some of the ways we can help keep our bones healthy - thanks to a talk conducted by OrthoSports a few weekends ago.
Dr Ang Kian Chuan
Dr. Ang specialises in sports injuries especially of the knee and shoulder. In fact, he is actively involved with sporting events of all types, being the Team Physician to the Wanderers Rugby Club, Bedok Kings Rugby Club and Bucks Rugby Club. He also works closely with Amateur Muay Thai Association of Singapore. He was also featured on several Reality Television programs having been responsible for the medical care of the participants in the Contender Asia Muay Thai series as well as Season 4 of the Contender (Boxing) series by Mark Burnett productions.
Dr David Paul Bell
Dr. Bell is a specialist in management of traumatic injuries of the musculoskeletal system, deformity correction and degenerative conditions of the hip and knee, with a keen interest in the treatment of osteoporosis. He is trained in the use of innovative and minimally invasive surgical techniques, leading to better outcomes for his patients.
As one ages, the bones in the body become weaker and more brittle, which often develops into a disease called osteoporosis. Dr. Bell shared that the likelihood of an individual developing osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass he attains by the time he reaches age 30 and how rapidly he loses it after that. In short, the higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Dr Tan Ken Jin
Dr. Tan's speciality is in the area of Foot and Ankle disorders. So it comes as no surprise that he is also known as the Foot & Ankle Doctor, especially since he was a founding member of the Foot and Ankle Division since its inception at the National University Hospital. In 2006, he was also part of the NUH earthquake surgical relief team to Yogyakarta.
Admittedly, I paid the most attention to his talk because his topic struck close to home. You see, I have flat feet and they were the cause of the heel pain that I have experienced from time to time. And because flat feet are often hereditary, I worry for my monkies.
What I have learnt from Dr. Tan is for kids under the age of 7 years old, they have feet that are still growing and developing an arch. Hence, having a flatfoot can be part of normal development in many children and no formal treatment is necessary. In slightly older children after about 7 years of age, an arch may fail to develop. As they get more active, the flatfeet may cause pain and aches in the region of the arch of the foot. In these children, fitting of an insole may be beneficial. In some children, despite an insole, their symptoms persist and surgical correction can have a role.
And speaking of heel pain, as luck would have it... a few weeks after the OrthoSports talk, this happened.
See the tiny bump at the back of my heel?
A few weeks ago while the monkies were having a trial class at a soccer clinic, I attended a boot camp session which was offered to parents. I figured why not since I would be wasting my time doing nothing while waiting for the monkies to be done. Everything went well, I perspired, felt great, felt lighter (maybe subconsciously).... until 2 days later when I felt a sharp pain emanating from my right heel.
2 visits to the GP yielded no fruitful results and then I remembered Dr. Tan of OrthoSports. An appointment was hastily made and after my consultation, he diagnosed that I suffered a micro-injury to my Achilles tendon.
I was ordered to put on an ankle guard with paddings so as to soften the impact on my heel when I walk. So my right ankle looks like one big bak zhang (rice dumpling) now.
At the time of writing, it has already been a week since I have put it on and my heel is definitely less painful now. Hopefully, the pain will be all gone by the time I go back for a review.
Despite having sports in the name of the clinic, OrthoSports does not treat ailments limited to only sports people. In fact, with the 3 Orthopaedic Surgeons each having an area of specialisation, OrthoSports also cater to senior folks who are facing orthopaedic problems as well as injuries faced by people like you and me.
Looks like I am in good hands then!
UPDATE: My heel has completely recovered! WOOT!
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