Dear Doc; YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS MAILBAG.
Should I keep taking them?
S. JARVIS, AIRDRIE A. Anti-inflammatory medicines are used in sports injuries to reduce swelling and relieve pain. All these medicines are based on Aspirin, which was the original anti-inflammatory but can cause stomach irritation among some users.
New drugs have been developed to minimise this risk and it is one of the most recent products on the market, Vioxx, which has been withdrawn due to other adverse effects.
The medicines commission are currently looking at the others available but, at present, patients are advised to continue their current treatment.
Q. I am in my 50s but still play regular badminton. Over the last year or so I have noticed pain in my neck and a creaking sound, particularly when I play overhead shots. Could this be arthritis?
B. WHITE, GLASGOW A. As your symptoms have been present for some time it does not sound like an injury but more likely to be due to cervical spondylosis.
This is known as degenerative osteoarthritis which affects the bones in the upper part of the spine. Wear and tear of the bones is quite often the cause. Injury can also sometimes start off the symptoms, though, which are commonly pain in the back of the head or neck.
Some patients suffer pain and tingling down their arms due to nerve pressure from the worn bone or dizziness due to pressure on the blood vessels, especially when turning their head.
Cervical spondylosis cannot be cured but the symptoms can be treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines. Physiotherapy can strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve neck mobility.
Q. I play golf twice a week and recently have suffered from increasing pain in my wrist. It is now almost impossible to grip the club without this discomfort. Do I have tendinitis?
D. MITCHELL, WHITECRAIGS A. This does sound like inflammation of the tendons, which control wrist movement.
The tendons are attached to the muscles that move the wrist, and assist in the grasp, so this is why you have pain when gripping the club.
The cause may be poor technique or an increase in the frequency of playing.
Pain is felt over the particular tendon or tendons involved and is increased by turning the wrist especially against resistance. There will be local tenderness and possibly swelling.
Treatment consists of measures to reduce the inflammation. This comprises initial rest from the activity which aggravates the pain, physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medicines and possibly the use of a splint to limit movement.
Occasionally a local steroid injection or surgery is needed for persistent cases.
#The Sports Health and Injury Clinic is backed by the SFA and Glasgow's three main universities.
It is open seven days to people who take part in competitive sport, exercise for fun or who just need advice or physiotherapy. Contact them on: 0141 616 6161.