Feeling an ache or pain? Don’t ignore it.

Minor aches and pains that happen after trips and falls may seem like nothing important, but that niggling pain could be much worse than you think.

Here are some aches and pains that you should not ignore – according to Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton, an orthopaedic surgeon practising at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore.

Trips and falls can happen all of the time.

This is because though they may appear minor at first glance, these issues have the tendency to develop into a problem that’s much bigger.

1) Knee Pain

If you suddenly hear a loud snap in your knee or something in the knee gets swollen after a fall, this could develop into a persistent swelling, instability and permanent cartilage damage, and this may lead to a serious degenerative joint disease.

So if you fall or bump into something, and there’s pain in your knee, Dr Dutton urges you to seek treatment immediately.

2) Pain in the Lower Back

Pain or numbness in the lower back, caused by many hours of sitting down in an office chair, needs to be treated immediately.

This is because it could be caused by a slipped disk. A slipped disk will put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the body and can lead to muscle spasms or permanent nerve damage, if left untreated.

3) Ankle Sprain

We have all had such an experience; one moment you are running on the pavement or the trails and the next minute, you trip on something and fall to the ground. When you get up again, you find that you have sprained your ankle.

Twisting or spraining your ankle may seem like a minor injury that you can just shake off, but if it is left untreated, Dr Dutton explained that this can cause ligaments in the ankle to stretch or tear and if the sprain does not heal fully, it can lead to the ankle becoming permanently unstable.

If you continue to walk on a sprained ankle too, it may lead to permanent cartilage damage. So never try and walk or run on a sprained ankle until the injury has fully healed.

4) Pain in the Shoulder

This too, can happen to anyone. You may be lifting something heavy such as during a Spartan race, and your arm feels painful. There may or may not be a clicking or popping sound too, when you move your shoulder.

This is due to a torn tendon in the shoulder and ignoring the pain and carrying on with things, may lead to chronic pain, inflammation or permanent joint stiffness.

If you think that you may have injured yourself but are not sure, the best thing is to seek medical advice as soon as you can, at the Accident & Emergency department of your nearest hospital. The doctor will then conduct a clinical examination, x-ray or MRI to determine the cause and severity of the injury, if any, and give you the proper diagnosis and relevant treatment. 

This is because leaving a minor injury for too long, stressed Dr Dutton, may lead to chronic pain and there is a possibility you will need to have expensive reconstructive surgery to fix the problem. Sometimes, Dr Dutton also added that the damage may be irreparable too. 

This article has been adapted from https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus/article/4-body-pains-you-should-never-ignore-and-why 

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