Early diagnosis and management of sports injuries can be vital to minimising further injury and time off sport. Musculoskeletal conditions such and back, neck and shoulder pain, can have a significant impact on work, social life and mental health. Our doctors are skilled at the diagnosis, appropriate investigation and management of sports injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, including appropriate referral to physiotherapists, sports physicians and specialists.
What is arthritis and what causes it?
There are over a hundred types of arthritis, but the most common by far is osteoarthritis (OA). This is generally regarded as a degeneration of the joint cartilage due to wear and tear as we age, but it is not inevitable. It can often be prevented and even reversed to some degree. The cartilage has no blood supply and obtains all its nourishment from the synovial fluid inside the joint. That only happens when the joint moves, compressing and decompressing the cartilage, a dense sponge with a slippery surface. If the joint remains stationary for many hours, the cartilage thins and loses its shock-absorbing capacity. Sudden shocks can then cause microfractures in the underlying bone, which loses its elasticity as the subchondral bone heals and hardens. The overlying cartilage is then subjected to even more stress and begins to break down. Osteoarthritis can thus be largely prevented by keeping the cartilage well nourished and hydrated, by frequent movement and adequate fluid intake, and by avoiding sudden jolts to the joint after inactivity. Since the body weight gets amplified four-fold at the hip and six-fold at the knee with every step on a hard surface, avoiding overweight and obesity is essential in the prevention and management of OA of these joints.