The importance of staying hydrated

March 22, 2020

To avoid straining your muscles during any sporting activity it is really important to take all possible precautions

Our panel of experts answers all your queries in this week's column.

Q: While playing hockey, I fell down on the ground and had an injured elbow while protecting myself during the fall. It's been two weeks now but the pain in my right elbow still exists. I had an x-ray which suggested no fracture. Please advise? I am 25 years old. - Kamran Bhutta

A: Dear reader, the elbow is a complex joint of arm which is made up of ligaments and bones. It comprises of complex structures around the elbow help in movement of joint. Fall upon the elbow may result in injury of bones as well as soft tissues around the elbow. If the x-ray is normal then there is a possibility of ligaments around the elbow joint. It is advisable that you visit an orthopedic surgeon and get complete evaluation of your elbow joint which may include some investigations in order for you to return to your regular sporting activities.

Dr. Muhammad Sufyan
FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports Medicine Fellowship (Singapore)
Assistant Professor | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: I'm 27 years old and play cricket regularly. I am a wicket-keeper. For the last three months I developed a back pain, which aggravates while wicket keeping. One of my senior team mates said it's a permanent fracture, and I have to leave wicket-keeping. Please help me what to do? - Azhar Habib

A: Dear reader, commenting on any fracture without proper diagnosis is difficult and mostly wrong. There is a magnitude of factors which might lead to back pain and most of these are reversible. I would recommend you to take rest for a week or so and visit a neurosurgeon so you can be examined in detail and appropriate treatment advised.

Prof. Dr. Salman Yousuf Sharif
Head of the Department | Department of Spinal and Neurosurgery
Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: I play badminton. I am 32 years old. Last week while playing, my left thigh muscle pulled, resulting in severe pain and calling off the game. Is there any permanent cure for this? And which specialist doctor should I see? - Mohammad Abrar

A: Dear friend, most probably you are having a muscle strain. This can happen because of various reasons. Muscle tightness, Quads and Hamstring Imbalance, poor conditioning of your thigh muscles or muscle fatigue.
For a player it is important to keep his body conditioned to the type of game he is playing. If you are not a professional level player, then there are high chances that your muscles are not conditioned to the level of activity you carried out that day. This also leads to fatigue. Once you start playing, lactic acid starts accumulating in your muscle and if you have not conditioned your muscles then it can lead to fatigue and failure to perform further activity.
To avoid this in future, always do some warm up exercises before starting your game. This will increase blood flow to the muscle and will prepare it for the activity. Also in between the rounds do some stretching, gradually and slowly. This will help relieving tightness.
Other reasons are dehydration. Do take plenty of water before and after the game. Once you have finished never immediately change your environmental temperature and let the body slowly cool down.
In our current practice we also see low vitamin D3 level, even in young healthy individuals, which can cause muscle fatigue. Do consult an orthopedic surgeon he will advise you blood tests and will prescribe you calcium. He will also check your muscle integrity.

Dr. Nasir Ahmed
MCPS (Surg), FCPS (Tr&Orth)
Assistant Professor & Consultant | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: I am a swimmer and spend two hours daily on the pool. Lately I developed a slight blurred vision in both eyes. Somebody said that this is due to the amount of Chlorine they put in the pool. Please advise me for the cure. -Wahid Azeem

A: Bloodshot eyes or red eyes after swimming is not as a result of chlorine, but in fact is caused by contaminants in pool water such as urine and sweat.
These two dirty things bind to chlorine in pool water creating a chemical compound which in turn causes eye to sting.
The problem may be worse in indoor swimming pools where there is a poor air turnover.
Normal chlorinated water should not do any harm to eyes but some people may be more sensitive than others.
Blurry vision in freshwater swimming pool is generally attributed to cleanliness of water. Certain types of bacteria and algae can be especially harsh on your eyes. If your red eye doesn't go away in 24 hours it is always advisable to visit nearest eye doctor.

Dr. Ata Ur Rehman
Associate Professor & Consultant Eye Surgeon
Department of Ophthalmology
Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

All the specialists on our experts' panel are associated with Liaquat National Hospital. Please send your queries at [email protected] or [email protected])

The importance of staying hydrated