Monthly Archives - October 2015

Health Advice on Heavy School Bags

Are your children carrying school bags that are too heavy for them? Many children these days carry around a school bag similar to a "portable life support system" when they go to school, as occupational therapy clinical professor Karen Jacobs described in a CNN article. The expert says that the rule of the thumb for backpacks is that they should not weigh more than 10% of the child's weight. Heavy school bags can cause pain and other back problems, and in the long run does no good for the child.

Karen points out that the ideal school bag should be one with lightweight material, two fully padded straps and a padded back. The bag should be within the length between the shoulder blades and the waist. Parents should not get a bigger bag just because it leaves room for the child's growth in future, as bigger bags means higher chances of overfilling. When packing the school bag, the heaviest items should be placed closest to the child's back. Lastly, parents can always try to ask their children if they really need the items in the bag.

If you are keen to know more, you can read the full article of the health advice on heavy school bags.


Joint Cartilage Problem

Dr Kevin Lee shared with Ezyhealth readers some insights on cartilage injuries and arthritis.

The cartilage is a thin layer of smooth lining on the bone surface of the joint. It acts as a lubricant in the joint and is not able to regenerate on its own from any damage. Cartilage injuries from sports or accidents can be repaired through surgery and cartilage regeneration techniques. Early identification and treatment are crucial to a good recovery and prevention of irreversible damage.

Arthritis simply refers to the widespread damage to the cartilage. There are many types of arthritis and some of the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. Initial treatments of the most common osteoarthritis condition include: losing weight and maintaining an adequate level of activity; joint supplements; intra-articular injections like hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma. Significantly more severe cases of osteoarthritis with deformity would require total knee replacement.

The full article was published in the Ezyhealth Magazine. “Joint Malady”. 27 October 2015


Knee and Back Pain Questions

Dr Kevin Lee answered Lianhe Zaobao readers' questions on their knee and back pain. A 44-year-old reader has been experiencing pain and aches in her right knee while walking. She enjoys slow jogging but ocassionally feels the aches in the right leg. She asked Dr Lee what was the problem and is she able to continue on her slow jogs. Dr Lee believes that her symptoms stem from the knee's patella. The patella is the outermost part of the knee joint and is covered by a layer of cartilage. The cartilage acts as a lubricant within the knee joint and wears off overtime. This results in the pain that she is experiencing. Dr Lee recommends her to consult an orthopaedic doctor to ascertain the severity of the wear and obtain appropriate treatment. She should stop jogging to prevent further impact to her knee. However, she can still exercise through less strenous activities like swimming and brisk walking. Another 27-year-old reader has been experiencing back pain especially when he get up from bed in the morning. He also experiences pain when lying supine, but the pain is alleviated when lying sideways. He has done an X-ray without any indication of spinal problems. He was diagnosed with inflammation of the back by a doctor and he would like to know what are the treatment options for it. Dr Lee pointed out that his back pain issue should be carefully diagnosed by an orthopaedic doctor before ascertaining any form of treatment. Although usually it may just be a back strain, a slipped disc problem or the inflammatory disease Ankylosing Spondylitis cannot be rule out as the cause.

Miraculous Survival for 16-month-old Boy with Upper Cervical Fracture

A 16-month-old boy in Australia miraculously survived a car accident where he sustained upper cervical fracture. He had to undergo surgery to re-attach the bones between his head and neck. This was a surgery that carries high medical risk for someone this young.

The boy, Jaxon Taylor, was in the car with his older sister and mum when another car recklessly crashed into their car. His sister had also sustained vertebral fracture which required spine surgery. Jaxon is now going through rehabilitation and physiotherapy after his own surgery.