Over-exertion in sports may lead to knee pain for life

THOSE who over-exert themselves in sports are prone to the most common form of arthritis - osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints degenerate. This causes stiffness and pain, especially in the knees.

Professor Feng Pao Hsii, chairman of the National Arthritis Foundation, said he sees more young patients with the condition as more are leading active lifestyles.

He was speaking at the opening of the foundation's new premises in Jalan Kilang Barat on World Arthritis Day yesterday.

Also at the event was national sailor Yurii Siegel, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis last month.

Mr Siegel, 32, told my paper that the constant squatting during sailing contributed to the pain in his knees. He was also overweight, at 130kg. He is 1.8m tall.

Ms Shwikar Aljunied, a Singapore Sports Council senior sports physiotherapist, said: "Those who are overweight put additional pressure on their knees, leading to increased chances of getting osteoarthritis."

Experts my paper spoke to said there is no cure for the condition. Dr Roger Tian, a Changi General Hospital sports physician, said that warm-up exercises, such as rotation of the knees, should be avoided. This puts weight on the joints.

After receiving treatment for osteoarthritis, Mr Siegel has lost 20kg.

He said: "I try to limit activities that may put weight on my knees. And when I feel pain, it's a signal for me to stop the activity."

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