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Play it safe

It’s important to take all possible safety precautions when participating in any sports activities ranging from swimming to boxing

Play it safe

his week we take a variety of questions from our readers related to sports injuries, general fitness and precautions that one should keep in mind when taking part in any sports activities ranging from swimming to boxing. Our panel of experts, who are eminent doctors in their related field, provide us with the answers.

Q: I am 22 years old, student, and a swimmer. Most of my friends are asking me to leave swimming as the danger of Dengue fever and naegleria increases in or around the swimming pools. Can you advise me whether to give up on swimming or else, how to avoid these diseases, if I continue swimming? — Mohammad Aslam

A: It is important for you to understand that, how you get these diseases. Dengue is viral illness that occurs due to mosquito bite. You don’t get dengue while swimming. While naegleria is a disease which occur due to amoeba called naeglaria fowleri. This is warm freshwater parasite present in pools, ponds, lakes and rivers but not present in sea water. It enters the human brain through the nose. For dengue, use mosquito repellent on regular basis and wear fully covered clothes, while on land. For naeglaria, don’t dive with splash, try to prevent water to enter in your nose while swimming. Swim in pools where authorities are changing and chlorinating pool water regularly. Use nose pincher while swimming. There is no need to quit swimming, just take these measures to minimise the risk and you will be safe.

Dr. Saadia Aamir

Assistant Professor / Consultant Infectious Diseases

Department of Internal Medicine

Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi.

Q: I am 25 years old, and love to play cricket. I am a batsman, and my coach and teammates appreciate my batting style. Lately after reaching 30 runs or 40 runs, I develop a terrible backache. I tried using the lumber support belt during the batting, but it doesn’t seem to work. Please advice? -Ehtesham Khan

A: Dear reader, repeated backwards bending and rotation of the back are a common cause of back pain in cricket especially during batting. It seems like you have a distinctive batting style which is under supervision of your coach and is also well appreciated. Considering your age the back pain that you are experiencing after initial runs not responding to lumbar support can be due to undue stress distribution in your back which may result into stress fractures, early onset of osteoarthritis of spine or spondylolisthesis. You need proper evaluation of your back by a specialist which might include some radiological investigations. Depending upon the findings you might need to bring change in your batting style and batting order. Your physiotherapist plays a key role in relieving your problem which includes a proper rehabilitation program including strengthening of spine and keep a balance between your back and leg muscles.

Dr. Muhammad Sufyan

FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports Medicine Fellowship (Singapore)

Assistant Professor | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery


Q: I’m 16 years old. I really love boxing and want to make a career in it. I have been told by my seniors that if a Jaw is broken during the bout, it can be repaired, but one can never be able to participate in this sport for the rest of his life. I need a doctor’s opinion. —Saeed Ali

A: There are different types of Facial Trauma occurring during boxing:

1.  Soft Tissue Trauma; Lips, Eyebrows. Soft Tissues are lacerated or macerated. They take 1.5 Months to heal. One can always start again.

2.  Fractures of facial bones.

a.  Dento – Alvoelar fracture including teeth; Treatment duration, 1-3 months, after this one can fight.

b.  Nasal bones and associated bones fracture; Bony Skeleton fracture needs 2-4 months, healing and ready to fight after 6-8 months.

c.  Mandible with or without condyles; Treatment time 4-6 weeks, patient ready to fight again after 6-8 months, provided there is no other bone metabolic disorders.

Mid face fractures with orbital contents involvement; Zygomatic bone makes the cheek prominencies most commonly fracture in mid face fracture, it may be associated with eye globe injuries. Isolated bone fracture may completely heal in 4-6months but if it is associated with eye injury, it depends upon the nature of injury which may vary from conjunctional lacerations to the permanent vision loss.

Dr. Tauqir Ul Islam


Head of Department , Associate Professor | Department of Dental & Maxilofacial Surgery


Q: I am 32 years old, a middle management executive. I play badminton regularly to keep myself fit. Lately, after a game or two, I feel nausea, and at times exhausted up to a level that I quit the court. Is it a serious health issue or just an over work at the court? —Zaigham Islam

A: I believe you must be a fit and active person as you play regular sports. If this is your routine and you know that you are not playing until physical exhaustion then you should be concerned about nausea. You particular complain can have a number of reasons ranging from simply dehydration on court to medical problems such as gastroesophageal reflux. I think you should see a general practitioner/family physician first who could then decide appropriate referral for your complaints.

Dr. Ather Siddiqui

MRCS (Glasgow), FCPS (Ortho), Diploma in Tissue banking (NUS)

Assistant Professor | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

TNS Editor

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