Dr. Kevin Yip

Dr Kevin Yip
Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS(UK), FRCS(EDIN), FAM(SING), FHKCOS(ORTHO)

Featured on Channel NewsAsia

Myositis

Myositis or muscle inflammation is rare; it mainly affects the muscles of the thigh, back, shoulder, and calf.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The following may suggest a diagnosis of myositis:
– pain in the affected muscle group on exertion;
– symptoms increasing as effort becomes more intensive and repetitive;
– tender, firm areas felt on examination of the muscle;
– muscle cramp.

Treatment

When myositis occurs, the athlete should:
– use anti-inflammatory medication;
– rest the muscle in question or reduce training;
– apply local heat and use a heat retainer.


Muscle cramp

Muscle cramp affects most people at some time in their lives. Athletes may suffer cramp in a muscle during or after strenuous exertion such as a soccer match or a long-distance race. Tennis players competing in very
hot conditions frequently suffer from cramp.

Causes

– During protracted exercise, especially when the weather is very hot, vast amounts of fluid can be lost from the body. This dehydration predisposes the muscle to cramp, though the exact connection is not known: glycogen depletion and salt deficiency may contribute.
– The type of cramp that affects soccer players towards the end of a match is probably caused by changes in the musculature resulting from earlier muscular bleeding, small muscle ruptures, or the athlete’s general state of health or training.
– The precise causes of muscle cramp are not clear, but any factors that impair the circulation should be considered. These include close-fitting socks, shoes laced too tightly, an accumulation of lactic acid in
the muscles, varicose veins, cold weather, and infections.


Prevention and treatment

The athlete should:
– prevent muscular cramp by good basic training and warm-up exercises, and by using the correct equipment;
– ensure adequate nutrition and intake of fluid, electrolyte reserves, and full glycogen deposits (lost fluid and electrolytes must be replaced, especially in a hot climate);
– stop the sporting activity when acute cramp occurs and contract the muscle that exerts an effect opposite to the one affected by cramp. For example, if cramp in the calf muscle draws the foot downwards, the foot should be raised carefully, with the knee bent, until it is at right angles to the leg. The movement should not be forced and the affected muscle should be massaged.

An athlete who suffers persistent cramps, despite preventive measures, would be wise to seek a medical examination to exclude any specific problems.

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