While there’s plenty of health news that just seems like its designed to scare the pants off us, there’s plenty that we need to pay attention to, too. This monthly update will answer a few questions and give you news that’s relevant to keeping you fit and healthy in Singapore.
Health help: How can I treat my lower back pain, and prevent it from getting worse, without surgery
Lower back pain is very common, and may not always originate from slipped discs. While the origins of back pain may be difficult to identify, there are some ways to manage the pain and prolong your lower back health without surgical intervention. These include:
- Maintaining proper posture is key advice that is all too often ignored. Try paying more attention to the positions that expose you to lower back pain so that you can reduce the risk of developing that pain.
- Physiotherapy, which usually entails muscle strengthening exercises, heat and traction, and other techniques. A physiotherapy programme is also beneficial because it can help you understand how your back and legs move in relation to other muscles.
- An active lifestyle that includes calisthenics, yoga and Pilates; these types of exercise can help conserve your back health by strengthening the surrounding core.
Additionally, there are specialised, minimally invasive procedures that can be performed by pain management doctors to help reduce the pain symptoms, and with minimal downtime for the patient. While most of these interventions involve needles to apply medication or therapy to the likely sources of pain, there is no acupuncture involved.
A detailed consult with your pain management physician can help you gain clarity on the most suitable treatment for your lower back pain.
– Dr Daniel Phang – Pain management physician
Affinity Pain Clinic | #17-16 Mount Elizabeth Hospital, 3 Mount Elizabeth 6429 1335 | affinitypain.com
Be A Lifesaver
Imperative for both planned treatments and urgent interventions, blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, and support medical and surgical procedures. It’s also vital for treating wounds during emergencies, from natural disasters to accidents that can affect any of us. In fact, every blood donation can save up to three lives, according to Singapore Red Cross. Once the blood is donated, it’s tested, stored and distributed, then used for transfusions. So, in honour of World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, here’s a list of blood banks across Singapore where you can safely donate this life-saving gift.
- Bloodbank@HSA (Health Sciences Authority), 11 Outram Road
- Bloodbank@Dhoby Ghaut, #B1-05-10 Dhoby Exchange, 11 Orchard Road
- Bloodbank@Woodlands, #05-07 Woodlands Civic Centre, 900 South Woodlands Drive
- Bloodbank@Westgate Tower, #10-01-05 Westgate Tower, 1 Gateway Drive Book your appointment and learn more at redcross.sg/give-blood.
Health Help: Are all thyroid nodules cancerous?
Only a small number of thyroid nodules (solid- or liquid-filled lumps that can form in the thyroid gland) are cancerous. They are very common and usually asymptomatic. In fact, most people don’t even realise they have them until their facialist at the spa points it out, or they’re caught during incidental health screenings.
Even though 95 percent of thyroid nodules are benign and do not require any intervention, it’s still worth getting any neck lumps or bumps checked out by your doctor on the off-chance it’s thyroid cancer. An evaluation usually includes a blood test to measure thyroid hormone and an ultrasound of the gland. Just like a mammogram for a breast lump, ultrasound scan is very safe, consistent and informative in the management of thyroid nodules. While nodules with higher suspicion may need biopsy or surgery, those that have low likelihood of malignancy may only need monitoring and some follow-up.
If thyroid cancer is found, the good news is that it’s usually slow to progress and easy to treat, with surgery being the most effective treatment option. The most common thyroid cancer, papillary cancer, is actually the most treatable, with a very high cure rate and surprisingly low impact to a patient’s lifestyle.
Dr Dennis Lim – Head and neck general surgeon
Dennis Lim Surgery | #11-09 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, 3 Mount Elizabeth | 6836 5167 | dennislim.com.sg
If you think that your receding gums are just an aesthetic annoyance, think again. Not only can gum recession cause tooth sensitivity, but it can also lead to decay, infection and even tooth loss. Luckily, there’s now a minimally invasive procedure that is designed to stabilise and, possibly, reverse this process and restore gum lines without incisions, grafts or sutures. Known as Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, the scalpel-free technique uses specially designed instruments to loosen the gum tissue, then guide it over the exposed root surfaces. Results are instant, and, since there’s no cutting or stitching, patients can expect minimal to no downtime. Oh, and the procedure can be done in as little as two hours, which means this type of gum lift can be done during lunchtime!
And you don’t need to go far for it either. DR JAMES HO of G Plus Dental Center in Camden Medical Centre (1 Orchard Boulevard, #02-01,) is among the select number of dentists who have been certified to perform the procedure. In fact, Dr Ho trained directly under Dr Chao, the inventor of this minimally invasive method. So, you can rest easy knowing your gums are in good hands!
To learn more about Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation and how it can benefit you, call 8180 4740 or visit gplusdental.com.sg. Consultation fees start from $95.
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