Injured and throbbing in pain? Read on…

Here’s an article on Injuries I first published last April 2009….

Dr. Jose Antonio San Juan is one of Cebu’s first-rate doctors to visit when you suffer a sports-related affliction. I should know. In the past two years of long-distance running, I’ve suffered knee soreness, cramps, plantar fasciitis, muscle aches and, the most painful one that got me limping during last year’s Hong Kong Marathon, the Iliotibial Band syndrome.

Who do I consult? Plenty of friends, I ask. And, unanimously, they supply me with a three-worded answer: Tony San Juan.

Trim and robust at 40 years young, Tony played soccer, basketball and swam competitively in high school. These days, he prefers to swat the badminton racquet and swing that 7-iron in this game of Angel Cabrera. (Tony’s handicap is an impressive 9.)

Trained at the UP College of Medicine, he went on further studies (Fellowship Training) in Joint Replacement Surgery and Arthroscopic Surgery/Sports Medicine at the Flinders Medical Center/Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia and at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Ohio, USA. At present, he is a partner of the Cebu Orthopaedic Institute at the Chong Hua Medical Arts Center.

I exchanged Qs & As with Dr. Tony SJ. Here’s Part 1:

Why do we get injured?

“In sports, injuries are generally classified into two: TRAUMATIC and OVERUSE. Traumatic injuries are what you may commonly call your sports accidents. By their nature, it is hard to say when, how, where and to whom it may happen. Whether you are a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, a fitness buff or the most conditioned triathlete, we will all eventually have some form of traumatic injury.

“These injuries may happen even if you have the ideal equipment, the ideal playing surface, the ideal preparation or conditioning. In short, this injury is unpredictable and hard to prevent compared to overuse injuries. The more common traumatic injuries are sprains (injury to the ligament that connects bones to each other), strains (pulled/torn muscle), contusions (bruising/swelling because of direct trauma to an area) and fractures (think Lance Armstrong recently breaking his collarbone).

“Overuse injuries may happen in the course of preparing for a sport or while actually participating in the sport. They happen because of poor conditioning, improper training regimen or techniques, improper equipment and simply “overdoing” it—not following the limits you had set for yourself and what your body can take.

“These kind of injuries are preventable in that if you have trained, conditioned and equipped yourself properly, the likelihood of getting injured during the event is significantly less compared to someone who wasn’t as prepared. Most overuse injuries are sport specific.

“For tennis buffs, there’s the tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and subacromial impingement (shoulder); for golf aficionados, there’s the golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis; for teenage boys into basketball, volleyball or soccer, there’s Osgood Schlatter’s disease (knee) and Sever’s disease (heel); among runners, there’s the iliotibial band syndrome/ITB (knee); just to name a few.

“The best way to find out what your injury is to see your health professional be it your family physician, your internist, your rehab specialist or your friendly orthopaedic surgeon.”

What are the best ways to prevent injuries?

“Proper conditioning or preparation, using appropriate equipment and using equipment properly, employing proper techniques and “knowing your limits” (i.e. remember the ad with the slogan “I am Tiger Woods!”? Well, it’s a goal for excellence but we have to realize that there can only be one Tiger Woods.)

“As we mature (he-he, get older!) our body tends to be less forgiving. We get injured a lot easier and recovery takes longer compared to a kid barely in his teens. Kids could run all day long and hardly feel anything the day after. We, on the other hand, would feel aches and pains the morning after a full day of running and jumping…” 

3 thoughts on “Injured and throbbing in pain? Read on…

  1. Not only is Tony a wondeful surgeon but a great bloke as well. I have had the (un)fortunate pleasure of “working” with Tony as he treated some of the players of the MLSDF and more lately when he did a job on Mario.
    He is so laid back and a regular good guy. I hav e been in touch seveal times with him since I have been back Down Under. An amiable gentleman never too busy to chat and help wherever and whenever needed.
    John I must say you struck a few tattered and torn ligaments with the comment . . . “As we mature (he-he, get older!) our body tends to be less forgiving. We get injured a lot easier and recovery takes longer compared to a kid barely in his teens. Kids could run all day long and hardly feel anything the day after. We, on the other hand, would feel aches and pains the morning after a full day of running and jumping…” ohhhhhhh the pain of reading such a comment and realising how much the truth hurts . . . physically and mentally.

  2. Does the good doctor also treat sports related brain injuries? I.e. an athlete does something stupid and the coach or audience say: “Na injured ang utok.”

  3. Maybe John will have to inteview another eminent Cebu Doctor, Dr Wyben Briones to discover the reason for “brain explosions” among athletes, coaches and of course PARENTS of ATHLETES.
    That could also make for an interesting topic and discussion. The POA have been in the spotlight of the of the Cebu media lately. Especially one who has had them in his crosshairs as he went gunning for them after a recent sports meet in another province.

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