How is your health? Recently, seated amongst two doctors at Gleneagles Ampang, I was asked this question: What Moves You? Initially, the first thought that came to mind was, what moves me how? Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually?? A lot of things can move me, especially move me to tears. However, what they really wanted to know was what makes me literally move. It was a time of soul searching. I was made to think back to my younger years and remember what moves me then when I was like in high school. For me, what moves me now most significantly is my boys.
Furthermore, I do not want to be too tired to join them travelling when I get older. Additionally, I want to be able to catch them as they run ahead. I do not want to be too physically fatigued that I can’t even spend time with my boys who will definitely become even more active as they grow. I want to have more years spent with them before they leave the nest and I want to be healthy while I am at it.
Seated with the Specialists from Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Dr. Abd Razak bin Muhamad, Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon, and Dr. Ozlan Izma Muhamed Kamil, Consultant Orthopaedic – Spine & Trauma Surgeon just the other day, I learned so much about movement and our musculoskeletal health. What is musculoskeletal health? It is basically the system of muscles, tendons and ligament, bones and joints, and associated tissues that makes our body move and also maintain our structure and form. Sometimes we take that for granted. As parents of two boys, we always know that our kids not only need a balanced diet but they also need an active lifestyle to grow up healthy.
I think at a young age, kids just naturally move a lot but we as parents are responsible to inculcate that habit as they grow and not dampen it. According to Dr Abd Razak, children should not be protected from being active. Many a times, us being over-protective would shout at our kids when they run too fast, climb too high or jump too much. I know I am guilty of having told them to be quiet and sit still, have you? Dr Razak added that there are many types of exercises and activities to suit every age.
For example at 7 now, Josiah is really into cycling, running, badminton and swimming.
Jordan on the other hand at only 4 and is constantly actively jumping and running about whenever he can. We love bringing them outdoors to the park where they could run with freedom while enjoying the nature. As for diet, we also make sure they have enough calcium intake. Calcium can easily be found in foods like dark leafy greens, fortified tofu, almonds, and yoghurt as well as milk. Dr Razak also mention that prevailing issues with children’s bone health nowadays can be caused by obesity.
The most common problems he saw with his young patients are such as bowing of the legs, knocked knees and hip problems common in overweight children. Then there is the other extreme where young girls get so image conscious due to the constant bombardment of beauty portrayed by the media. These young girls may start dieting even as young as 9 pre-teens and that can be rather disturbing. Dr. Razak explained that this could affect their growth and their quality of life later on. “Balanced diet is still key, my advice is to continue to eat well and stay active.”
Moving from children to adult health, Dr Ozlan really enlightened us on one really common adult problem, back pain. One major misconception is that when we have backpain, it is slip disc. Dr Ozlan gave us a piece of good news. That is most back pain (80-90%) will resolve by itself within 2-3 weeks. Also, when we face pain, we should still get moving. Once we stop moving and lie around a lot, it will waste away our muscles pretty rapidly. This will in turn cause joint stiffness. Bed rest is definitely one of his better recommendations. Dr Ozlan gave us a fun fact, that our body is made up of 800 muscles, 210 bones and 360 joints. He jokingly added that God certainly didn’t create all those muscles, bones and joints for us to sit around!
He also quote, “Life is all about movement, no movement no life.” How about another one? “Expect pain, you will get pain”. Basically, in summary, lower back pain can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle of minimal movement. Sometimes a previous pain can cause us to move less and consequently, like a vicious cycle the lack of movement goes back to cause more pain.
Older folks should in fact, move more. I am guilty too of asking my mother to do less and rest more when Dr Ozlan prescribes quite the opposite. “Our parents need to feel appreciated. They should continue to remain active into their old age. I understand the desire to ask them to rest and relax now that they are old, but it can really end up hurting them in the long run. If they spend so much time stagnant and inside, they will get weaker faster, and will become more prone to depression.” Dr. Ozlan made a very strong case for the need for an active lifestyle.
Both Dr. Razak and Dr. Ozlan brought valuable insight to the table. Dr. Razak shared this knowledge about the foundations of healthy bone development, and Dr. Ozlan shared his experience about healthy bone maintenance.
Is this enough to make you want to move it move it?
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We also visited GKL’s Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre. This is a one-stop centre to get you back on your feet and help you stay fighting fit for your next challenge.The centre is truly fully equipped.
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You can get One-to-one care from professional trainer at GKL’s Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Centre.
We also stopped by the Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Center in Block A. The center is dedicated to helping people of all levels of impairment, functional limitation, disabilities, and other health related conditions.
There’s also the special Snoezelen Room: Controlled Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE). This room is for those suffering from autism, developmental disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. The Snoezelen room can provide that sought after sense of comfort with apparatus to stimulate all the senses.
For more information on upcoming health initiatives and other medical services. visit Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur’s website at www.gleneagleskl.com.my or their Facebook at www.facebook.com/gleneagleskualalumpur.