Health

Q & A



What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? What is your recommendation for it?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve at the wrist, commonly seen in people using a computer or a laptop. If the cause is identified before the pain becomes severe, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of burning in the fingers, tingling and numbness. By releasing the myofascial (tissue) trigger points in the muscles of the forearms and preventing the wrist being lower than the elbow, the problem, caught at an early stage, can be tackled. When the wrist is at a lower level, it can also cause lymph stasis and swelling within the carpal tunnel. Appropriate stretching exercises for forearm muscles can prevent and manage the problem.

What is the difference between strength and power? As a long-distance runner, must I develop power?

Strength is an absolute requirement for health, because basic movements need strength. Power is a skill-related fitness parameter — those involved in a sprint or jump or an explosive movement require power. You have to develop your strength before you can develop power. If two individuals do push-ups and end up doing the same number, both are strong, but the one who takes less time to complete is powerful. To hold the racquet requires strength, but to hit the ball requires power. To carry the shot requires strength, but to putt it requires power.

Can exercise enhance learning, especially during preparation for exams?

The duration, intensity and frequency of exercise and prior experience of the individual with exercise are vital to enhance learning. Mild to moderate intensity of exercise for a period of 20 to 30 minutes (mild cardio), and moderate strength training with intense stretching to counter the ill-effects of prolonged sitting would optimally relax the brain, and you will reap the benefits of learning in a shorter time. Avoid strenuous exercise that may deplete the brain of its nutritional resources.

Can exercise alone cure back pain?

The diagnosis for back pain is a challenge in itself because the causes run to pages. So, it is important to detect the cause first by visiting a doctor, who will take a detailed history, do a clinical examination, and, if necessary, suggest an investigation. Once the cause is identified, the right course of action will be suggested, either as therapy or as rehabilitation. If the pain is severe, it may be difficult to continue exercising or start on a rehabilitation programme immediately. The pain has to be reduced by at least 60-70% before you begin any exercise programme. It is best to let the doctor guide you with physiotherapy exercises, as these are customised to individual needs.

Kannan Pugazhendi is a renowned sports physician and fitness consultant with over two decades of experience. www.sparrcinstitute.com




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