Doctors in the House - Ankle Pain, Cardiac Arrest

1) I am a 42 year old male with an active lifestyle. My ankle tends to ache after exercise but is slightly better if I tape it during exercise. What is the possible cause and should taping be tight or just slightly?

  • This aching might be related to mild ankle instability from an old ligament injury. Taping tension should be firm, not excessively tight.
  • Taping is however not universally accepted nor very evidence based. I believe in it for personal use but if you need more info perhaps it will be more appropriate to consult a physiotherapist.

2) There have been many cases of cardiac arrest amongst athletes. What are the causes and why is this happening? This is worrying for people like me who are not athletic. If it can happen to them, it’s worst for me.

  • There are unfortunately cases of cardiac arrest among seemingly healthy athletes and young individuals. There are several underlying causes for these problems.
  • Silent coronary artery disease remains the more common reason among those above the age of 30, where there may be atherosclerosis (hardening) of the blood vessels supplying the heart that has developed over months or even years.
  • These are similar to the heart attacks that affect older individuals. In younger individuals, it may be due to undetected heart muscle disease (abnormal thickening or thinning of the heart muscle), heart enlargement or other congenital structural disease.
  • Sometimes, they may also be underlying abnormal electrical conduction system in the heart that predisposed individuals to sudden cardiac arrest. Collectively, these irregular heart rhythm problems are referred to as cardiac arrhythmias.

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