On ITV Tonight Britain on Painkillers: The Silent Epidemic.

A quarter of a million people are struggling with opioids in the UK. There are many risks involved with taking them for long-term use. They say they are of no use for long-term pain and they think that exercise, meditation and tai chi are a good option or soothing alternative to get through your pain.

Over the past decade in Britain, prescriptions for these drugs have gone through the roof – up 80% in England alone. We’re now among the biggest consumers of opioids in Europe.

And the tragedy and irony is that while the drugs are super-effective for acute emergency pain, in 90% of long-term chronic pain cases, they don’t even work.

Pain specialists are also trying to get to grips with the fact we’ve practically sleepwalked into a public health crisis: GPs under pressure to help their patients deal with pain and patients sometimes too in distress to find other strategies rather than popping the pills.

According to the British Pain Society, approximately 8 million adults in the UK  report chronic pain that is moderate to severely disabling[1]. Back pain alone accounts for 40% of sickness absence in the NHS[2] and overall it costs £10 billion for the UK economy[3].  The UK has some of the best pain services in the world and the multidisciplinary British Pain Society is at the forefront of informing the public and professionals of what is available.

However, the British Pain Society believes more research is essential to allow pain services to offer the latest effective and safest treatments.  Unfortunately, pain research is not a priority for major UK funders.

So how have we got here and how do we step back from the brink?

Is it time to radically rethink how we manage pain?

I’ve been on Tramadol for over 15 years so a rethink of how I can cope with my pain would be amazing.



Mickel Therapy was developed in the UK by a medical doctor, Dr David Mickel, for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME, Fibromyalgia, MS, anxiety, depression, IBS and some types of back pain. Mickel Therapy is a one-to-one talking session between two people, the therapist and yourself. He has two books on Amazon which he has written on the subject but they are expensive from £25

Mickel Therapy works by listening to and interpreting symptoms
rather than by trying to eradicate them

– Dr David Mickel

It involves no medication, dietary change, supplements or psychotherapy of any sort. Treatments are a series of one hour sessions, during which you will learn why your symptoms are there and, crucially, how to work with them to regain your health.

The treatment can also be administered by email, telephone/webcam or a combination of both. Mickel Therapy believes that a part of the brain (Hypothalamus) which is responsible for keeping your systems in balance, is working too fast, and that’s why people suffering feel overwhelming tiredness, as well as a number of other symptoms.

It is the role of the therapist to help you to see why you have symptoms and gives you easy to follow tools that help prove for yourself how you can, in fact, rid yourself of the symptoms. The therapy works in between your sessions with the therapist, with your own participation.

The actual notion of a talking therapy to help you free you of a hugely debilitating physical condition can sound a bit far-fetched, but the reported success rate apparently speaks for itself. On the main website it states that ‘to date, over 2000 people have successfully applied the tools and techniques of Mickel Therapy for CFS, ME, Fibromyalgia and other conditions’. A list of Mickel Therapy UK Practitioners is available on the Mickel Therapy Website. 

Intuitive Health UK explain Mickel Therapy as –

  • It is a talking therapy
  • It views you as a whole person, not just the symptoms or the part of you that is ill
  • It teaches you why you have become ill
  • It teaches you to understand why you have the symptom that you do
  • It is empowering, as it teaches you how to act to heal yourself and stop the symptoms

they also say it is NOT –

  • It is not psychotherapy
  • It is not Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • It is not a special diet
  • It does not involve expensive supplements
  • It does not involve medication
  • It does not involve physical contact





If you don’t want to resort to taking any form of drugs then you need to find the best thing to help with pain relief for back pain or fibromyalgia. Here is a list of …… which are all specifically made for back pain and fibromyalgia.

Healthline has a list of 5 natural painkillers for pain relief.

  1. Willow Bark – People have been using willow bark to ease inflammation, the cause of most aches and pains, for centuries. The bark of the white willow contains the chemical salicin, which is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin (Bayer).
  2. Tumeric – Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour and unique flavour. It contains the compound curcumin, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical molecules that can damage cells and tissue.
  3. Whole cloves – Whole cloves are often used to spice up meat and rice dishes. Ground cloves are used in pies and many other foods. As a medicine, cloves can be found in capsule or powder form. Clove oil is also available.
  4. Acupuncture – Acupuncture may relieve pain by causing the body to release serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical that eases the pain.
  5. Among the most common home pain remedies is applying heat and ice directly to sites of pain. While this treatment may seem obvious, not everyone’s clear on exactly when to use ice versus heat.

A book on CBS Hemp Oil: A Natural Alternative for Disease Treatment and Pain Relief by Christopher Knowles is available on Amazon and research has shown that there are two main components of Marijuana that are showing promising results for the treatment of many medical conditions. The two main components that are showing promising results include: THC and Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient that will not cause people to “get high”. Cannabidiol is the component that can be extracted from the different areas of the plant including both the marijuana portion and the hemp portion and is offering promising results in treating rare medical conditions, and another way to get pain relief without drugs.

Physique is a website with some great pain relieving items and there Deep Freeze Cold Patches are perfect for someone who finds cold is better than heat for pain. If you prefer heat for pain then the Thermacare heated back wrap can give you 16 hours of pain relief. If you like using both then there is a great company called Pain Relief Cushions which sell different types of wheat filled bags that can go into the microwave for heat or freezer for cold. I cannot manage without these pain relief cushions which I pop into the microwave on a regular basis. Just the smell of the lavender they are filled with helps me to relax.

ActipatchThe ActiPatch® product provides advanced long-lasting chronic pain relief using Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy and works great for back pain, knee pain, muscle & joint pain, arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, strains, sprains and more.  ActiPatch® is drug and ingredient-free so is safe for continuous use and can be used while taking any other medication.

Of course, the posture shirts which I have written about before are another type of pain relief for any type of back pain. A new great spinal support is a ‘Posture Shirt‘ made by Alignmed, who sell patented posture clothing.  Their shirts give you a gentle pull and help relieve pain. It also helps to correct your body alignment, improve your balance and increase your mobility. They say ‘your posture has an influence on your physical health and overall well-being, so having aligned posture benefits us during work, training and in everyday life.’

Finally, for anyone suffering from sciatica the Sciatica Pain Relief Cushion is an absolute must for home and in the car where you will feel pain relief straight away. The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use and safe.


Does bad posture cause back pain? Well of course it does. There are lots of reasons that you are suffering from back pain but sitting and standing badly will definitely contribute to that.

In my youth (many years ago) you were given a sash to wear around your waist which you were only given to you if you had good deportment. There was even an end of term deportment prize which was something I never managed to achieve so maybe that’s the reason for my back problems (if only, mine was a malformation in my lumbar spine).

Tap the word deportment into google and  ‘the way a person stands and walks, particularly as an element of etiquette.”poise is directly concerned with good deportment” comes up.
With the young generation now not only bent over to work on a computer most of the day they also stand badly when they are using their mobile phones and I am quite sure that the heavy bags they carry around is another contributor to back pain.
There are numerous support belts available on Amazon which most look suitable for builders or anyone who has to carry weight rather than a posture corrector. There are also a number of posture corrector braces which are mainly to support your back and shoulders but not your whole spine. Back supports are quite different from posture correctors, back supports and lumbar supports offer compressive and proprioceptive benefits which can keep you mobile for longer and make you more aware of your movements and the range of motion you are able to attain. Compression works to manage inflammation which in turn can offer pain relieving qualities. They can also be used to help with conditions relating to the nervous system such as sciatica.
A new great spinal support is a ‘Posture Shirt‘ made by Alignmed, who sell patented posture clothing.  Their shirts give you a gentle pull and help relieve pain. It also helps to correct your body alignment, improve your balance and increase your mobility. They say ‘your posture has an influence on your physical health and overall well-being, so having aligned posture benefits us during work, training and in everyday life.’
In my opinion, I think schools should have good deportment in as part of the curriculum so all the children can learn how to sit and stand correctly so they do not suffer from spinal pain in their later years. Until then it’s a case of finding the right support to suit your pain. I will write another post to cover all the different types of spinal supports for not just low back pain but for any type of back pain in the near future.
Posture Shirt’s are also offering any of my readers a 15% discount if you buy from their website, just pop in Barbara15 as your discount code.


Can to do‘ list’s cause anxiety? Appointments, dinners, errands, we’re all juggling a million things at once and ‘yes’ some experts say that ‘to do lists can cause anxiety.

Psych Central say that ‘If you make a to-do list, carefully look at each item. How much emotional energy will you need for each one? If you tend to have the most energy in the morning, then pencil in the high-energy tasks first thing. Also, decide that you will not feel guilty for anything on your list. For example, if you want to set aside 20 minutes to folding laundry tomorrow, then give twenty minutes of your whole heart to folding laundry. Know that you are doing something of value, and don’t waste one bit of energy wishing you were doing something else.’

I am a typical ‘to do list person and I can appreciate that it can cause anxiety as I get really anxious if I don’t manage to get through what I have on my list. I also add to the list constantly which doesn’t help me to get through the list but I do get a buzz from crossing off what I have listed on it. Personally, I think the opposite as I always feel great when I have written everything down and more anxious when I have lots of things going through my mind.

Nowadays everyone seems to make a ‘to do’ list and there are many available online with ‘Wunderlist as the number one choice, a free to download app.

They say ‘Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos‘.Organize and share your to-do, work, grocery, movies and household lists. No matter what you’re planning, how big or small the task may be, Wunderlist makes it super easy to get stuff done. Set Due Dates and Reminders and Assign to-dos. No matter whether your lists are work-related or just for fun, you will never miss a deadline again with Wunderlist in charge.

I thought it was quite funny it mentioned about reminders as I have quite recently set a reminder on my phone to take one of the drugs I am on at a specific time as I just kept forgetting to take it.

Of course, a lot of us (including me) like the sort of to do lists that we manually write down as we love to cross out some of the jobs we have jotted down. I love notebooks especially the pretty ones you can buy nowadays from personalised ones from Etsy to an assortment of beautifully covered notebooks from TK Maxx.

I could spend a fortune on the ones from TK Maxx with the different statements on the front of them and can almost guarantee that my daughter will have one wrapped up for me for Christmas.

You could also just go to Pinterest and tap in ‘to do‘ list and you will be shown a page full of free to download ‘to do‘ lists just ready to start filling in and I am quite sure you will not feel in the least bit anxious about writing it, in fact some say daily ‘to do‘ lists can help productivity. Do you write a ‘to do‘ list and if so what on?