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COULD ULTRASOUND BE A GOOD TREATMENT FOR BACK PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA?…

Ultrasound utilizes sound waves of a frequency that is too high for the human ear to hear. It can be given to you by physiotherapists to treat various aches and pains. The sound waves, or ultrasound rays, penetrate within the body generating heat increasing blood flow, and relaxing muscles and connective tissues thereby reducing pain and muscle spasms. The stimulation of these tissues in this way encourages repair and can greatly reduce the healing time of certain injuries.

It’s said to represent that of a very fast mini massage and to help improve circulation and drainage, reduce swelling and promote relaxation. It can also accelerate the disintegration of small pieces of bone and grit in the joints. It has also been written that it helps with pain and fibromyalgia.

You should never have ultrasound treatment if you are pregnant and only from a professional physiotherapist, however there are some home kits you can buy on the internet but your first port of call should be with a professional.

Over the years, therapeutic ultrasound has been used by professional athletes as a preventative measure to protect against injury and to quickly relieve pain and accelerate the healing process. Professional athletes typically suffer injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments making ultrasound therapy the best choice for reducing swelling which is the source of pain. It also increases blood flow in the affected areas which reduces healing time.


Home ultrasound devices are rapidly changing the lives of many people who require ultrasound treatments. Home ultrasound devices are compact, lightweight, portable safe and very easy to operate. They are also very affordable providing a low cost way to give regular treatments to yourself and others.

Therapeutic professionals are also providing their patients home ultrasound kits to take home and use for the duration of the healing process. What this means to the patient is getting treatments several times per day, every day instead of once or twice a week at the therapist’s office. This translates into a quicker recovery. Because of daily treatments, there is a decrease in the chances of recurring injuries by eliminating scar tissue.

Ultrasound is a method of stimulating tissue beneath the skin’s surface using sound waves. Ultrasound waves travel at an extremely high frequency undetectable by the human ear. Typically, the sound waves travel between 800,000Hz and 2,000,000Hz whereby the human ear can detect sounds up to about 20,000Hz. These high frequency waves penetrate the body about five inches below the skin causing the molecules of the affected tissue to move. This physical stimulation of the molecules enhances cell repair. Also, power output is a significant factor. The power of an ultrasound unit is measured in watts per square centimeter. The higher the power, the more energy is transferred into the body. For example, using higher power usually speeds up treatment although it is actually more effective to use a lower power setting for a longer period of time.

The benefits of therapeutic ultrasound are many. However, the heating and massaging effects of therapeutic ultrasound have 3 primary benefits:

• Increases blood flow in the treated area which speeds the healing process.

• Reduces swelling and edema, the main sources of pain.

• The gentle massaging effects of the ultrasound waves stimulate the affected muscles, tendons and ligaments. The cell of the damaged tissue are repaired without adding strain, and softens any scar tissue that may be present in the injured area.

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DO YOU SUFFER FROM SIDE EFFECTS FROM TAKING MEDICATIONS?…

As my readers may have seen from my previous post I have been suffering from a bad chest infection since New Years Day. I was also being seen in January about the possibility that I may have asthma or COPD ( I’ve never smoked but I lived in a house with a chain smoker).

Because my chest infection was so bad they gave me oral steroids as well as antibiotics and told me to use the temporary inhaler if I needed it. I was feeling much better and was convinced on my last day of tablets that I would feel fit again.

Within 24 hrs I was worse than before and had two pretty frightening coughing episodes where my airways completely closed up. In fear of passing out I put my inhaler in my mouth and even though I could not breath in I pumped fast and furiously to get some Salamol in to open my airways. Fortunately it worked but only slightly I was still very very tight chestere and wheezy so I saw my GP who said it was a lower repiratory infection and gave me more steroids and antibiotics and a very strong inhaler and said if none of these worked then I should go straight to A&E which was the last place I wanted to end up in.

It has all helped a lot but I still have a tight chest, wheeze and a cough and obviously I am apprehesive about coughing in case it closes my airways again. I am also suffering from the side effects of the steroids which is the shakes. I could not even put my masacara on this morning and my stomach is also unsettled due to all the drugs I am taking. The only good thing about the steroids is I am pain free while taking them. My sputum test was normal so my chest infection must be viral and I have read on some websites that if it a viral chest infection then antibiotics may not shift it.

Going forward I am seeing an asthma nurse on Wednesday but I am not sure it is either asthma or COPD as I feel I would get much more relief with the drugs and inhalers if I had either of those conditions.

Many people take over the counter pain killers like paracetamol without even reading the dosage on the box. So instead of maybe taking one four times a day, they take double that. And at the same time they may also take the prescription drugs that they have been given by their GP. You can only buy packs of 16 tablets of paracetamol from a shop or supermarket. If you buy paracetamol from a pharmacist, you can buy a pack of 32 tablets or capsules. Shops and pharmacies can’t sell you any more than a total of 100 tablets or capsules in one go. This is to help prevent people from overdosing or accidentally taking too many.

Unless your GP has approved the over the counter pain killers then do not take them until you have either read all the instructions on the back or spoken to your GP.

BUPA wrote in their article about over the counter painkillers that if you have mild-to-moderate pain, start by taking a non-opiate painkiller (such as paracetamol) or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen). Take it regularly and up to the largest recommended amount. If that doesn’t work and you still have pain, try a weak opiate medicine such as codeine. If that doesn’t work, talk to your pharmacist or GP.

Any medicine can be dangerous if you take too much of it. If you take too much paracetamol, it can cause serious liver damage, which can be life-threatening. Sometimes, there are no symptoms until a day or so afterwards. Taking too many NSAIDs can make you feel or be sick or cause hearing problems such as tinnitus. Taking too much aspirin can cause you to hyperventilate (breathe abnormally quickly) as well as hearing problems, and you may sweat a lot.

It’s getting a balance with your pain killers that is important. I weaned myself off the opioids I was on and felt so much better for it but recently my pain has been so bad that I have needed the odd one. I was shocked at how different I felt while taking them and it certainly made me think twice before taking too many of them.

The NHS website points out that the type of medicines that you need to treat your pain depend on what type of pain you have. They say that for pain associated with inflammation, such as back pain or headaches, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers work best.

If the pain is caused by sensitive or damaged nerves, as is the case with shingles or sciatica, it’s usually treated with tablets that change the way the central nervous system works.

The aim of taking medication is to improve your quality of life. All painkillers have potential side effects, as well as antibiotics and other dugs so you need to weigh up the advantages of taking them against the disadvantages. The NHS website has a list of pain medications and the type of side effects you can experience with some of them.

Source: BUPa, NHS,

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BLUE MONDAY 16th JANUARY 2023…

BLUE MONDAY 16th January 2023 – January’s third Monday, “Blue Monday”, is thought to be the most depressing day of the year, due to a combination of bad weather, long nights and the lingering aftermath of the festive glut.

The idea of Blue Monday was first conceived by Dr. Cliff Arnall in 2005 and it was published as part of a press release by Sky Travel.

The life coach and psychologist created a formula to determine the ‘saddest’ day of the year, and landed on today, because of the bad weather, dark nights, post-Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions.

Despite originally being coined as a marketing tool to get people to book holidays, the term has moved into common parlance.

Many argue Blue Monday does not exist and instead of booking a holiday because you’re supposed to be feeling sad, donate to charity instead, said The Metro.

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday of January every year. It is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The reason for this includes factors like the cold, wet weather, short daylight days, Christmas debt, the time elapsed since your last payday, Christmas seems like a distant memory, you’ve already failed with your New Year’s resolutions, and it feels like a long time until the summer. For most of us, this means our motivational levels are low.  In more recent years, the day has been re-named Brew Monday, to encourage people to spend some time talking to each other whilst having a cuppa.