TOP SIX BOOKS AS GIFTS FOR FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS…

This is my top six of books as Christmas gifts for people who are suffering from #fibromyalgia and/or chronic pain.

Pain Tracking – Your Personal Guide to Living Well with Chronic Pain by Deborah Barrett Phd, available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

This book offers a hands-on approach to improving life with chronic pain, whatever the underlying cause. As a sociologist, psychotherapist, and someone with firsthand experience with chronic pain, the author understands the challenges that accompany pain and has devised realistic strategies to fare better.

Paintracking provides a systematic method that empowers individuals to navigate the otherwise overwhelming array of treatment options and incorporate the effective ones into their lives for continued, incremental progress. Its cornerstone is a self-study tool that enables readers to improve. Readers are instructed on how to track and interpret their experience, whether using a pen and paper or the online tool offered as a companion to the book. By cultivating awareness of how their body responds in different situations and to different therapies, readers will become capable self-advocates, able to make informed choices.

Written in clear, understandable prose and filled with sociological insights, therapeutic lessons, practical tips, and empathy, this book offers realistic hope to individuals who often feel hopeless in the face of confusing, debilitating pain.

The New Bible Cure for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia by Don Colbert, available from Amazon as a book or audible and from other good bookstores. This book includes

· Steps that take you from feeling burned out to fired up
· Foods that harm and foods and supplements that restore energy and health
· Exercises that help relieve pain
· The emotional and spiritual roots of these debilitating disorders

Living with Fibromyalgia New Edition by Christine Craggs-Hinton, her third revised edition of this great book on Living with #fibromyalgia available from Amazon and other good bookstores. In line with the latest thinking of fibromyalgia as a disorder of the CNS (central nervous system), this third edition looks at how an over-sensitised system may amplify pain messages and trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It also looks at research into the link between poor sleep and the disorder. Other topics include: a physical cause? – the evidence for fine nerve damage in fibromyalgia sleep problems and manage the benefits of yoga and music therapy updated recommendations on diet and supplements the importance of posture and exercise pain and stress management complementary therapies.

Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom from Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain by Tami Stackelhouse and Ginevra Liptan, available from Amazon and other good bookstores. A #fibromyalgia patient herself, author and Fibromyalgia Coach, Tami Stackelhouse, has gone from disabled to thriving. In this book, you will learn how to Take Back Your Life using the techniques and strategies Tami has used to get well. More than just a lifestyle or self-management guide, this is a concise reference book woven with Tami’s own #fibromyalgia story.

This book is a page-by-page survival guide for the action-oriented #fibromyalgia patient who wants to feel better as quickly as possible. It’s written for the patient overwhelmed with a new #fibromyalgia diagnosis and for the fibro-veteran who is stuck and needing new ideas. It is also a great resource for the caring family members and support team of anyone suffering from #fibromyalgia.

To finish my list I have included two books that will just make you feel good when you read it. The Man I Think I Know: A feel-good, uplifting story of the most unlikely friendship by Mike Gayle, available from Amazon and other good bookstores. A powerful and bittersweet story of an unexpected male friendship and an unlikely love story, a thought-provoking storyline told, this uplifting tale reminds us of the simple courage at the heart of every human being.

Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side. He likes to know what happens next. Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.

The past is about to catch up with both of them in a way that which will change their lives forever, unexpectedly. But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.

The Map of Us, The Most Uplifting Feel Good Fiction Book of 2018, by Jules Preston and available at Amazon and other good bookstores. A story of love and lost directions

Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.

Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.

When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world. Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd. Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

 

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AMAZING OFFER ON AMAZON AUDIBLE…

Black Friday is nearly here but Amazon have a great saving on their Audible Books until 14 December and we’ll worth taking to download some books.

Audible Black Friday 2018 – Get 50% off Audible Membership for 4 months

Audible Black Friday 2018 offer: 50% off for 4 months! New customers signing up to Audible via this offer will pay £3.99 per month for 4 months, instead of the regular £7.99 per month. Audible membership includes a credit every month, applicable to any audiobook, regardless of price or length. The books are yours to keep for life, even if they cancel. With the world’s largest selection of titles to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Offer valid for new Audible customers signing up between 00:00 16 Nov and 23:59 14 Dec 2018.

8 HEALTH-RELATED SUBSCRIPTIONS TO CHEER SOMEONE UP THIS CHRISTMAS…

Why not buy that special person who is clearly suffering something a little different this year. Subscriptions have become big business over the last few years and there are a number of health-related ones which would make a great Christmas gift.

Yveherwell

A wellness subscription with no commitment and starts at £10 per month and includes health and well-being products to sample for your bath, home and food related.

Subscription from £10 per month

Buddy Box 

Billed as “a hug in a box”, Buddy Box is a thoughtful way to show those who are suffering from depression and anxiety (or simply going through a difficult time) that you care. Completely gender-neutral, it contains useful and supportive products to encourage self-care; whether purchasing it for yourself or as a gift for your loved one. Along with wellness treats, their box included a helpful zine, a book on staying calm, and a practical “how to make a decision” flowchart.  Profits are used by Blurt to provide peer support for those suffering from depression.

Subscription from £12 per month

The Healing Box

If you or a loved one are struggling with a chronic illness or facing a long hospital stay, the Healing Box is the ideal subscription box. It’s designed to ensure that those dealing with tough times make time for themselves and feel supported. The box comes crammed with useful and practical products – from super-soft bamboo socks to soothing hemp lip balm. They can be purchased as gifts and have options to customise. There’s also a specialist box for those dealing with brain injury.

Subscription £25.99 monthly sent quarterly.

The Happy Paper Club 

The Happy Paper Club is a monthly stationery subscription service that delivers boxes filled with papery goodness, happy and inspirational messages, and more to boost your happiness and spread a little joy.

A stationery subscription is a real treat if you love all things papery. The Happy Paper Club’s boxes are packed with handmade stationery, inspirational mantras and more to help you spread some joy by sending a thoughtful message to a friend or relative.

From £12.00 per month or 3-month subscription for £36.00

The Aroma Box 

The AromaBox harnesses the healing powers of essential oils with a monthly box containing the ingredients needed to create three seasonal aromatherapy products, including body lotion, foot scrub, oils and washes: perfect for when you just need a long soak in a relaxing bath.

Subscription from £19.99 plus £5.99 postage

Book and Brew

If your idea of relaxation is a night curled up with a good book, then this subscription box is the one for you. We loved the simplicity of the box, which teams a fiction text with a box of tea bags and delivers it to your door each month. Their colourful, action-packed historical novel was well-matched with a tin of tea – the ideal cure for a drizzly Sunday afternoon. The element of surprise is all part of its appeal but it does mean you might be left with a book that’s not your preferred genre or theme. There’s the option to buy a one-off box or subscribe for a lengthier period for bookworms who need their regular fix.

Subscription £12.99 per month

The Tea and Book Club

The Tea and Book Club has three options to subscribe to. The coffee and vintage which gives you a surprise vintage paperback and a packet of delicious ground coffee through the post each month (enough for four to five cups!) There’s no stationery in this version of the subscription. The tea and vintage which gives you a surprise vintage paperback, four luxury tea pyramids and some of our beautiful stationery. The tea will be picked from a carefully selected (and tested!) range at Bookishly HQ or the classic subscription which gives you a beautiful classic novel and some delicious tea to enjoy it with, posted out once a month. This subscription features a range of our exclusive covers for all of your favourite classic books. Their beautiful dust jackets over a Wordsworth Classic Edition.

Subscriptions from £10.00 per month

The Natural Wellness Box

The Natural Wellness Box sells bi-monthly subscription which you receive every other month and you will discover green health, beauty and wellness products in each box. You will receive 5-7 full size items, which may consist of natural beauty products, natural skincare, natural remedies, natural supplements, herbal tea, aromatherapy, superfoods or natural lifestyle items. Boxes are sent out bi-monthly. Payment is taken upon initial subscription, then on the 1st every other month.

Subscriptions from £35.00 per month

 

 

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A SLIPPED DISC – A BRILLIANT GUEST POST BY NEIL VELLEMAN…

A slipped disc? Ouch! 

 By Neil Velleman, of Atkins Physiotherapy Consultants

A slipped or herniated disc is amongst the most debilitating of back pain problems – sometimes with added symptoms such as the grinding leg pain of sciatica.  There are many levels of back and neck pain but a herniated or ‘slipped’ disc is one of the most painful and it can cause long-term immobility if it’s not treated correctly.

This is a condition where the centre of a spinal disc bulges outwards and presses onto a nerve.  The spinal discs act as shock absorbers and through a variety of causes, including injury, poor posture and general “wear and tear” (meaning gradual deterioration), the walls of the disc can become weaker. If the centre of the disc pushes out, this can cause the disc wall to bulge and that can be when pain strikes!

There are six steps of management to consider in this situation:

1) Pain Killers

2) Manual therapy

3) IDD Therapy

4) Injections

5) Surgery

6) Other options including exercise and acupuncture

Pain Killers

When you have a disc problem or simple back pain, the first thing the NHS recommends is to take some anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen.  Relieving pain is the first step to being able to move, because if you can move, the mechanisms which keep our backs healthy can operate.

This will be what your GP will recommend because in approximately 90% of cases, back pain resolves within six weeks.  But if the pain isn’t going away or it is so severe that you can’t carry out your normal functions, then some form of manual therapy is advisable.

Manual Therapy

There are a variety of types of therapy and we typically think of physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic.  Where there is pain, the body usually limits how we move – it hurts!

Some conditions have built up over time leaving the spine stiff and unable to move properly.  This can put tremendous pressure on the discs.  So generally speaking manual therapists will seek to ease muscle spasm and then, through either some manual mobilisation or manipulation, free the joints which may be stuck They will also look at how our bodies are moving.

This is where we consider the “cause”; what led the disc wall to get weak?  Often some gentle stretches and exercises can help to get movement back, all with the goal to help the body heal itself. Typically, four to six sessions are enough, although you may need to additional exercise sessions.

IDD Therapy

IDD Therapy is the next step when manual therapy and exercise alone aren’t enough.  IDD Therapy is a computer-controlled treatment which helps physiotherapists to decompress the specific spinal segment where the disc is “slipped” or herniated.  Patients lie on a treatment couch where they are connected to a machine with a pelvic harness and a chest harness.

The IDD Therapy machine then applies a gentle pulling force at a precise angle to take pressure off the targeted disc and to gently mobilise the joint and surrounding muscles.  The goal with IDD Therapy is to relieve muscle spasm, reduce or reverse disc bulging and gently stretch the tissues to free the movement in the spine.  As pain subsides therapists use gentle exercise and possibly some manual therapy to strengthen the back or neck to help avoid a recurrence.

Patients typically have a programme of IDD Therapy and long-term problems can need 20 sessions over a six-to-eight week period.  IDD Therapy is still relatively new to the UK but there is a network of providers around the country.

Injections

Injections are quite controversial because until recently they have been given widely to people with long term disc problems.  When a patient has a slipped disc and pain, there can be inflammation in the area.  This inflammation can cause pain on its own.

There are different injections, but a steroid injection with or without some local anaesthetic may be given to reduce the inflammation.  Injections can provide temporary relief with the goal to create a window of pain relief where the body can move or where therapists can work with a patient to address the causes of the problem.

The controversy about the effectiveness of injections is because injections do not address the causes of the problem. They can address inflammation but a slipped or bulging disc will still be bulging after the injection.  Hence the question of whether injections really help or not, and why many NHS trusts are scaling back the availability of injections as the cost/benefit is not clear.

Surgery

Spinal surgery can be a very important step for patients with a slipped disc which has not responded to any of the treatments described.  This is particularly the case if the disc is putting pressure on nerves to such an extent that it causes weakness in the legs or arms, or in very severe cases, if a slipped disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and affects our bowel or bladder control, then emergency surgery can be essential.

The most common surgery for a slipped disc is a “microdiscectomy”.  If the disc material is stubbornly pressing on a nerve, the offending disc material may be cut out surgically and removed.  Such surgery is commonly given for leg pain (sciatica) where the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve and the pain is intolerable.

Surgery can remove the pain immediately.  However, it is not without risks and surgery does not address the causes which led to the weakness in the first place.  Thus, some patients can get complete relief whilst others the pain may remain or even get worse.

Generally, surgeons will operate as a last resort and it can be advisable to get a second opinion before embarking on surgery.

Other treatments

Yoga and Pilates can be helpful in maintaining your body once you resolve the pain. It is important to find a teacher who suits you and understands your condition.

We hear a lot about “core muscles” and whilst there is some debate about how important our core is, generally the more our muscles can support our spines and move freely, the better our discs are protected.

Acupuncture can relieve muscle spasm and back pain, though for a slipped disc it would work best in conjunction with manual therapy and IDD Therapy rather than as a stand-alone treatment.

What next for slipped discs?

We are potentially going to see more slipped discs because generally, people are less active than they used to be and spend a lot more time sitting.  Discs hate to be squashed!

There is a general move in healthcare away from invasive treatments such as injections and surgery, and the emergence of treatments like IDD Therapy, which has replaced traction, means that, combined with increased knowledge about the spine and exercise, we can keep more people on the non-invasive side of spine care.

If the pain is persisting longer than six weeks, I would advise seeing a professional who works with spines, just to make sure that something short term doesn’t progress into something more debilitating and long term.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Velleman is a backpain expert, IDD Therapy provider and owner of Atkins Physiotherapy Consultants in Essex.

 ‘Intervertebral Differential Dynamics” or IDD Therapy is the fastest growing non-surgical spinal treatment for intervertebral discs with over 1,000 clinics worldwide and 34 clinics across the UK. Safe, gentle and non-invasive, IDD Therapy helps patients who need something more for their pain when manual therapy alone is insufficient to achieve lasting pain relief. http://iddtherapy.co.uk/

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