THE SALI STUDY (SIGNIFICANT ANKLE LIGAMENT INJURY)& DAY FOUR AFTER INJURY…

It’s four days since I went over on my foot and sprained my ankle. Even with crutches the effort of getting up and downstairs on my back side was playing havoc with my low back but today I think I’ve turned the corner.

I’ve managed on one crutch for most of today and could walk down one step at a time on the stairs and got a fairly good nights sleep last night. I knew the crutches would bother my arm and neck but I forgot about the crawling I had done after I went over on my foot and what trouble the stairs could cause me.

I’ve been religiously doing exercises I found online for a sprained ankle as it soon goes stiff but it’s no where near as swollen as I have been using one of my five a day vegetables to freeze the ankle and reduce the swelling 🙂

Over the past 48 hours I’ve kept myself busy by making some new handmade cards. I’ve created some new styles to my usual ones using needlecraft and painting some of them. Do let me know what you think of them?

After I’d seen the nurse at A&E she asked me if I would mind joining a study which is researching the recovery from significant ankle ligament injury’s. The purpose of the study called SALI, is all about Osteoarthritis. I will be sent a questionnaires to fill in shortly after my injury, 3 months, 1 Year, 3 Years, 5 Years, 10 Years and 15 years. The study will help them understand why some people who have an ankle injury go on to develop osteoarthritis, and why others don’t.

Of course I said I was happy to take part as this study will mean I am part of and contributing to a large body of research being conducted within The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. They said I will be sent updates on the SALI study with a newsletter, and kept up to date with any developments regarding the study, ankle injury prevention and recovery from it, and other news of interest which I can then post on here for others to benefit from.

I really hope I don’t end up developing Osteoarthritis due to this ankle injury and I am now keeping my fingers crossed that my appointment with a spinal consultant on Tuesday will mean that I will soon be booked in for an injection.

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HOW TO KEEP POSITIVE WHEN IN CHRONIC PAIN…

With so much going on with myself at the moment I’ve really had to get my mind into creative mode to take my mind off my pain.

I adore making hand made cards but with needing to keep my one bad foot up it’s not possible for me to have all my craft bits out to make my cards. Then today, out of the blue popped up a link to The Positive Planner, The mindful gratitude journal that inspires you daily and encourages mental wellbeing.

The details on the book say The Positive Planner……. The Happy Journal 

The Positive Planner is a traditional journal meets DIY therapist, with sections dedicated to daily reflections, a weekly mood tracker and mindfulness activities as well as everyday organisational extras such as meal planners and shopping lists. It is designed to be a one-stop-shop for organising yourself and most importantly improving your mental health and wellbeing. 

The Positive Planners bright and uplifting yellow colour radiates positivity and the slick designed pages feature inspiration quotes throughout-out along with originally designed cool artwork and illustrations which are perfect for mindful colouring in! 
The positive Planner is a 12 week journal and planner dedicated to self-care. 
Just the lovely bright yellow colour with the the smile on it makes you feel better. The cost is £23.
Other options that I have seen available on Amazon are similar to this one but all slightly different with their content. The Inspire Journal is a bit more of a productivity journal and is written as a DAILY PRODUCTIVITY JOURNAL:- Increase your Productivity, Stay Motivated, Inspired and Committed. Organise your goals and enhance your inner ability to achieve them every day. This one is £24.99 and in a choice of two colours, turquoise or grey brown.
One more similar version of the The Five Minute Journal : A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, also on Amazon for £13.19
The five minute journal helps you cultivate gratitude. It changes how you feel, alters the actions you take. It’s simple quick and effective to help focus the attention to the good in your life. Improve your mental well-being and feel better everyday with affirmations.

A ROUGH COUPLE OF DAYS…

I guess we all get our share of rough days but mine have definitely exceeded that over the last few days.

As many of you know I am waiting to see a spinal surgeon next week about my constant pain going down my arm from my neck as well as pins and needles down to my middle finger.  Initially, we thought it may have been my ulnar nerve again. I say ‘again’ as I had surgery the year before last for a trapped ulnar nerve which was a total success but they said it can come back even after surgery.

A nerve conduction test showed no problem with the ulnar nerve so I was then sent to have an MRI scan. Those results have shown that I have another disc bulge which is compressing a nerve and giving me the pins and needles and pain and it also showed that I have arthritis in that area.

Mine is definitely in the ‘wear and tear’ category as I have had two previous surgeries on the C3/4 area of my spine which has meant the disc below it has had to do all the work. The worst pain is doing the simplest of things like cleaning my teeth or drying my hair so I am hoping my appointment with a spinal surgeon next week is a success.

The MRI scan also showed a disc bulge at level L3/4 above my previous spinal surgery. I miss the facet joint injections that I had for this but keep myself topped up on my meds. During the last month I’ve had a couple of bad spasms with it which left me completely bent over and unable to straighten but it then settles down.

I also noticed that my foot was becoming more and more numb underneath but never thought anything else about it until yesterday when I stood up and it completely gave way and I went over on my foot, not once but twice. The pain was so acute I thought I was going to throw up.

Last night we iced and elevated it but I was unable to stand on it and could only get from a to b on my hands and knees which played havoc with my neck. After a terrible nights sleep we decided I should pop to A&E and get it checked out.

I am now on crutches and have the foot strapped up as I have a bad sprain but fortunately no break. The only problem is that a sprain can take as long as a break to heal so at the moment I am following the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) routine and hope it settles sooner rather than later.

They have told me I should mention to my spinal consultant what has happened with the foot and the numbness as this could definitely be related to my lumber spine.

ACUPUNCTURE, IS IT AS GOOD AS THEY SAY IT IS?

Acupuncture, is it as good as they say it is?

Back in 2009, after having numerous spinal surgeries and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I was at a stage where no matter what gambit of drugs I was taking I was still in a lot of pain.

I was already having regular aromatherapy massage on my back which I found amazing, but the relief was short-lived, so I decided to go down the complementary therapy route and try something new.

Also, at that time, Acupuncture was available at my NHS pain clinic, so I was able to go for regular sessions which were to mainly treat my neck and arm pains. I found these to be beneficial and could notice a difference by the end of each session but as my treatments were only one session every two weeks, I soon found that my pain was back before my next session.

Acupuncture works by stimulating your own body’s healing mechanisms to help with pain and recovery. The concept has been part of traditional Chinese medicine since 1000BC where it was written in scripts on the holistic concept on how it can help heal the body.

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.

The conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer-term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30-minute treatment time.

Acupressure uses the Physiotherapist’s hands over Acupuncture or trigger points in order to relieve muscle tightness or to stimulate QI flow and balance the body. It is a healing art that uses the fingers of the Physiotherapist on the key Acupuncture points. The amount of pressure used varies according to the condition and requires trained sensitive hands. It is often used with sensitive patients, patients with a needle phobia, children or frail patients.

I do personally believe that Acupuncture and Acupressure can help heal and therefore relieve some pain but what I do not seem to have been able to achieve with this treatment is momentum.

Should it be used weekly, fortnightly, less or more? Is it something you could use to treat yourself? With alternative therapies being preferred by many sufferers for pain relief it’s a case of working out the correct balance of treatments that you need. Unfortunately, my local NHS Pain Clinic no longer offers this form of pain relief which then also means funding it yourself which for some people I am sure is out of the question due to the cost.

 

INFRARED LIGHT THERAPY FOR PAIN RELIEF…

How to use infrared light therapy for pain relief at home - how it works and the best infrared home devices

There are three reasons you may want to try Infrared Light Therapy for pain. The Infrared Light Therapy Company say –

1. It’s a natural, non-invasive and side-effect free pain relief method.

2. It’s scientifically proven for over 40 years.

3. It’s cost-effective and will save you time and money.

So, what do we know about Infrared Light Therapy? Well, Infrared Light Therapy is a unique treatment which harnesses the healing power of specific wavelengths of light. When infrared energy is delivered to injury sites and other painful areas, it dramatically increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing. The result is rapid relief of discomfort.

Infrared light therapy is an effective, tested treatment for any condition characterized by pain and inflammation. Here’s just a partial list of conditions that benefit from treatment:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Blunt trauma
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Neck pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
  • Tendonitis
  • Surgical Incisions
  • Wounds

Is Infrared Light Therapy safe? Well, The Infrared Light Therapy Company say Infrared light therapy is gentle, painless, safe, noninvasive and nonabrasive.

So where can we buy these lights for pain? Well, I was surprised to find quite a lot available in the UK on Amazon and Stress No More who also have a large selection. My knowledge of this type of lamp was how it was used years ago as a type of tanning lamp in the ’60s but I can see it’s quite different from that.

I find heat amazing for pain and at this time of year and with my low back and neck causing me so much pain at the moment I am using lots while sitting while lying in bed and so I do feel one of these would help me. At the end of the day, these lights are from around £20-£70 so they don’t break the bank and if they help with pain then I am all for it.

I would love to know if any of my readers have tried one and if so if they found it helped their pain?