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With so many health apps to choose from nowadays its difficult to know which one is the best.

Here are my top 4…

1.Manage My Pain – It allows you to feel more in control of your pain, you can describe your pain, track it against activities and spot patterns and trends. You can lot your pain when you take different medication to see how well its working which is a great way to try something new.

2. Headspace – A very popular app which gives guided session starting from three minutes long. It also includes lots of breath-guided exercises and CBT work to challenge unhelpful thought processes.

3. Sleepio – This provides instant access CBT for poor sleep or insomnia over a six week programme. It is automated, personalised and delivered digitally and allows people to access support whenever and wherever they wish to use it. It is backed by the highest quality evidence with 12 randomised controlled trials, and has been trusted by the NHS for over seven years to treat insomnia in more than 100,000 patients !!!

4. Patient Access – It has more than 3000 information leaflets, all written by GP’s in patient.info website offers comprehensive advice on a vast range of symptoms, conditions and medicines. About 60% of people in England and Scotland can use the app to link to their GP and order repeat medication, book appointments, view or securely download your medical records, find NHS self-referral resources and more. An app that should definitely be on your iphone or ipad.

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Could there be a miracle jab for back pain agony? Wow, how amazing would that be!!

According to an article in The Mail on Sunday (June 20th 2021) by Jonathan Neal and Ethan Ennals there is a pain relieving jab available to back pain sufferers.

They explain that people with severe back pain are set to be given a new drug that can halt the disease in its tracks and protect us from permanent spine damage.

The drug, secukinumab, is designed to treat spondyloarthritis, an umbrella term for a number of conditions in which the immune system, for unknown reasons, turns inwards and attacks health spinal joints.

Pain in the buttoks area is often initially misdiagnosed as sciatica, a condition caused by compressed nerves in the lower back. In about half of cases, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis progresses to ankylosing spondylitis.

The drug, known as a biologic therapy, works by interfering with proteins produced by the immune system that cause inflammation. This then leads to long term relief.

If the classic symptoms for this disease are recognised this treatment will help many sufferes. The characteristic symptoms include back pain (tick) stiffness that’s worse with rest and better after activity (tick) waking with pain at night (tick) and stiffness in the morning (tick).

If these are something you think are suffering from then you should seek a referral to a rheumatologist straight away so they can carry out test.

The treatment involves an injection once a week for five weeks, followed by a single jab once a month from then on. It’s a costly pain relief if you are paying for it yourself with each treatment around £600 so it would roughly cost £10,000 for the first year and £7,200 a year subsequently.

I guess I need to go away and win the lottery to expect good pain relief. However, its a step in the right direction for people who are suffering and have not had any diagnosis.

Source: The Mail on Sunday