BACK PAIN AWARENESS WEEK 8th-12th OCTOBER, 2018 (#backpainweek)…

Back Pain Awareness Week (#backpainweek) this year is the 8th-12th October, and the theme this year is back pain in older adults.

Backcare write that Back pain is one of the major disabling health conditions among older adults aged 60 years and older. Many causes of lower back pain are age-related with physical and psychosocial changes. There is a distinct lack of awareness, especially in older adults to the causes and effects of back pain and pain management. 

In BackCare’s TalkBack Summer Magazine an article from Arthritis Research point out that INCREASING numbers of people are suffering from low back pain worldwide – an issue being made worse by the prevalence of inappropriate treatment methods, according to recent scientific papers published by The Lancet.

It is most common and burdensome in working populations, with many older people finding that their back pain prevents them from taking part in daily activities. Although most cases of low back pain are short-lasting, recurrences are common, with the costs associated with back pain-related healthcare and work disability
shown to be enormous.

For more information on the Back Pain Awareness Week (#backpainweek) make sure you check out my posts.

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5 OF THE BEST YOGA APPS…

YOGA WAKE UP...

Wake up to the sounds of yoga and meditation. The Yoga Wake Up app for iPhone delivers yoga audio sequences you can do from bed for an easier transition from dreamland. Find a variety of yoga routines from the world’s top yoga instructors and wellness warriors. Choose from Wakeups that feature slow, delicious morning stretches from the warmth of your covers or Wakeups that get you energized and out of bed. There are even mindful breathing meditations and Wakeups to do with kids.

Studies have consistently shown that traditional alarm clocks and snooze buttons not only disturb your sleeping patterns but can leave you feeling groggy for the rest of the day. Discover a new wakeup routine designed by renowned yogis and never have to hit that snooze button again. Wake up more peacefully with Yoga Wake Up.

YOGA STUDIO…

For a comprehensive collection of yoga classes, opt for Yoga Studio. They offer 15-, 20-, and 30-minute pre-made classes, plus allow you to make up your own class using their library of 280 yoga poses (they’ll suggest the sequence so it actually flows together). The other nice thing about this app is that you can download the workouts to use offline, or stream the classes on your Apple TV or laptop.

 

 

Yoga Studio includes 75+ ready-made classes; including Yoga for Back Pain, Yoga for Runners, our new Hip Hop Collection and many more! Choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination) to find the perfect class for you. They think learning how to move from one pose to the next is important – just as important as learning the poses themselves. That’s why all their classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that’s clear and easy to follow.

Vinyasa yoga might sound like a snooze, but this app makes it more interesting with three different class structures and accompanying playlists. Each time you use the app, Down Dog will mix up the workout so you never have to repeat a flow. (BTW, the free version is great, and you’re not missing much if you opt out of the pro membership.) Down Dog

The Down Dog App provides a studio-like yoga experience in the comfort of your home.

Each time you practice, Down Dog creates a brand new vinyasa yoga sequence so that you never run out of content. Clear vocal instruction and a matching playlist round out the experience for a true studio-quality class.

DAILY YOGA…

There are yoga workouts for all levels on this app, but if you’re just starting off you’ll find the set plans very helpful. The programs range from one week to 30 days long, and focus on a theme, like fitness or mindfulness. They even have specialised courses to help you learn to safely do a split or shoulder stand.

Daily Yoga inspires yogis worldwide with the largest yoga pose base. Enables you to practice yoga on all mobile devices and multiplatforms.

ASANA REBEL…

The yoga routines offered on this app combine interval training and traditional yoga to help you build strength, so be prepared to break a sweat and do lots of planks. There are distinct categories for the yoga flows (like strength, flexibility, and relaxation), so you can dial it up or down depending on your mood.

  • Hundreds of modern yoga workouts from fatburn to strength
  • Mini-sessions for busy schedules
  • High-quality programs designed by our experts

 

DO YOU EXPERIENCE PAIN IN YOUR HANDS OR WHEN WRITING?…

Do you experience pain in your hands or when writing? Dystonia is a condition whereby sometimes it becomes painful to write or play an instrument due to cramps in the hand or arm.

The Dystonia Society is the only national charity providing support, advocacy and information for anyone affected by the neurological movement condition known as dystonia.

If the doctor is not able to explain what is causing the cramps, one possible cause is a hand dystonia (otherwise known as Writer’s or Musician’s Cramp). The symptoms vary and may be one or more of the following:

  1. Twisting or curling up of the hands while writing or playing an instrument.
  2. Fingers move of their own accord to unusual positions while writing or playing an instrument.
  3. Writing or playing an instrument becomes painful.
  4. Symptoms usually disappear when the above activities stop.

Hand dystonia commonly appears in people between the ages of 30 and 50. It is one form of dystonia – a condition that causes uncontrollable and often painful muscle contractions believed to be as a result of incorrect messages from the brain to the muscles.

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder and, if the symptoms listed above are severe or damaging to quality of life, the correct course of action is for a GP to make a referral to a neurologist specialising in movement disorders. There are treatments for hand dystonia that can significantly reduce the symptoms in many cases.  Only a specialist neurologist has the knowledge and skill to diagnose and treat dystonia.  If the patient and their GP agree that the symptoms might possibly indicate dystonia then the GP should refer the patient to such a specialist.

There are also other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, one of which is carpel or cubital tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a narrow
space in the wrist that contains the median nerve. It is surrounded by the bones of the wrist (carpals) and a thick tendon sheath. Friction will cause the tendon sheath to swell and enlarge limiting the space within the carpal tunnel. As a result, the median nerve becomes compressed leading to numbness and tingling within the wrist and hand. Symptoms can be treated conservatively, with night splinting, medications, and cortisone injections. However, carpal tunnel syndrome does not resolve on its own and worsens over time.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of your ulnar nerve at the elbow.  The ulnar nerve travels from neck down your arm through a tunnel at your elbow called the “cubital tunnel.” The nerve is especially vulnerable to compression because the cubital tunnel is very narrow and has very little soft tissue to protect it. This compression causes numbness and/or tingling pain in your elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers. This is commonly caused by leaning on your elbow for long periods of time or swelling caused by friction of your ulnar nerve rubbing along structures of the cubital tunnel.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome are treated at first with conservative treatments like rest, changes in patterns of use, immobilizing the affected area with devices like splints or braces, physical therapy, medication and injections. If the symptoms do not improve after some time, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure to relieve compression.

As you know I had cubital tunnel release surgery last year and my nerve conduction tests showed I also have carpal tunnel both of which are giving me a lot of pain at the moment. However, on the NHS list of symptoms of Fibromyalgia they do include tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet (pins and needles, also known as paraesthesia)

The best way forward if you are suffering from any of these types of pain is to go and see your GP for him/her to decide your next move to finding out what the problem is.

MY FIBRO TEAM, THE SOCIAL NETWORK FOR THOSE LIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA…

MyFibroTeam My fibromyalgia Team

My Fibro Team is a social network for those living with Fibromyalgia which makes it easy for you to:

  • get the emotional support you need from others like you, and
  • gain practical advice and insights on managing treatment or therapies for fibromyalgia

When you or a loved one are first diagnosed, it’s not uncommon to feel alone and uncertain of where to find the best information and people that can help you now. My Fibro Team believe in making it easy to find the best people around you to help you get the answers you need, and to find support from people who can truly relate. The main currency on their site is trust – the more you share in posts and your stories, the more questions you ask and answer, the more your support will be valued by other members.

MyFibroTeam is the only social network where you can truly connect, make real friendships, and share daily ups and downs in a judgment-free place.

Below are the most popular areas of the site:

  • Activity page is where everyone posts updates – including images, stories, thoughts and anecdotes. It’s where daily triumphs and trials are shared and supported.
  • Find People Like You based on location, your diagnosis, and age. You can browse everyone’s story and updates, which helps provide insight as you share with others.
  • Q & A section enables you to search previously asked questions and answers, and gives you the ability to ask your own question that will be answered by others on MyFibroTeam.
  • Find Providers best suited to meet your needs based on keyword and zip/postal code or city, and you can see which ones other members have recommended.

The spirit of the site is to foster a welcoming community with open arms. Maintaining an atmosphere free of judgment and drama is very important to them to make sure every member can share their experiences, thoughts and feelings as openly as they wish. All of their members share compassion and deep empathy for each other’s journey. When signing up, many people feel shy at first, but quickly discover new friends and people who truly understand what you’re going through. Once you begin interacting on the site by posting updates, or sharing your story, even answering other’s questions, you’ll quickly feel embraced and accepted by the team of individuals already on the site, who are, by all measures, strangers, yet feel closer than well-intentioned friends and family.

My Fibro Team is an independent, venture-capital-backed startup (called MyHealthTeams) based in San Francisco. MyFibroTeam should not only provide you emotional support through the social network, but also be a resource for practical tips, personal experiences, and even referrals to other great doctors from the community. Information shared on the site can be seen by everyone who signs up for an account, but that is it.

So why not pop along and join the team like I have, you will be surprised what you can soon pick up from this network.

Fb square

 

 

CONTROL MY PAIN PROJECT FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC PAIN…

Control my pain project is a brilliant program was designed to teach people holistic strategies to heal their pain, put together by Survive Strive Thrive.

Chronic pain, as we all know impacts on every area of your life – it’s not just the pain but fatigue, anxiety, and sadness.

chronic pain holistic pain management

Survive Strive Thrive’s program, Control My Pain teaches people to heal their pain with strategies for body, mind & social well-being so they can get the joy back in their lives.

They put it into three categories –

Body – Reduce your pain and increase your mobility, strength, and fitness.

Mind – Calm the mind, reduce your stress and lift your emotions.

Social Well-Being – Improve your relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.

The six-week holistic pain management program is an intensive online training program, you’ll discover the best evidenced-based strategies to reduce your pain and restore your health, comfort and happiness.

It start’s with a quick start guide video which explains all the content which is in the form of a video lesson which they recommend you only do one topic a week. They run a Facebook group 

Week One is Science of Pain – Knowledge is power. The key to healing pain is understanding how our bodies process pain & why pain becomes chronic. This module leverages the latest neuroscience to teach you how to calm an overly sensitive nervous system.

Week Two is Biopsychosocial Approach -Do you walk less, worry more & enjoy less activities now you live with pain?

We respond to pain with our body, mind & social activities – these normal biopsychosocial responses can complicate your recovery.

Week Three is Thoughts and Feelings – Living with chronic pain can create fear, anxiety, distress, frustration & sadness in the most resilient of people. Discover leading therapeutic techniques to soothe a troubled mind, regain a sense of control & boost your emotions.

Week Four is Relaxation – Pain creates a lot of distress, anxiety & frustration – which in turn can impact upon pain. Learn proven relaxation techniques to handle pain flares & create a greater sense of coping & calm.

Week Five is Managing Activity – Do you move less now you live with chronic pain because you are afraid of further damage? This natural response also reduces your mobility, affects your mood & increases your pain. Learn how to confidently increase your activity levels without fear of injury.

Week Six is Communication – Pain can impact on even the most solid of relationships. Discover proven communication strategies to get back to enjoying meaningful relationships with family, friends & colleagues.

I am about to start this six-week course and will write a weekly review of each module I listen to.  I feel that if I only learn of a couple of things to help with my pain then it’s well worth taking the course.

For further details of this course click on this link to Control My Pain Project.