Tim Everett owner of The Bad Back Company approached me at a health event recently and asked me if I would be interested in writing a regular post on his Specialist Blog about ‘A Day in the life of a Back Pain Sufferer‘.
Of course I said I’d be delighted to write for him. This is the link to my first introductory post which will lead onto my regular slot which I hope some of my readers will enjoy.
Tim is a practicing osteopath for over 20 years, and he recognised products that can assist with pain relief and injury recovery. He has a team of specialists whom he works closely with to ensure they have a large range of products for different conditions on his website, The Bad Back Company.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The Down Dog App provides a studio-like yoga experience in the comfort of your home.
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.
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? 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.
- Twisting or curling up of the hands while writing or playing an instrument.
- Fingers move of their own accord to unusual positions while writing or playing an instrument.
- Writing or playing an instrument becomes painful.
- Symptoms usually disappear when the above activities stop.
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 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.