TEN GIFTS FOR SOMEONE IN CHRONIC PAIN…

My top ten Christmas gifts for people suffering from #fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

  1. Walking Sticks Online – an online marketplace full of unique and trendy walking sticks to suit everyone’s budget and style. From walking sticks with animal handles to ladies selection of petite handles and many more. Plus a collection of accessories for your walking sticks like this ‘Carry Wallet’ for £4.50
  2. Pain Relief Cushions – another online marketplace for all types of shapes and sizes of pain relief cushions to pop in your microwave or your freezer. From £16.99
  3. The Sciatica Relief Cushion – for anyone suffering from sciatica and low back pain.The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is an entirely new form of relief for Sciatica, developed by people who have experience of suffering and treating sciatic pain, from £34.00
  4. Joya Shoes Bliss for Back – shoes designed specifically for people with back painJoya shoes have come up with a type of shoe which can solve all those problems. The positive effect of a soft, springy surface on the locomotive system has been put to good use by physiotherapist for a long time now and is a highly topical subject in the fields of prevention/rehabilitation. The Joya brand has developed a shoe which makes use of this principle. The soft, supple material of the patented Joya sole means the load on the sole of your feet is ideally distributed as you walk and stand instead of being concentrated only on certain spots from £154.95e
  5. Dreamland Electric Heat Pad – I could not manage without mine. There are other makes on the market but this is my favourite. With new Intelliheat Technology for perfect temperature control.Instant heat up with 5 heat settings to choose from. Machine washable at 30 degrees. Very low running costs, less than 1p per session3 hour treatment auto shut off for your safety and peace of min, from £32 
  6. The All New Kindle Fire HD – I have the right music, the right books and the right audiobooks to help me relax and use it every single day. I think probably the best place to buy one without a doubt is from Amazon and new ones start at £79.99 
  7. A Massage from Groupon – all people in pain appreciate a massage and Groupon has some amazing offers all over the UK from as little as £15. 
  8. The  N:rem Sleep System which has an offer for my readers. If you wish to purchase a mattress you can have £30 off your order  – just quote BACKPAINBLOG at the check out.
  9. You can try the N:rem mattress for 100 nights in the comfort of your own home. This will give you the time to ensure you relax and get the perfect set-up to meet your needs. You can sleep on it and adjust the comfort and support up and down your body until it is just right for you, your partner can do the same on their side. The N:rem mattress provides the ability to tailor each side differently offering different levels of support wherever they’re needed. Simply unzip the N:rem’s cotton top cover and you’ll discover two sets of 5 variable density foam tablets,  from £540
10. iPad cushion -the perfect gift for all # fibromyalgia sufferers so they do not have to hold their iPads from Etsy from £7.00
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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/

Facebook: IDD Therapy Europe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iddtherapyeuro

 

 

 

5 IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER TO AVOID BACK PAIN WHEN REDESIGNING AT HOME…

Five important points to remember to avoid #backpain when redesigning at home:-

Benchtop height – Low benchtops are a common cause of #backpain so it’s best to plan a bench height that is most pleasant for the main cook in the kitchen. Bench heights of 900mm to 950mm are most common.

If you have a laptop, consider putting it on a stand to adjust the height. • Check the lumbar support of your chair. Add a pillow or get a new chair if you have been experiencing lower #backpain. Invest in a few cushy pads to keep your wrists elevated as you type and use the mouse, especially if you spend a lot of time at the computer.

Mind your head – Leaning over your desk to reach up for a heavy object above shoulder height is a common culprit for many people’s #backpain, especially if they have been sitting at a desk for long periods first. A gentle stretch is beneficial, but a strain is most definitely not. We can’t always dictate where our shelving and storage is positioned and in many smaller home offices there are few other options.
asymmetry of photos vs symmetry of desk.

For anyone 5’8″ or less, a range’s ovens should be just fine with a little bend of the legs. For some, the commercial look of a range is worth the stooping and #backpain. If you’re considering paying Viking prices, consider higher performance options from Capital Culinarian or Bluestar’s RNB series, a little less expensive than Viking.

Think of the chair you will be sitting in at your desk – Mercado Office Chair with Mesh Back & Lumbar Panel