The ME Association are going blue for ME to help raise awareness of ME.. Go Blue 4 ME, one of the ME Association’s most successful regular fundraising campaigns, will run again in 2020. It will be held during ME Awareness Week in May: Monday, May 11 – Sunday, May 17. They are currently working on the full campaign and will let you know all about it as soon as we can. In the meantime, you might like to consider previous events and begin to plan what you might do in 2020.
Why BLUE? Because blue is the internationally accepted and recognised colour of M.E. Awareness. How you GO BLUE is entirely up to you… How far you go BLUE is also entirely up to you. Just do all you can to colour in this cruel invisible illness.
The ME Association say,
- We published photos with REAL quotes from those featured in our campaign as info-graphics on the website and social media and you shared them in large numbers across your networks.
- You shared your own images and stories and highlighted the issues you felt needed to be addressed, like research funding, medical education and medical care and support.
- The legend of our campaign was shared far and wide across social media: “Real People. Real Disease. Real M.E.” as were the hashtags: #RealME #GoBLUE4ME #MEAwareness
- Your efforts helped us to reach beyond our immediate community to raise awareness with those who are not directly affected.
- For more inspiration, take a look at the 2019 Events Gallery.
Action for ME is a UK charity which helps support and helps make a difference to people suffering from M.E.
What is ME? – ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, a neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. M.E. affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK and around 17 million people worldwide.
People with M.E. experience severe, persistent fatigue associated with post-exertional malaise, the body’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy, leading to a flare-up in symptoms.
Not everyone will experience the exact same symptoms so it’s important not to compare someone who has M.E. to another person who has the illness. People with M.E. can vary enormously in their experience of the illness, and also how long their symptoms last. Some make good progress and may recover, while others can remain ill for a number of years and may not get better. Some people find that they don’t go back completely to the way they felt before they became ill, but they do recover sufficiently to lead happy and fulfilling lives. This is similar to many other chronic illnesses.’
Fibromyalgia sufferers understand what it’s like to suffer from chronic fatigue but M.E sufferers experience this in a much bigger way, a way which most people could not comprehend. Several descriptions of illness resembling those of M.E and chronic fatigue syndrome have been reported for at least two hundred years but they say that ‘a lack of understanding and awareness about M.E. means patients can experience disbelief, and even discrimination, from friends, family, health and social care professionals and employers.’ Sounds familiar?
Fibromyalgia, CFS, and M.E all seem to have a similar pattern of not being accepted as a genuine condition or people suffering without a diagnosis. The only way to raise awareness of these conditions if for sufferers and carers to highlight the plight they are in. Action for M.E is just one of those charities trying to raise awareness of the condition. They take action to end the ignorance, injustice, and neglect faced by people with M.E. They do that by helping to improve the lives of people with M.E. while taking action to secure change for the future.
Their mission is empowering people with M.E. to fulfil their potential and secure the care and support they need while working towards a greater understanding of the illness and ultimately a cure.
You can donate ‘Give Big for Me‘ to help fund vital information and support services for people suffering from M.E.
With so many advertisements for pain relief medication and so many other popular chemical based products that are said to reduce symptoms, it can be difficult to seek out some more natural alternative ways to tackle your discomfort. Feelings as though you want to avoid these over the counter medicines can be down to many different reasons, yet coverage of alternative options is far less widespread making it tough to know what other choices are available on the market today. Luckily, natural pain relief methods do exist in several forms, and many people cite these methods as having worked well for them. So, if you want to find out more about which natural options are on offer for you to try, then read on for some of the best concepts and ideas that you can make the most of today.
Include More Exercise In Your Schedule
Though tackling a workout may be one of the last things on your mind whilst suffering from any kind of muscle or joint pain, including a little more exercise in your schedule can have a dramatic effect on the way that you feel. There’s no need to hit the gym every day for a super intense session, but attempting to take part in something such as yoga or swimming can help to relieve some of your symptoms and break the cycle of recurrent pain. The pain associated with illnesses such as arthritis can be eased by stretching and working your muscles, as this can quickly improve your mobility and allow you to get up and get moving in a much faster time. Yoga is particularly helpful for many forms of pain, as not only does it focus on strength and balance training using only the weight of the participant, but it also incorporates breath control and meditation that can deal with the emotional aspect of your discomfort too.
Explore Modern Marvels Of Science
In recent years there has been an increase in research into new inventions and discoveries that might be the ideal solution for your pain related symptoms, so it’s a great idea to begin exploring the modern marvels that are being released on the market today. For example, one of the biggest industries that’s advancing at a considerable rate thanks to the success of their products in the CBD industry. Understanding these substances couldn’t be easier when you can utilise a CBD Beginners Guide that details how and why the treatments can work for you, as it’s becoming increasingly common for these oils and serums to be utilised as pain relief methods. Always consult your healthcare professional before exploring alternative methods, as it’s good to keep in touch with a specialist that can track your symptoms and ensure there are no nasty side effects from the treatment you are attempting.
With any luck, these new age and natural pain relief methods will aid you in reducing your discomfort and improving your mobility without the need for common chemical compounds.
Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually begins within an hour. It is also available by injection. Wikipedia
Side effects include constipation, itchiness, dizziness and nausea to name a few. It was patented in 1963 and launched under the name “Tramal” in 1977 by the West German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH. In the mid-1990s, it was approved in the United Kingdom and the United States.
On the NHS website they say that it works by blocking pain signals from travelling along the nerves to the brain. It’s possible to become addicted to tramadol, but this is rare if you’re taking it to relieve pain and your doctor is reviewing your treatment regularly. It’s best not to drink alcohol with Tramadol as you’re more likely to get side effects like feeling sleepy.
Tramadol comes as:
- fast-acting tablets – these contain 50mg of tramadol
- slow-acting tablets – these contain 50mg, 75mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg or 400mg of tramadol
- fast-acting capsules – these contain 50mg of tramadol
- slow-acting capsules – these contain 50mg, 100mg, 150mg or 200mg of tramadol
- drops that you swallow – these contain 100mg of tramadol in 1ml of liquid
- an injection (usually given in hospital)
- soluble tablets – these contain 50mg of tramadol
- tablets that dissolve in the mouth – these contain 50mg of tramadol
- an injection (usually given in hospital)
There is also a new type now called Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol 37.5 mg/325 mg film-coated tablets.
Medicines explains Tramadol hydrochloride/Paracetamol Tramadol/Paracetamol is a combination of two analgesics (pain killers) tramadol and paracetamol that act together to relieve your pain. Tramadol/Paracetamol is intended for use in the treatment of moderate to severe pain when your doctor recommends that a combination of tramadol and paracetamol is needed.
I have been on Tramadol for around 19 years. I started on a small dose then increased it but then my pain consultant changed me to the slow release dose which I took for many years. My pain was starting to increase and so it was decided that maybe I should go back to a normal dosage which meant on bad days I could take extra.
As you know the pain team here wanted me off the Tramadol completely but my GP decided the best way to do it was to take the one thar has paracetamol in it and wean myself off it that way. When I read up on withdrawal from Tramadol on the Very Well Mind website, it said you can expect to feel “flu-ish and sick to your stomach. You may sweat and have the chills. You might have trouble sleeping and feel much more irritated and aggravated than usual. You might also experience varying degrees of anxiety and depression.” Reading those symptoms filled me with dread.
Although the sweating and shaking were the biggest withdrawal symptom to me I think overall it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My sleep was no worse as it’s problematic anyway but I think if you are in the right mindset to come off a drug then that’s half the battle.
I have now managed to get right down to just 50mg once a day of the Tramadol/ Paracetamol mix and for the time being I’m happy to be taking so much less. It’s a fine line to be able to control chronic pain but the biggest difference to me has been my clear head. It feels so different, less fuzzy and fresh. My left had still shakes but I know part of that is due to my cervical disc problems.
Don’t ignore the warning signals if you feel stiff or sore, advises leading UK back-pain expert and ergonomist Nichola Adams, who offers you her 6 Top Tips on how to sit with the correct posture, wherever you are working.
As an ergonomist, my consultancy work takes me all over the country. I’ve spent the past 14 years travelling the UK, advising around 3,000 individuals and hundreds of British businesses on how they can minimise their risk of back injury in the workplace.
My role in the corporate sector, supporting both companies and individual employees, often involves me assessing people’s posture at work and I’m usually asked to conduct a formal Ergonomic Workstation Assessment to check whether someone’s workstation and chair are set up to support a healthy posture. This is so important when we are sitting down for hours at a time at our computers, to avoid tension and pain build-up and to keep our backs healthy.
As you may imagine, I’ve witness some pretty harrowing set-ups, meeting people who are blissfully unaware that their posture, seating arrangements and furniture are pretty much ‘an injury waiting to happen’.
Whether you are working from home or at your office, it is very important to maintain a healthy posture, especially if you are working for more than an hour or two.
The same rules and guidance apply whether you are working at your computer or your laptop: and the buzz words of the moment are “Motion is Lotion!”
My work involves advising employers on the risks of back injury in the workforce and how this can affect a company’s performance. I often say to people I meet: “Your next posture is the best posture!”. In other words, just keep moving.
When you have a sensitive back or a back injury, you also need to reduce the amount of time that you are adopting a bad posture and increase the amount of time that you are adopting a healthy posture.
This is because assuming the correct posture supports recovery from any back issues you may have, allowing oxygen and nutrients to reach your tissues and muscles.
So, here are my 6 Top Tips on How to Improve your Posture at your Workstation…
1. Avoid slouching by moving your screen up: The main cause of back tension build-up that I witness is people being slouched over their screens or laptops. Don’t be a ‘Slouched Potato’. When you are using your laptop, always try to raise the screen so that it’s closer to your eye height. Avoid slouching down over it. Instead, raise your screen up on something and use a separate keyboard and mouse. With a laptop, in essence you are trying to adapt it so that it is similar to a desktop computer set-up. With a desktop screen, you should raise it up to eye-level height and bring your keyboard and mouse close up to the front of your desk so that you are not having to extend your arms forward when using them.
2. Adapt your desk to suit you, never vice versa: Take a fresh look at the whole of your desk set-up. The rules are that screens should be about arm-distance away, that your keyboard and mouse should be close to the front of your desk and that your chair should be nice and close to the front of the desk, too. What we are trying to achieve is that everything is close to you and you are not reaching or leaning forward to use them. You should adapt your desk to suit you, and not adapt to suit it.
3. Re-examine your chair set-up: First of all, you should raise the height of your seat so that your arms are level with the desk and that you are not reaching up or reaching down to use your keyboard. If that means that your feet are raised off the floor, then use a footrest. The second most important thing is that your lower back curve is properly supported at the right height and depth to suit your body, so adjust the lumbar support of your chair accordingly or use a cushion. Once you have made this important adjustment, this will also discourage you from slouching and will make you feel like you are properly supported.
4. Take a break at the water cooler or stand up for phone calls: Listen to your body when you feel uncomfortable because it’s your body telling you that it is time to move. At the very least, you should be moving once an hour. Even just standing up is good as the physical act of standing gets everything moving through your body. The flow of blood and nutrients will nourish your discs and muscles. Optimally, I would try to take a breather every 20 minutes. But even if you’re just taking a standing break for a minute or two, just the act of standing is beneficial. Some clever tricks for remembering to do this include standing up whenever you are on the phone; or remembering to drink lots of water, which means having to wander over to the water cooler or bathroom. Then rest breaks will also help your hydration. Even better, take your laptop or papers over to a higher surface so that you can stand while you are looking at your screen. Just try and break things up.
5. Stroll on! Take regular exercise: Always try to build in some regular exercise into your working day. Get off one stop early if you are commuting to work and walk the last section to your office. The same on the journey home. Take a lunchtime stroll. If you can’t get out, you could even take a short stroll around your office. When you’re working from home, unfortunately the temptation is just to sit down and start working, then to work all day and forget to exercise. So be extra-strict with yourself and make sure that you take a break, for example at lunchtime. Just get up and go for a walk around your home or, better still, get outside for a bit and soak in some valuable Vitamin D, too.
6. Breathe deeply to lower your stress levels: Don’t forget to breathe as breathing can really help us to reduce our stress levels. It can also help us to re-focus. So, take a few moments out of your busy day to remember to take some deep breaths. It’s not always easy to remember, so set your watch on a timer. Then do some deep breathing. The routine that works for me is to take a deep breath IN, for a count of four beats, and then exhale that deep breath OUT slowly for a count of eight beats. That helps me to re-energise my brain and body. I recommend it to you, it is quite invigorating!
In summary, if you stay static, adopting a poor posture for too long, your body will tell you what’s wrong immediately.
Your body will start to feel sore and stuff. This amounts to an oxygen depletion in your body, which is sending signals to your brain that you need to move.
So, take note of these signs: watch your posture and move whenever you can. Listen to your body, stretch up and upright as often as you can and keep moving.
And above all, don’t ignore the warning signals.
Combining the Greek words ‘ergon’ (meaning ‘work’) and ‘nomoi’ (meaning ‘natural laws’), ergonomics is the science of making products and tasks comfortable and efficient for human use.
· Nichola Adams, MSc Health Ergonomics, Tech CIEHF (Technical Member of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors), Reg Member ACPOHE (The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics), is one of the UK’s leading back-pain experts and the Founder of Inspired Ergonomics (inspiredergonomics.com)