HOW A HYGGE LIFESTYLE CAN HELP PEOPLE IN CHRONIC PAIN …

If your knew to the latest trend in a Hygge Lifestyle then it’s easy to explain.

Hygge, is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. As a cultural category with its sets of associated practices hygge has more or less the same meanings in Danish and Norwegian, but the notion is more central in Denmark than Norway. Wikipedia

Nearly every paper that I pick up today has at least one article on HYGGE and how it is influencing people all over the world to enjoy this type of lifestyle.

Being happy and content with your life is how the Danish lead their everyday life which isn’t really practised in Britain, and yet most of us would love to lead this way of life.

So, how can you enjoy a Hygge lifestyle? Well, it all starts off with what you have around you. Are you surrounded by clutter, is your room full of bits and pieces that you keep meaning to go through? If so then start by going through all your clutter one room at a time. Don’t try and clear every room straight away as you will probably give up immediately. Work on one room at a time and then you will see how wonderful you feel with the decluttered regime.

Now, look at your colours. What colours are in your room, could it do with a little more light or a complete make-over. First things first, look at what is letting the light into your room. What sort of curtains or blinds do you have up? What sort of lighting have you?

These simple steps of changing a rooms curtains/blinds and lighting could completely alter the theme of your room. So much so that you might not need to give it a complete make-over you may be quite happy with the paint colour or decide to just change one wall to a lighter colour. If you look at any book or website on Hygge you will immediately see how the right colours and lights can change a room completely.

Finish the room with the right accessories. It’s amazing how accessories even down to the right plants can completely change the look of your room.

Some of my favourite websites with Hygge living ideas are Pinterest, Houzz and Hyggestyle.

Other ways to enjoy a Hygge way of living and help your pain is to think about your favourite movie or tv show and watch it again. It you have a favourite book that made you feel good then read it again. Sometimes just curling up with a good book can make you feel better.

Eating healthy food can fill you with anti-inflammatory benefits but every now and then we crave a plate of comfort food or a warm cup of tea. If this doesn’t become a habit then treat yourself to something special.

While enjoying re-watching your favourite movie or reading your favourite book while enjoying some comfort food make sure you are sitting comfortably in light weight clothes and cozy socks and wrap yourself in a soft blanket the Hygge way. Turn your laptop onto silent and if you have a crock pot fill it with something nice to enjoy for dinner later. It makes me feel relaxed just writing this down.

Advertisements

9 CELEBRITIES VIEWS ON CHRONIC PAIN…

We are not alone in pain and in fact some very famous celebrity’s also suffer from chronic pain. Did you know that it is reported that chronic pain affects 1.5 billion globally? Unfortunately pain can affect anyone, famous or not but some celebrities keep their condition quiet and others have told how and what they think of chronic pain.

They call it the ‘silent epidemic that stretches the globe’.

Nine famous names who have suffered chronic pain include –

Morgan Freeman – who suffers from Fibromyalgia said –

“There is a point to changes like these. I have to move on to other things, to other conceptions of myself. I play golf. I still work. And I can be pretty happy just walking the land.”

George Clooney – who suffers from chronic back pain said –

‘I thought I was going to die [but] I’ve gone from where I can’t function, where ‘I just can’t live like this’ to ‘I’ve got a bad headache.”

“It’s been a long recovery […] you can’t mourn for how you used to feel […] you have to come to terms with it.”

Elizabeth Taylor – who suffers from Scoliosis said –

“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it; you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I have done it. There’s no other way.”

Jennifer Grey – who suffers from chronic neck pain and who said –

“I will always have pain. But I exercise as much as I can, and I find that makes a huge difference. And if my body does seize up, I have a pain plan in place. I go back to my doctor.”

Jackie Chan – who suffers from back pain and said –

“Pain is my daily routine. As long as I don’t go to the hospital, it’s nothing for me.”

Lady Gaga – who suffers from Fibromyalgia said –

“There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes pain is a microphone. My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is [good]. […] I hope that people watching it that do struggle with chronic pain know that they are not alone, […] I want people that watch it that think there’s no way I live that way because they see me dance and sing, to know I struggle with things like them and that I work through it and that it can be done.”

Paula Abdul who suffers from CRPS said –

“The body does not give up on us, so we can’t give up on it. My goal is always to work with my body, not against it so that it can function efficiently. […] I also try to remember that there have been pain-free days — which means that this difficult time will be over and give way to a better time. […] That’s where gratitude is so important. Writing gratitude lists to remember all the wonderful things I’ve experienced has also been really helpful for me.”

Sinead O’Connorwho suffers from Fibromyalgia and said –

“Fibromyalgia is not curable. But it’s manageable,” O’Connor said in a 2005 interview with HOTPRESS. “I have a high pain threshold, so that helps – it’s the tiredness part that I have difficulty with. You get to know your patterns and limits, though, so you can work and plan around it. It is made worse, obviously, by stress. So you have to try to keep life quiet and peaceful.”

Jo Guest – who also suffers from Fibromyalgia said –

“I used to love wearing sexy clothes and short skirts, but I don’t enjoy dressing up any more. The spark has gone out of life. It’s hard to feel good about yourself or like a sexy woman when you feel so ill,” Guest told Daily Star in a 2008 interview. “But I am positive about it. I really believe I am going to get better. I will not give up.”

ONE SIMPLE LIFESTYLE CHANGE THAT CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR BACK PAIN…

One simple lifestyle change that can significantly reduce your back pain is a guest post from Tavistock Clinic in Crawley.

None of us are strangers to back pain.

It’s the leading cause of disability in the UK. In addition, 80% of the population experience back pain at one stage or another in their life and it is one of the most common causes for absence days at work.

Back pain is often a mystery. The reason being, it can be caused by such a wide variety of reasons.

You may twist your back whilst reaching something on the floor, and the pain is caused by overstretching the muscle. You may have had a car accident, where the pain is caused due to the physical impact to the muscle. You may even be getting back pain from emotional trauma or certain foods that you react to unknowingly.

Many of us also know the importance of ‘bending at the knees’ and not your back when lifting items.

This is staple (and correct) advice that everyone should follow. The notion is that you should use your leg muscles to pick something up off the floor, instead of putting the pressure into your back.

There’s something missing though: what about all the things you pick up from that mid-range area, between the knees and torso region?

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in a squat position whilst lifting something off the kitchen counter, dining table, or when putting dishes into the dishwasher.

The vast majority of ‘bending’ we do is at the mid-line level – where squatting by the legs simply does not cross our minds, nor is it practical, or swift enough.

Yet, we still put the pressure into our backs, and not into our legs. How do we resolve this?

In truth, there is another posture of bending that everyone needs to know about, but no one actually does… yet.

‘Hip hinging’ is bending by your knees and ‘hinging’ by your hips at the same time.

It means you still get to bend down from your back and reach down (from the bend in the knees), without having to do a full squat (with your back perfectly upright) but without any undue stress into your spine.

Buffalo Rehab provides a picture-perfect demonstration of the difference between a normal pick up and a hip hinge:

Picture number 1 on this image slide is how the vast majority of people would pick something up from knee level.

Picture number 2 on this image slide shows the perfect position of lifting. You can see I the back is almost horizontal, which may make you think it’s terrible for the spine.

Picture number 3 offers a separate alternative of lifting, also known as the golfers’ grip, which is still safer for your spine than the first picture.

The question should always be, however, ‘why is the spine in that position?’

In picture number 1, the spine is bent because the spine itself and the spinal muscles are folding forward (flexing).

In picture number 2, the spine is not actually bent at all – it’s straight (no, it’s not an illusion!).

The reason it’s horizontal is that the hips are hinged forward.

This is a perfectly normal and safe movement for the hip to do, and when you lift an item from the ground the force goes into the hip and back of the legs primarily, with less stress on the lower and upper back.

There are a number of examples in the professional sporting and exercise world that demonstrates the importance of the hip hinge.

Whenever you see someone doing a squat in the gym, if done correctly, they will be hip hinging:

The same goes for if you are doing one of the staple back strengthening exercises, the deadlift:

Many people think this exercise is dangerous because you are not specifically ‘bending by the knees’ as much as you would think, but the truth is the spine is completely neutral in this position, so the stress is primarily on the hip and legs, where it is supposed to be.

At Tavistock Clinic we offer physiotherapy in Crawley and we advise strongly to every one of our sports and exercise clients to ensure they are hip hinging both during their rehabilitation from injury but as well as part of their prehabilitation to minimise the chance of future injuries. 

So how do you learn to do the hip hinge?

The PTDC demonstrates, through use of video, a series of highly effective exercises to help you make the hip hinge second nature for you as much as possible.

With these exercises and awareness of your hip and spinal posture during any lifting activity, you are much more likely to save your spine in the future and prevent unnecessary and potentially severe back pain.

I hope you’ve found this article useful and informative. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly on kulraj@tavistockclinic.com

Happy Hip Hinging!

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOBBY THAT WON’T CAUSE A FLARE-UP OF YOUR PAIN…

Choosing the right hobby to enjoy while in chronic pain can be as important as trying out a new drug. What many people do not realise is that chronic pain has a very unpleasant side effect – boredom.

Being diagnosed with any type of chronic pain can be distressing to anyone and cause anxiety about how they will manage it. The pain could cause problems from swelling, stiffness and difficulty moving joints, but the severity may vary and symptoms come and go in flare-ups, so the last thing you want to do is cause your own flare-up.

One of my personal favourite hobbies is writing this blog, but I have had to adjust how I write it to be comfortable because of my neck problems and only last year changed my laptop for an iPad mini which I can position so it’s the right height so as to not cause any flare-ups.

Another of my favourite hobbies is making handmade cards and only a couple of days ago I made some new designs. I was probably making them for a couple of hours and I admit I didn’t really think about the position I was in as I was enjoying myself so much.

It was a bad decision and last night I had probably one of the worst nights of neck and arm pain I have had in a long time which kept me awake most of the night. Today I had an appointment to see a spinal consultant about my neck and arm pain and he showed us the problematic disc causing all my problems. I now have to have a CT Scan so he can look at my bones and how the two previous cervical surgeries are doing but he is leaning towards me needing further surgery.

Even with extra medication today and resting all afternoon the pain has only subsided a little so I am really cross with myself for even thinking I could make some cards with causing a major flare-up.

Three very important factors to remember when starting a hobby while in pain are –

1. Am I going to put any pressure on my condition by trying this hobby?

2. In the long term can I cause a flare-up of my condition by taking up this hobby?

3. Is this hobby really worth taking up if it is going to irritate my condition?

I really wish I had just thought about this before I started making my cards on Sunday. I have been in a mess since last summer with this particular disc so I should have known better. It won’t put me off enjoying my hobbies but it will make me think before I embark on one again.

The UK Mobility Group have a list of hobbies with recommended modifications to avoid flare-ups. Some great books on the subject are Crafting: The Top 300 Best Crafts by Susan Hollister. and The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: The Astonishing Science Behind How everyday hobbies help you Relax by Dr. Stan Rodski.

Some other very popular hobbies for people in pain are –

1. Comping
2. Get a penpal
3. Sewing
4. Photography
5. Writing
6. Card Making
7. Art with Mosaics
8. Antiques
9. Scrapbooking
10.Jewellery Making
11.Learn a new language
12.Knitting
13.Reading
14.Book group
15.Music
16. Webpals

17.Travelling
18.Blogging
19.Crocheting
20.scrabble/games
21.Cooking
22.Genealogy & Family History
23.Crafts
24.Cross Stitch
25.Astronomy
26.Stamp Collector
27.Poetry
28.Calligraphy
29.Suduko
30.Surfing the Internet
31.Home Study Courses

32. Cross-stitch

What are the hobbies that help you while in pain? I would like to add them to my list as I would quite like to research and write on this subject in more detail.

THE SALI STUDY (SIGNIFICANT ANKLE LIGAMENT INJURY)& DAY FOUR AFTER INJURY…

It’s four days since I went over on my foot and sprained my ankle. Even with crutches the effort of getting up and downstairs on my back side was playing havoc with my low back but today I think I’ve turned the corner.

I’ve managed on one crutch for most of today and could walk down one step at a time on the stairs and got a fairly good nights sleep last night. I knew the crutches would bother my arm and neck but I forgot about the crawling I had done after I went over on my foot and what trouble the stairs could cause me.

I’ve been religiously doing exercises I found online for a sprained ankle as it soon goes stiff but it’s no where near as swollen as I have been using one of my five a day vegetables to freeze the ankle and reduce the swelling 🙂

Over the past 48 hours I’ve kept myself busy by making some new handmade cards. I’ve created some new styles to my usual ones using needlecraft and painting some of them. Do let me know what you think of them?

After I’d seen the nurse at A&E she asked me if I would mind joining a study which is researching the recovery from significant ankle ligament injury’s. The purpose of the study called SALI, is all about Osteoarthritis. I will be sent a questionnaires to fill in shortly after my injury, 3 months, 1 Year, 3 Years, 5 Years, 10 Years and 15 years. The study will help them understand why some people who have an ankle injury go on to develop osteoarthritis, and why others don’t.

Of course I said I was happy to take part as this study will mean I am part of and contributing to a large body of research being conducted within The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. They said I will be sent updates on the SALI study with a newsletter, and kept up to date with any developments regarding the study, ankle injury prevention and recovery from it, and other news of interest which I can then post on here for others to benefit from.

I really hope I don’t end up developing Osteoarthritis due to this ankle injury and I am now keeping my fingers crossed that my appointment with a spinal consultant on Tuesday will mean that I will soon be booked in for an injection.