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World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is a yearly commemoration of the main principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a global humanitarian network of millions of members, staff and volunteers. Their aim is to be on the frontline where there is disaster, conflict, health or social problems and to help those in need. The organisation consists of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide.

It is not easy for the volunteers who do this job daily – so this day is meant to commemorate the work that they do and highlight the many areas they work in, providing assistance with disaster relief, preparation for disaster and education for the public. This date is significant as it marks the birth of Henry Dunant who was born in 1828. Henry Dunant was the founder of the committee of the Red Cross and received the first Nobel Peace Prize. 

Whether schools are open or closed, World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is the perfect opportunity for parents and teachers to talk to their children about the importance of the Red Cross and Red Crescent all over the world.

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Is your knee pain actually coming from a problem with your back and not your knee?

A recent article on Sea Coast Online resonated with me. It pointed out that if you have a knee problem the most important thing is finding the source of the pain and could this pain be coming from your lower back.

Lower back pain can send referred pain down the front of your thigh to your knee as can sacroiliac pain, so it can be a bit confusing. Knee pain that does not respond to conservative treatment then it should be looked at further.

In the article it talks about someone who had knee surgery to clean out some wear and tear from arthritis but the surgery only made matters worse so she went for a second opinion and it turned out it was coming from her low back.

Getting the right diagnosis or a second opinion before any surgery is something you should do as most people over the age of 40 have some wear and tear or arthritis in their knees.

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Sciatica and sitting – can sitting for to long actually cause this problem? The US Pain Society explain that “sitting is another activity that puts a lot of pressure on your glute muscles, lower back, and your sciatic nerve.

The problem is that the pressure inside of our disks, the “shock absorbers” that lie between the bones (vertebra ) in our spine (22 disks in total ) is higher when we sit compared with simply standing or lying down.

The Advertiser writes that in addition to sitting at work, for meals, and commuting to/from work, 36 percent sit another one to two hours watching TV, 10 percent sit one to two hours for gaming, 25 percent sit one to two hours for reading/lounging, and 29 percent use their home computer for one to two hours.

If you break this down it means that the average person sits for 9.5 hours a day and sleep for eight hours. That’s a total of 17.5 hours a day off their feet!

Obviously, this is a massive problem for lower back pain and sciatica. However, although sitting cannot cause sciatica it can almost certainly cause a massive flare up of the condition.

Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks and leg. The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy. … Sciatica symptoms are typically felt on only one side of the body.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run through your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet on both sides. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. When that happens, it can cause a lot of problems all the way down the nerve.

The most distinctive sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back into the back or side or your legs. It can range from a mild ache to sharp, severe pain. You can also get numbness, tingling, and weakness in your leg or foot. There is lots more information on what sciatica is on my post “What Is Sciatica, and What Can You Buy To Help with the Pain,” plus another one I wrote on “How To Cope with Sciatica Pain While Driving”.

One very important thing to remember is to get your posture right if you are suffering from lower back pain and or sciatica. Nichola Adams who is one of “Britain’s most experienced and highly qualified consultants in back pain” has written a couple of articles which covers details on posture and sitting to help avoid back problems,

If, however, you are a long term sufferer like myself and have arthritis in your sciatic joints then you may have to resort to other forms of help for the pain. Health Harvard wrote a great article on Taming the Pain of Sciatica. They say that the good news is that for most (roughly three out of four) people, symptoms improve over a few weeks. Injections can provide short-term relief. Like any procedure, it has uncommon risks including more pain, and it doesn’t seem to decrease the need for future surgery.

Everyday Health actually writes about the relationship between sciatica and arthritis and some causes of sciatica are related to OA. These are:

  • Narrowing of the canal inside the lumbar spine (spinal stenosis)
  • Disc herniation or prolapse
  • Slippage of vertebra in the lumbar spine (spondylolisthesis)
  • Piriformis syndrome (a buttock muscle problem)
  • Injury of the lumbar spine or the sciatic nerve
  • Tumor in the lumbar spinal canal or the sciatic nerve
  • At times no obvious cause can be found

At home treatments for sciatica can include simple over-the-counter painkillers,  analgesics or certain prescription drugs may be tried. The biggest problem with opiates is that they can cause many side effects including constipation where even taking extra fluid, fruit, vegetables and fiber can still not alleviate this.

Regular activitywalking, and physical therapy with a home program of stretching and strengthening of affected muscles is very important, as is good posture. I try and walk every day but every day is different. Some days I can manage around 2000 steps in one walk and have no problems other times I get back and need to lie down straight away. The other problem I have with this condition is standing in one spot which means it bothers me while doing general housework like ironing, and cooking. Standing in a queue is out of the question.

Keeping as flexible as you can, keeping your weight down, keep moving your position often if you are sitting down and generally looking after your lower back will prevent flare ups and more pain.