TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID COMMON CAUSES OF BACK PAIN…

So many things can cause you back pain, in fact far to many to list but I found a few tips on how to avoid the most common causes of back pain.

Standing incorrectly I suppose is an obvious one but they say that if you can avoid leaning while standing (against a wall or similar) and do not stand on one leg as this can create muscle imbalances.

Sitting incorrectly while driving can soon cause back pain, they suggest that you should raise your seat up until your hips are level with your knees. Raise it higher if you can’t see clearly out the windshield or windows. Don’t drive with your hips lower than your knees. If your car doesn’t have a control to adjust the seat height, then sit on a cushion to help keep your hips level with your knees. I have a coccyx cushion in my car and my husbands car and could not last a journey without one.

For women they say your bra is very important, which is something I have written a little bit about before. Apparently London’s Royal Free Hospital says that 100% of women who want a breast reduction is because they are suffering from back pain and most of them were found to be wearing the wrong sized bra. I think its easier now as most department stores have fully trained staff to measure you properly.

Sitting at your computer is a very important one. They say its because you have to lean forward or stretch out with your arms, both of which can cause back ache. To stop this happening they recommend that you set your keyboard so you rest your arms on the desk to use it, and your screen so that your head is straight when you look at it. My son bought me a special ergonomic key board and computer mouse for when I sit at my desk and worked out the correct height for my laptop which sits on some books and I do feel I can sit a little longer now that is right.

They also say sitting too much can cause back pain as apparently when you sit down, the load going through your discs is increased threefold so they recommend that you move regularly, ideally every 20 minutes. Well I’m afraid I do sit most of the time but my legs are always horizontal ( not sure if that helps) but as I do get uncomfortable often I do have to move around quite a bit so hopefully at least I am doing that right.

Low vitamin D levels was quite a shock for me as I haven’t once been told to take any form of supplement for my back. They say it is because deficiencies in the sunshine vitamin D are now strongly linked to back pain which they say is because insufficient vitamin D makes surfaces on your spine soft and spongy, which then irritates the nerves. Their top tip is to take a supplement of vitamin D.

One for the girls ( and some boys) they say high heels causes back pain due to the way they tilt your pelvis forward, they suggest alternate heel heights so no need to throw all those beautiful heels away, just don’t wear them all the time.

Some of the most obvious things to avoid as they can cause back pain are:

  • Lifting incorrectly
  • Overstretching during lifting, bending or twisting
  • Bad posture
  • Poor sleeping position or a sagging mattress
  • Lack of exercise

With increased risk factors of back pain being:

  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking

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MY TOP THREE PILLOWS FOR THE DISCOMFORT OF BACK AND NECK PAIN…

Pillows are so personal don’t you think? After my first cervical surgery I had to wear a collar so it didn’t really matter what pillow I had but after the second cervical fusion they did not advise one but neither did they advise any type of pillow, so I stuck with the same soft type for years. So much so that when I go to a Hotel and the pillow is hard I find it very difficult to get to sleep.

However, they have now found out that certain neck pillows can not only help with the pain from disc injuries and whiplash but also for back pain, shoulder pain and even chronic pain.

There are obviously quite a few different types advertised and the tempa ones are advertised everywhere. When I go for my afternoon rest I always just get under the throw and sleep on my v pillow, on my side whereas when I got to bed at night I sleep on a fairly flat a pillow which would not suit most people but after two cervical fusions my neck is pretty stiff so I cannot cope with anything too thick. My other problem is that although I know I should sleep on my side or on my back I love going to sleep on my front which is the worst position for neck and back problems.

My top three choices are –

Sealy Activsleep Geltex Memory Foam Pillow, Amazon, £34.99

This pillow focuses on ventilation and airflow which runs between the hundreds of tiny fibres that surround the Geltex core so it has lots of breath ability. It’s great for allergy sufferers in mind too, with hypoallergenic filling and a knitted Purotex cover to prevent bugs and bacteria.

I personally found this too high for myself but my husband who usually has two pillows found this one pillow enough for him and extremely comfortable. I did struggle getting it into a regular size pillow case, though.

  • Sealy Activsleep Geltex Pillow standard size 74 x 48cm
  • Made with a supportive and comfortable memory foam shell that is ventilated to increase airflow and breathability and prevent overheating
  • The revitalising Geltex core provides support, comfort and coolness and is surrounded by DuPont Cotrano fibres which are light and bouncy
  • Knitted Purotex cover helps to combat pillow nasties such as bugs and bacteria
  • Made in the UK, anti-allergenic, 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee

My second choice is The White Company Memory Foam Comfort Pillow which is £45

This special shape-contouring pillow is made with shredded memory foam, which means it gives fantastic firm support with added comfort. The beauty of this design is that it gives the supportive benefits of memory foam, while boasting the sleek appearance of a traditional pillow. If you sleep on your side, this pillow will bridge the gap between your shoulder and neck for perfect alignment. What’s more, the soft casing can be unzipped and machine washed at 40°C, making it wonderfully easy to care for.

Firm support
Non-Allergenic 
Filling: 100% memory foam clusters

I LOVE this pillow but then I love just about everything at The White Company. It fitted perfectly into a normal size pillow case and feels more like a normal luxury pillow rather than a memory foam pillow, which is why I think I like it so much.

It’s better for side sleepers, which I should be but prefer to sleep on my stomach and it definitely bridges the gap between your shoulder and neck for correct alignment. I love that it can be unzipped and popped into the washing machine.

My third choice is Soak and Sleep’s soft Duck Feather and Down pillows are a delightful way for front sleepers to nod off, from £20.

It feels substantial thanks to the generous quantity of small, soft duck feathers blended with light and lofty duck down, and is very reasonably priced too. You can choose between a soft/medium pillow – ideal for front sleepers or a deeper medium/firm pillow that’s better suited to side and back sleepers.

This pillow will support your head and neck for good spinal alignment – you can choose from their range of pillow fills, firmnesses and depths to suit your sleeping style.

Covered with a 233 thread count percale to help wick away moisture for a cooler, more refreshing night’s sleep. It’s another pillow that can be machine washed.

You can choose between a soft/medium pillow – ideal for front sleepers or a deeper medium/firm pillow that’s better suited to side and back sleepers. Obviously I chose the soft/medium pillow.

MY TOP BOOK FOR LEARNING ALL ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS…

Here are my top three books all about essential oils.

Aromatherapy: 600 Aromatherapy Recipes for Beauty, Health & Home plus advice and tips on how to use essential oils by Beth Jones.

This book opens up the world of aromatherapy by providing lots of information and practical advice on how to maximize the use of essential oils. 600 Aromatherapy Recipes will teach you how to create your own blends in the comfort of your home, advise you what steps to undertake when buying essential oils, and also how to store them properly.

42 oils are explained in detail, outlining their benefits, advantages, properties, and what other oils they blend well with. Carrier oils are also explained, along with some very important safety guidelines that must always be adhered to.

Living a greener, healthier, more natural lifestyle is easily achievable with aromatherapy and essential oils. 600 Aromatherapy Recipes shows you the potential power of essential oils and how they can achieve results that are nothing short of amazing.

All for £7.99 paperback or £2.39 for a Kindle Edition – this book is exceptional good value for money and has all you need to know about aromatherapy oils.

DO YOU GET THAT FEELING IN YOUR BONES WHEN IT STARTS TO RAIN?…

You hear many people say I can feel it in my bones when it starts to rain, well according to Harvard Medical School, in an article from Science Daily, they found no relationship between rainfall and joint or back pain.

The notion that certain symptoms and weather go hand in hand has persisted since antiquity. Hippocrates, writing in On Airs, Waters, and Places, exhorted those who wish to understand medicine to look at the changing seasons of the year and study the prevailing winds to see how the weather they bring affects health. The belief has endured over the centuries and well into the present, likely fueled by a combination of folklore and small studies that have repeatedly yielded mixed results.

The newly published analysis led by Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy said “No matter how we looked at the data, we didn’t see any correlation between rainfall and physician visits for joint pain or back pain,” said Jena, who is the Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The bottom line is: Painful joints and sore backs may very well be unreliable forecasters.”

The human brain is good at finding patterns, Jena noted, and these beliefs are often self-fulfilling. If you expect your knee to hurt when it rains and it doesn’t, you forget about it, he said, but if it hurts and you blame it on the rain, it tends to stick in your mind.

“As physicians, we should be sensitive to the things our patients are telling us. Pain is pain, with or without rain,” Jena said. “But it’s important to know that, at the clinical level, joint pain does not appear to ebb and flow with the weather.”

Well, I don’t know about some of my readers but I have to totally disagree. I am most definitely worse with certain weather conditions and better in other type of weather conditions. I find my body has to adjust to the change of seasons and if I go abroad for a holiday the same applies so it’s not just a UK thing.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are on rain and pain ?

Source : Harvard Medical School and Science Daily

FIRST MEDICALLY APPROVED BACK PAIN APP in EU and UK AIMS TO END THE NATIONWIDE EPIDEMIC of BACK PAIN in UK OFFICES…

  Back pain in UK offices ‘nationwide epidemic’ experts claim

 Sedentary workplace lifestyle to blame but simple measures can reduce condition

London, UK – Bad posture among UK office employees is a nationwide epidemic. Sitting at desks all day, slouching over computers and a general sedentary lifestyle has led one in five Brits to give up their job or reduce hours because of their condition1. Experts behind Kaia, the first and only medically approved back pain app in the EU and UK, want to end the nationwide epidemic of back pain in UK offices, and claim that a few simple changes in the workplace can help to reduce the risk.

 ‘Epidemic levels‘

According to WHO, back pain is the leading global cause of disability worldwide.2 Meanwhile, in the UK, an estimated one-third of the adult population are affected by back issues each year.3 And according to the Office for National Statistics, back pain accounts for almost 31 million days of work lost annually costing the UK economy £14 billion a year.4 In another study, 63% in higher managerial jobs attributed their back pain to bad posture, and took more days off sick for back pain than any other type of employee.1

The Kaia back pain app was developed by digital therapy company Kaia Health in conjunction with physiotherapists, orthopaedic surgeons and clinical psychologists. The app offers video exercises with education, physiotherapy and psychological strategies. Users can chat online with a physiotherapist or sports scientist for motivation and exercise-related questions

 

Video: Kaia back pain app unveils 10 exercises to relieve back pain at work:

http://ow.ly/SWcq30pomaN

Sedentary office occupations can cause back pain as a result of inactivity between back muscles and the spine – but this is not the only factor. A combination of high workload, posture, job dissatisfaction or fear over termination can increase the occurrence of back pain at work.

In an independent clinical study published recently in NPJ Digital Medicine, patients using Kaia reported significantly lower pain levels compared to the control group treated with physiotherapy and online education.

A few simple changes can help to reduce the risk of back pain in the workplace. These include:

 

● Walk and talk during phone calls

● Take a break from the screen every 30 minutes for at least two minutes

● Exercise regularly at your desk including arm stretches and neck rolls

● Walk over to and talk with a colleague rather than emailing them

● Arrange a workplace assessment to optimise the seating position and workstation

● Meditate for 10 minutes. Be mindful of the influence workplace stress and strain has

● Sit correctly with your thighs at right angles to your body or sloping slightly down

Stephan Huber, Chief Medical Officer at Kaia Health, says: at Kaia says: “The core problem is our modern, sedentary working life. We’re hunched at desks all day and this puts a strain on our back. We’re encouraging UK employers to adopt a holistic approach to tackling back pain in and out of the workplace – this could include increased access to exercise and relaxation like the Kaia app offers. Implementing these measures systematically for workers could lead to a more active way of dealing with the condition – and this will help to alleviate back pain and reduce the strain on the NHS.”

Kaia can be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play with a 7-day free-trial.

ENDS

@KaiaHealth

Facebook.com/KaiaHealth

#kaiahealth

About Kaia Health

Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics company that creates accessible, evidence-based treatments for a range of disorders including back pain and COPD. Working with experts in various medical fields, the company uses technology such as machine learning algorithms, to deliver individualised app interventions that aim to empower and motivate patients to take control and self-manage their condition with digital alternatives from their home using devices they already own (i.e., smartphones and tablets). Kaia Health is a member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), an international association of manufacturers that set industry standards for what clinical evidence levels are required to call a product a digital therapeutic. Kaia Health is located in New York City. For more information about Kaia Health, visit www.kaiahealth.com.

 

Media enquiries

Stephan Huber, Chief Medical Officer at Kaia Health is available for interviews

Harry Cymbler, Hot Cherry, harry@hotcherry.co.uk, +44(0) 7801 289 996

 

References:

1. Survey: 2.5 million people experience back pain every day in the UK https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181009/Survey-25-million-people-experience-back-pain-every-day-in-the-UK.aspx

 

2. WHO: Back pain is the leading global cause of disability

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31678-6/fulltext

 

3. An estimated one-third of the UK adult population are affected by LBP each year

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11709/

 

4. Bad backs cost the UK 31 million days of work costing the UK economy £14bn a year. http://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2015/04/bad-backs-cost-the-uk-31-million-days-of-work