OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FOR PEOPLE IN CHRONIC PAIN…

On the NHS website their description of Occupational Therapy is ‘Occupational therapy aims to improve your ability to do everyday tasks if you’re having difficulties

Occupational therapy is given to you by a therapist who is someone who can check your posture at work and at home, they can check your work-related positions and posture and suggest ways to help alleviate your pain at work or your work at home. They can also provide advice, look at ways an everyday task can be done differently; recommend alterations or changes at home; refer you to other services to help you and help you address work-related issues.

Occupational therapists can help you with practical tasks if you:

  • are physically disabled
  • are recovering from an illness or operation
  • have learning disabilities
  • have mental health problems
  • are getting older

Occupational therapists have specialist knowledge and can advise you on disability equipment, housing adaptations and adaptations to the workplace. They are available through the NHS and your GP can put you in contact with your nearest therapist.

Within the context of chronic pain, occupational therapists evaluate the pain’s impact on your activities and quality of life, and equip you with the skills and strategies to manage the pain.

Occupational therapists can help you to carry out activities despite experiencing pain suggesting techniques to help you to conserve energy, and provide advice on caring for your muscles.

I have to admit I have not seen an occupational therapist and until I started reading into their services I was of the opinion they were mainly for the severely disabled and elderly.

I have always said to my children that ‘if you don’t ask you won’t get’ and ‘ if you don’t try you will never know’. So, I guess I should have asked as you just might get one pointer that could help you in one way or another.

IN THE NEWS TODAY TUESDAY – HEALTH TRUSTS HEAD FOR ITALY TO RECRUIT NURSES…

In the news today from BBC Health News they say that health trusts head for Italy to recruit nurses. 

It says that two Cumbrian health trusts are travelling to Italy next month to try to recruit more nurses. It comes as a nursing union claims patients are being put at risk across England because of staff shortages. The North Cumbrian Hospitals Trust and the Cumbria Partnership Trust, which runs community and some mental health services, hope to bring in up to 60 new staff.

The North Cumbria trust says recruitment is an on-going battle, but 45 new nurses have recently been recruited. Nationally the Royal College of Nursing says the NHS is 40,000 nurses below what they believe is required.

Royal College of Nursing Logo

The Royal College of Nursing says it is calling on the Scottish government to take action now to address nursing workforce shortages in health and social care, as the latest statistics from NHS Scotland reveal the highest ever vacancy rate, with over 4,000 nursing posts unfilled.

Commenting on the statistics published today (3 September 2019) Theresa Fyffe, Director of RCN Scotland said: “Today’s figures reflect the pressures faced by Scotland’s NHS. Across both acute and community settings, there are simply too few nursing staff. Only last week Audit Scotland highlighted the Scottish government’s failure to model future demand and address workforce pressures.

“The number of nurses and health care support workers in both our NHS and care home sector is simply not keeping pace with the number of people they are expected to care for. Our members repeatedly tell us that there isn’t enough of them to do their job properly.

Can this awful situation get any worse?

Source: BBC Health News 

The Royal College of Nursing 

THE EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN OF MOVING HOMES…

As I am sure most of my readers know I have been in the process for the last seven months of moving from my home of 33 years in Nottinghamshire to the sunny West Sussex countryside.

After caring for my father last year for three months while he was in hospital I had made a conscious decision that I would like to move nearer to my children to avoid the stress, pain and emotional upset of looking after me when I am older.

Dad was a sprightly 93 years young with an active brain but being in the hospital for three months changed all that which meant we could not leave him on his own at all. He was far too fragile and had good and bad days. I just knew that I would never like to my children through what I had just gone through. With both my married siblings living down south the decision was made that we would downsize and move to Sussex.

I am now 15 minutes from my daughter and 50 minutes from my son. Quite a difference from the four hours it used to take to come over to see them.

My Dad was a hoarder of papers and had bank statements going back years and years ago. In fact, we used an industrial shredder to get rid of 10 bags of paperwork of his but what surprised me was that we had about 8 bags of it and I’ve been using online facilities for years. I had to make some firm decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. After all, those school reports you keep as you are so proud of them don’t deserve to be shredded up but neither of the children wanted them so I simply kept the best of the bunch and took some pictures of others.

 

After living in our old house for 33 years it was no wonder that we had accumulated a substantial about of ‘stuff’, and it took us a good and I mean a good 3 months to slowly go through all the personal stuff and that was before we started on the furniture and ornaments collected throughout the years but we were downsizing so a lot had to go.

I must admit it was quite therapeutic going through everything and my old house seemed to look so much bigger without so much ‘junk’, and I kept telling myself that when I moved I would NOT collect the same again.

The last few weeks of the move were the most stressful with contracts not exchanged at the last minute and nearly becoming homeless, but that stressful few week was worth it all. We are now in our much ‘tinier’ but lovely home with some lovely views from upstairs windows over the South Downs.

The only way I could get through all the unpacking (as the removal guys did the packing) was by trying to pace myself but you cannot help but get a bit carried away with it all and want to get straight as quickly as possible. But my body started to slow down once the adrenalin stopped and I slowly started going back onto my Tramadol again.

I decided I needed to get myself registered with a local doctor down here as it will take a couple of months to get me into the system for my injections which are due at the end of August. I felt so organised before we moved and I know I was running entirely on adrenalin but the holiday period of this move has now gone and life has to get back to normality again soon.

ANTIDEPRESSANTS FOR CHRONIC LOWER BACK PAIN…

I read an article recently in The Daily Mail Good Health about how antidepressants may reduce chronic lower back pain.

In the journal Pain Medicine, a study led by Fukushima Medical University in Japan, 150 patients were given the antidepressant duloxetine once a day for a year. Their pain levels dropped significantly from the second week onwards. One theory, they say, is that antidepressants raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin in the spinal cord, which reduces the pain.

Serotonin is a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. The NHS point out how they think serotonin works. It’s thought that SSRIs work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a messenger chemical that carries signals between nerve cells in the brain). It’s thought to have a good influence on mood, emotion and sleep.

After carrying a message, serotonin is usually reabsorbed by the nerve cells (known as “reuptake”). SSRIs work by blocking (“inhibiting”) reuptake, meaning more serotonin is available to pass further messages between nearby nerve cells.

It would be too simplistic to say that depression and related mental health conditions are caused by low serotonin levels, but a rise in serotonin levels can improve symptoms and make people more responsive to other types of treatment, such as CBT.

I have taken a number of different types of antidepressants for my back pain and they have swapped me around every now and then to try a different one. At the moment I am taking Nortriptyline which I have found the best of all to help me get a more comfortable sleep. The only problem with all these types of medications is that you can soon find them hard to come off if you have taken them for a while, but if they work then that’s all that matters.

 

A BIG “THANK YOU” TO MY AMAZING PAIN CONSULTANT AT CIRCLE NOTTINGHAM HOSPITAL…

Lee from The Fibro Blogger Directory wrote a post on Facebook asking us all to think about writing a thank you post to a doctor or health person that has looked after us.

I knew straight away that I wanted to thank my Pain Consultant a Dr.Gregory Hobbs at Circle Nottingham Hospital, Queens Medical, Nottingham.

Dr. Hobbs has been looking after me for over 10 years now. I was sent to see him after a previous injection I’d had went a bit wrong and I needed resuscitating. It left me quite traumatised and anxious about having any further injections but Dr. Hobbs slowly introduced me initially to acupuncture and dry needling, and then onto trigger point injections and then facet joint injections to name a few. All to help ease my pain.

Whenever I had a flare up he would fit me in and would always go above and beyond to find a way to help calm things down. In all the years he has treated me I have had the same great care and concern from him and his team at Circle Nottingham Hospital.

I saw him only a couple of weeks ago for some more injections and told him that I would soon be moving to Brighton, a long way from Nottingham and I was obviously quite anxious about who I would see and what sort of treatment they will offer me. He soon wrote down the name of a pain consultant in Brighton whom he said would give me the same sort of treatments he gives me.

Thank you once again to the amazing NHS, Dr. Hobbs and his team at Circle Nottingham Hospital.