STAYING POSITIVE…

A lovely quote on Staying Positive today to any of my blog friends who are going through a hard time…

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SLEEP SUNDAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP…

Sleep SundayLet’s Talk About Sleep. Sleep dysfunction and chronic fatigue are common in many disorders including Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Arthritis and mental illness.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, two out of three people with chronic pain have trouble sleeping and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, say over 40 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder and another 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

Experts estimate 25-40% of patients with chronic pain have insomnia, many times the rate among those without. It’s estimated that 50-80% of chronic pain patients report sleep disturbances. The worst is when pain and sleep loss get into a downward spiral of awfulness, leading to low quality of life. Pain makes it hard to sleep, poor sleep makes the pain subjectively worse, and both lead to depression, which also affects sleep disorders and pain experience. Recognizing that pain and sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand can sometimes help to solve the problem.

Sleep they say has a naturally recuperative power. A greater emphasis on sleep may help patients improve their daytime functioning. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a possible solution for both living with pain and alleviating problem sleep, but maybe they should include some ‘sleep clinics’ in the ‘pain management’ programmes.

Does pain make the sleep worse or does poor quality sleep degrade make the pain feel worse? Both. Don’t discount the effect that a good night’s sleep can have on a person’s quality of life and ability to tolerate pain. The subjective intensity of pain decreases when a person is well-rested. Hyperalgesia – increased sensitivity to pain – is a result of loss of sleep, especially the loss of REM sleep. Which is ironic, because the opioid drugs used to treat severe pain suppress REM sleep and may make patients more sensitive to the pain they feel. Antidepressant drugs could also suppress REM sleep and make us complain about pain more (maybe this is partly the cause of the stereotype of the diva). Poor sleep quality is correlated with more severe pain and increased fatigue.

Some people do truly believe acupressure to help you sleep. Some tips are to place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the centre of your breastbone, at the acupressure point known as ‘Sea of Tranquility’. Now close your eyes and apply steady pressure, not too hard, for a minute or two. You will then soon feel tension, anxiety and stress start to slip away.

You could also use your first two fingers and tap them across the top of your head from temple to temple. Then work from front to back and side to side as this can get blood and oxygen moving to ease tension and restore focus.

To destress your shoulders make a gentle half-closed fist and with a loose wrist, tap your right hand gently but firmly up your left arm, along your shoulder and up the side and back of your neck. Repeat the same process on the other side to ease tension and release endorphins.

If any of these did work for you then please let us know.

OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT : HOW FOOT CARE CAN HELP OTHER AREAS OF THE BODY…

Many of us will be on our feet each day, and yet they can be one part of our body that gets the least pampering and attention. We rely on our feet to get us from one place to the other, and to still look amazing in pretty little peep toe shoes. But, according to articles on reflexology, our health can have much to do with certain zones of our feet, which is why it may be worth spending some time and showing them a little love every now and again. Taking care of your feet to avoid any other health problems could help other parts of your body feel less strain. With that in mind, here are some of the things to consider.

ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A FOOT SPA…

A foot spa is actually a very relaxing piece of equipment, and can not only help you relax but can be a tool to help you get your feet in better condition. The massage jets can stimulate circulation in your feet and also help to soften up hard skin on the soles of your feet. You don’t need to head to your local spa for this, although that can be a nice treat, but you can actually by home versions which are just as good. It means you can take advantage of it any time you like. 

BE AWARE OF HEALTH PROBLEMS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR FEET…

As we are on our feet a lot, and take advantage of getting from one place to another, we can often not realise that you could have ongoing health problems with them. Pain in certain areas of the foot, pins and needles regularly, numbness or just aches. From things like Morton’s Neuroma to Plantar Facititas it is worth recognising when it is a normal ache and pain and when something is a little more serious. Pain in your feet can travel up your legs and spine, so it is definitely worth getting things treated before they end up worse than what they started as. Something I have suffered from in the past.

AVOID SITUATIONS WHERE YOU CAN GET INFECTIONS…

There is always a chance that you may get some sort of infection in your feet. One of the most common is athlete’s foot and this can be contracted by being around someone who is already infected, or simply having something damp on your feet like wet socks or shoes. It isn’t always pleasant, but it can be treated. There are some great tips and ideas online. 

TAKE SOME CARE WITH YOUR TOE NAILS…

While you need to take care of your feet you also need to consider the condition of your toe nails, they can also get infections if you are not careful. Not cleaning out toes nails or letting them grow imperfectly can cause huge damage in the long-term. This can lead on to toe nail fungus or ingrown toenails which left untreated can be extremely painful. Always ensure that you cut your nails down correctly and keep your nails in good condition. 

Let’s hope these tips help you to take better care of your feet.

BACK PAIN AWARENESS WEEK 7th-11th OCTOBER…

This year’s theme for BackCare Awareness is Golf.

Golf is a more dangerous sport than Rugby! ‘Low back injuries account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%’ – National Centre for Health Statistics
Golf is a repetitive strain sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day, a golfer repeatedly experiences minor traumatic injuries to the spine
Back Pain In Golf – There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.

This year, BackCare focuses awareness week on back health among golfers whether they are junior/seasoned, men/women, amateur/professional and provide healthy tips to enjoy the sport.

BackCare was the brainchild of a local businessman, Stanley Grundy, who established the charity after suffering a back injury caused by a sailing accident. At the time, he was concerned about the lack of information and support for back pain sufferers at the time.
For nearly 50 years BackCare has been dedicated to educating the public throughout the UK and wider further afield in ways of preventing and alleviating back pain. The charity aims to significantly reduce the burden of back & neck pain by providing information, guidance and advice to all people and organisations those affected by such pain.