SLEEP SUNDAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND NAPPING…

On Sleep Sunday this week I thought it might be interesting to find out about power naps. I personally cannot function as well without mine. My new pain team seem to think I shouldn’t need it if I paced myself correctly whereas my new GP agrees they can work wonders.

How long do you nap for and does it help you?

REVIEW ON THE BEST HEAT PAD FOR NECK AND SHOULDER PAIN…

I have written before on heat pads for pain as I prefer heat to cold especially for the neck and shoulder.

My sister came to stay with me recently and unfortunately woke up one morning with really bad Neuralgia. She could hardly move her neck and she was sure the pain was coming from a nasty shoulder injury she has.

I immediately popped my neck and shoulder cushion from Pain Relief Cushions in the microwave and kept repeating the heat throughout the day. It wasn’t long before she could feel the benefit from the heat and the neck pain started to ease.

Like myself, I am sure other Fibromyalgia sufferers suffer from intermittent bouts of neck pain ( fibrocitis back in the day) which suddenly arrives for no reason whatsoever.

You can have the cushions filled with or without lavender and they have a five star rating on the Pain Relief Cushions website. The Soothing Shoulder Wheat Cushion is ideally suited to ease pain in the neck, shoulders and higher back areas. Perfectly weighted so that it stays in place, allowing the user to fully relax, whilst absorbing the scent of Lavender. This wheat bag measures Approx. 12.5″ x 8.5″.

They cost £21.99 but they have an offer on at the moment of 10% off the long cushion only via their e-store Current price £18.90 plus UK P&P £3.99 for one cushion 2 £5.99 p&p. This offer will be available until the end of March.

 

LET YOUR PET HELP PEOPLE IN PAIN…

As I’m sure most of us pet owners know, a pet can be a great comfort to you at the best of times. The picture below is of my lovely toy poodle who lived until the ripe old age of 15 but we lost her a few years ago. I still miss her today.

Various studies have now shown some remarkable health benefits of owning an animal. It’s what they call the ‘wonderful, wide-ranging biochemical and physiological effects pets can have on those suffering from chronic pain and fibromyalgia’.

Smaller dogs in particular have been of benefit to fibro sufferers who cannot get our much. Through their unconditional love, dogs can encourage you to be a little more active, feel more secure, and help your mood.

Pet therapy is used in some hospitals and care homes; just the simple act of petting a dog can have a calming effect on people and have a knock on effect with lowering stress levels and anxiety.

Pets as Therapy is a national therapy founded in 1983, which provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, care homes and special needs schools.

If you have a dog who is good with people then they can become part of a PAT Team, they must have been with their owner for at least 6 months, be over 9 months of age and be able to pass the temperament assessment. All pets must be fully vaccinated. 

Unfortunately, they cannot support you if you wish to have your dog at the workplace with you as they do not have the assessment process or the insurance to cover this. If you would like to become a volunteer with your dog and would be able to visit within their guidelines then check out the Pet As Therapy website.

There’s a lovely article on The Power of Pets on a site called Holisitic On Line  which is well worth reading.

LUMBER DISCOGRAPHY FOR BACK PAIN DIAGNOSIS…

A discogram is an investigation which will help your surgeon to see which level of your spine may require surgery. It is usually performed only on patients who the surgeon feels may need or benefit from spinal surgery for maybe a spinal fusion or an IDET treatment.

Discogram or diagnostic discography is an X-ray procedure that can help to determine the source of your lower back or leg pain. This procedure is used to determine if a degenerative or worn out disc is the cause of your back pain. They enable the surgeon to determine the level of the fusion required or to confirm disc degeneration which is unclear on MRI scans. A discogram is hardly ever used to diagnose the cause of back pain.

If you have been suffering from severe back or leg pain, this may be due to a worn-out disc but it is not always very easy to tell which part of your spine is causing you this pain. You may have already had an MRI or CT scan but because these investigations have not determined for definite where your pain is coming from, your doctor has asked us to try to find
out which part of your back is affected.

At the time of injection, there is usually some pain which may be similar to or different to your usual pain, so you will be awake in order for you to experience the sort of pain you are in. I’ve had this done twice and although it is obviously quite uncomfortable it helps the surgeons decide on possibly some very import surgery. You are mildly sedated so you soon forget how bad it was.

It is done as a day case and you lie flat face down and a local anaesthetic (lignocaine) is put on your skin. Under X-ray control, the needle is advanced into the disc space in question and they dye (which is visible on Xray) is then injected during which you will be asked whether this causes the type of pain you are suffering. The procedure is then repeated at another level if necessary.

This procedure can aggravate the pain for a few hours after the procedure or in my case a few days but I just increased my pain killers. The pain disappeared gradually. If the disc is the source of your back, spine, extremity and/or leg pain the injection will temporarily reproduce your symptoms, thus resulting in a positive discogram. If the disc is not the source of your pain the injection will not reproduce your symptoms or cause any discomfort, thus resulting in a negative discogram.

You can find out more information about this procedure on Spine Universe and Spire Healthcare.