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With so many people offering you advice on how to deal with back pain it’s difficult sometimes to know which advice to take. The internet is full to the brim of different types of exercise regime to help with, in particular, lower back pain but my advice would be to see your gp or physiotherapist before you start trying something you have seen on the internet.

There are however some useful tips if you are in extreme pain. Firstly, try lying on your back, on the floor, with your feet and lower legs over a chair. Support your head under a pillow. Try to relax as much as possible.

Consider doing some simple stretches to improve your overall flexibility and help relax those over tight muscles.

Try standing with your back against a closed door. Align your shoulders against the door and touch the door with the back of your head, your buttocks and your heels at the same time. If you can manage this then your body is in the correct alignment. Try to hold this posture when walking.

Start walking. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to help to relieve back pain. A recent study found that a group of low back pain patients who did 3 hours brisk walking per week had considerably less pain and distress than a group who were given specific low back exercises. Walking helps exercise many of the muscles in the musco skeletal system, which in turn help provide support to the spine. I can honestly say that my endorphin’s always kick in if I manage to get out for a walk.

Always ensure you keep your back straight when lifting – no matter how light the object may be, and bent when bending down. Try to get someone else to sort out the bed quilt for you as double’s are quite difficult to sort out with a straight back and my back once went out when I was busy changing the cover after it had been washed.

If you drive pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around.


Finally for me I find heat, heat and more heat but I know there is an argument for both heat and ice especially during a hot spell like we have experienced over the last few weeks. Have you got any back pain tips to share with my readers?


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A new technique using toblerone shaped pegs to fuse a pelvic joint to help banish back pain has been introduced according to a recent article in the Daily Mail Good Health section.

As we all know around 80-90 per cent of us suffer from lower back pain at some point in our lives, which can be caused by the sacroiliac joint, which is where the spine joins the pelvis.

If all other treatments (injections, physio etc) doesn’t help then they can fuse the joint. This then ends the problem altogether as the joint doesn’t move much so the stiffness is not noticed as much. The latest technqiue uses three titanium pegs to fix the sacrum, the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine, to the pelvis. It can be done via keyhole surgery and has recently been approved by NICE as being safe and effective.

The pegs used are iFuse, which are triangular Toblerone shaped pegs made from titanium. The operation only takes around 30 minutes under general anaesthetic and recovery usually takes six to eight weeks but can take up to 12 weeks.

Michael Grevitt who is a consultant spinal surgeon at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham ( he performed my last spinal keyhole surgery), commented that ‘most say there is no pain afterwards or rate it a one or two out of ten’.

Of course there are some risks which include drilling close to an artery could mean there is a small risk of major bleeding or a blood clot, a small risk of nerve damage or infection and around 15 per cent of patients will need the other side operated on too.

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Why do women feel chronic pain more than men? Well according to Pain News Network it’s basically because their brains work differently. Women suffer from a higher incidence of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. And studies have found that they often have to take more morphine than men to get the same level of analgesia.

In healthy people, microglia cells survey the brain, looking for signs of infection or pathogens like bacteria. Morphine is perceived as a pathogen and activates the cells, causing the release of inflammatory chemicals such as cytokines. Researchers say this causes “a neuroinflammatory response that directly opposes the analgesic effects of morphine.”

To test their theory, researchers gave male and female rats naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and found that it inhibits the microglia activation triggered by morphine.

“The results of the study have important implications for the treatment of pain, and suggests that microglia may be an important drug target to improve opioid pain relief in women,” said Dr. Anne Murphy, PhD, co-author of the study. Murphy says her team’s finding may also help explain why women are significantly more likely to experience chronic pain conditions than men.

We tend to think of pain as just contained in the nerves, spinal cord, and brain, but it’s actually a hugely complicated business, and its interactions with a particular part of the body’s immune arsenal are the target of new studies, says Bustle, they agree that Microglia seem to be an integral part of a healthy brain’s functioning.