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SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS DAY – FRIDAY 13th MAY…

SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS DAY – Friday 13th May – Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day, encouraging businesses to show their support by taking on a Wheels at Work™ fundraiser! #SCIDay #SCI22

On Friday 13 May the Spinal Cord Injury Association will be marking Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2022 (SCIAD) They lead this annual event to raise awareness of spinal cord injury and highlight the challenges spinal cord injured (SCI) people face on a daily basis.

This year’s theme is all about  the everyday challenges faced by SCI people.  We know that SCI is devastating for every person and in a split second, you can lose your independence, your freedom and sometimes even your reason for staying alive.

With the challenges SCI people face hitting an all-time high throughout the past two years, we know even the most basic freedoms have been taken away from our members; leaving the house, having dinner with friends, and even getting carers in to support them with their everyday life.

For SCI people, these challenges are a part of everyday life, even outside the confines of the pandemic and as life is getting slowly back to normal, for SCI people, this happens even slower.

Life doesn’t suddenly go back to normal for SCI people with barriers to accessibility, lack of access to care and general stigma around being disabled having a profound impact on quality of life.

Alongside charity partners, we will be doing everything we can to support our members and help them overcome the daily challenges disabled people face in our society.

But we also want to celebrate those small wins, the mountains that spinal cord injured people and our community overcome every single day.

So we are asking our members and the spinal cord injured community ‘what is your everyday mountain?’

To get involved, tweet us and tell us your everyday mountain using the hashtag #EverydayMountains #SCIAD22 and tag SIA at @spinalinjuries (Twitter), @spinal_injuries (Instagram) and Spinal Injuries Association (Facebook).

Source : SCIA

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS & PSORIATIC SPONDYLITIS?…

Ankylosing Spondylitis – This is a joint pain (arthritis) that affects the spine, causing irritation and pain. Individuals with AS frequently experience flare-ups which can be quite debilitating. The symptoms of AS flares can vary from person to person and among flares include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • stiffness and pain in the back
  • joint pain, often in the rib cage, shoulders, hips, or knees
  • enthesitis, which is swelling and pain of the connective tissue
  • depression or anxiety

Someone who may be suffering from an AS flare may have burning joints, muscle spasms, and flu-like symptoms, in addition to pain and immobility in the affected areas of the body.

Diagnosis for (AS) can be difficult to diagnose because the condition develops slowly and there’s no definitive test. Your GP may arrange blood tests to check for signs of inflammation in your body. If you are sent to see a rheumatologist they will carry out imaging tests to examine the appearance of your spine and pelvis, as well as further blood tests.

These may include:

an X-ray
MRI scan
an ultrasound scan

Treatment for AS includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), gentle exercise, massage therapy, tens machines and hot and cold therapies.

Psoriatic Spondylitis – This causes similar symptoms to AS and includes:

  • back pain
  • stiffness in the back or neck that improves when moving around
  • stiffness made worse by periods of staying still, such as sleep
  • trouble bending or moving the back
  • fatigue

These symptoms can cause extreme pain and some people experience difficulty in their daily lives. Left untreated, the inflammation can cause long-term damage to the spine and joints.

The symptoms of PS may seem to come and go. When symptoms get worse, this is known as a flare. The location of pain and swelling may also change over time. Certain infections, such as strep throat, may trigger the overactive immune response that causes psoriatic spondylitis. However, psoriatic spondylitis is not contagious.

Diagnosis of PS involves a GP who will make a diagnosis based on symptoms and medical history, and by ruling out other conditions. Usually, a blood test will be carried out to test for rheumatoid factor (the antibody found in rheumatoid arthritis). This is usually negative in people with psoriatic arthritis, although a positive result can be due to causes other than rheumatoid arthritis. A doctor may also use X Rays, ultrasounds or other scans, such as an MRI to look at the patient’s joints. These scans often show inflammation or areas of new bone growth with poorly-defined edges in people with psoriatic arthritis. The criteria are inflammatory arthritis, the presence of psoriasis, and a blood test negative for rheumatoid factor.

Treatment for PS is similar to AS and includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), immunosuppressants, and biologic medications, such as TNF inhibitors. Gentle exercise, massage therapy, tens machines and hot and cold therapies.

Spondylitis (also called spondyloarthritis) refers to a group of inflammatory conditions that affect the spine. The most common type is ankylosing spondylitis, but there are other forms that have links to other inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis.

According to the Spondylitis Association of America, 20 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) will develop psoriatic spondylitis. This means that you have PsA with spinal involvement.

Keeping a strict diary of your symptoms will really help your GP to decide if he thinks you may have one of these conditions. You can find out lots more details on these two conditions on the Arthritis website.

Source: Arthritis, NHS ,Medical News Today Psoriasis Association Healthline

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WHICH ARE THE BEST BACK PAIN SUPPORTS FOR SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN?…

Before I had my last procedure for my SIJ arthritis I was seen by a Physiotherapist who advised me to get a sacroiliac support belt and to wear it at night to support my low back and my joints.

I didn’t really think about it until the pain started coming back recently. I looked online but I have found it hard to decide which one to try as there are so many to choose from with prices starting from around £17.49 and going all the way up to £33.98

A trochanteric belt is a supportive brace that can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and restore function. This simple, yet effective device is designed to stabilize the pelvis and prevent excessive movement of the SI joint. The terms trochanteric belt, trochanter belt, and sacroiliac belt all mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably.

The SI joints—located on either side of the base of the spine—connect the spine to the pelvis. Were it not for these joints, or SI joint as they are commonly called, you wouldn’t be able to stand or walk. The job of the SI joint is to stabilize the pelvis, as well as serve as a shock absorber between the weight-bearing forces of motion of the lower body and the spine.

The SI joint has to move in order for the pelvis to tilt and rotate, but its range of motion is meant to be very limited. Strong ligaments help keep the joint in proper alignment and prevent excessive movement when walking, running, or simply standing. Although these ligaments keep motion in check, they stretch just enough so that the joint can carry out its complex combinations of rotating, sliding or tilting during weight-bearing activities. When the ligaments fail to provide adequate support, destabilization of the SI joint and pelvis can occur.

Conditions that can place undue stress on the Si joint and contribute to destabilization include:

  • Arthritis – inflammation can cause hypomobility 
  • Inequality in leg length
  • Sacrum tilted out of normal anatomical position
  • Pregnancy – widening and hypermobility of the SI joint

Most people suffering from SI joint dysfunction find it difficult to remain in one position for any length of time. Pain is generally felt at the base of the spine and is often described as “gripping” or “stabbing.” Difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and pain while lying on one side (especially at night) are common symptoms.

The Sacroiliac Belt from Back Pain Help which was the original price of £39.99 is available now for £29.99 – they write “This sacroiliac belt will support your lower back and hips with the back sacroiliac belt. This sacroiliac belt is highly discreet and easy to use, the back sacroiliac joint belt gives maximum support to your hip and pelvic area, helping you to regain natural joint movement and relieve pain.

The Ultimate SI Joint Belt

  • Breathable: hypoallergenic webbing fabric of the sacroiliac belt draws away sweat for coolness and comfort
  • Heat-formed padding: The sacroiliac support belt offers maximum support with minimal pressure on your pelvis
  • High-tension webbing: The si belt compresses the joints to reduce necessary movement and relieves pain
  • Broad straps: The sacroiliac joint belt comfortable and secure
  • Front fastening: The si belt easy to wear and adjust
  • Discreet: lightweight and comfortable enough to wear under or over your clothes

The sacroiliac support belt is specifically designed to support your lower back and hips. You can wear this si belt above the waist. With supporting lower back, this belt also helps to relieve stress. They also have a video showing you how it works.

The Serola Sacroiliac Belt for Back Pain is the same as the one above. This is £33.98 and is from the online company Health & Care with over 300 5 Star Reviews. They write that “the belt can be worn around the lower back either under or on top of your clothes, the Serola Sacroiliac Belt for Back Pain can help to correct the biomechanics of your joints, and is ideal for use in rehabilitation.

The Serola Sacroiliac Belt is suitable for a range of conditions affecting your lower back. This includes:

  • Disc herniation
  • Facet syndrome
  • Hip degeneration
  • Lateral canal stenosis
  • Pubic symphysis dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Sciatica

The Serola Belt is designed to hold the sacroiliac joint together, so the likelihood of it opening beyond normal between treatments is greatly reduced. During rehabilitation, the Serola Sacroiliac Belt holds the sacrum to the ilia with the proper tension, so that, during exercises, as you bring the ilia backward, it carries the sacrum with it.

The ligaments are not stressed and the joint remains intact, which is critical for proper rehabilitation. Too much or too little tension will create muscular spasms and inhibition.

They also have a video that shows you how to decide which size to buy. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt has been engineered to provide maximum support and comfort in a low profile and lightweight design. Therefore, the choice to wear the belt under or over clothing is based strictly on your preferences. The belt is just as effective either way.

They also write about wearing it while you are sleeping which was what my physiotherapist advised. “Wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt during sleep can enhance comfort and significantly improve the quality of your sleep. If you tend to awake feeling sore and tight, the Serola Belt should help.”

You should wear the Serola Belt while performing any activity that involves bending, lifting or twisting. Wearing the belt while exercising ensures that the sacroiliac joint is protected, minimising the chances of sustaining an injury.

They also go into more details about how long you can wear it, how to wash it, the features and safety precautions.

Finally, another one I picked is priced at £17.49 and is available from Amazon. They write that the “HEERTEE SI joint belt helps stabilize the sacroiliac joint (or “SI joint”) that is hypermobile or inflamed, and reduces pelvic, lower back and/or leg pain (a symptom of sciatica) caused by SI joint dysfunction. We strongly recommend that you wear the HEERTEE SI joint belt day and night for at least two weeks. Do not over tighten the belt.

DUAL ADJUSTMENT AND MAXIMUM COMFORT – The HEERTEE SI joint belt is designed to be worn for long periods of time, which is the key to recovery and pain relief. The wraparound “dual belt” design provides controllable compression and the secondary straps allow you to customize the amount of additional compression needed over specific sore or inflamed areas. The breathable fabrics allow for air and moisture to pass through.

DIAMOND-SHAPED PRESSURE DESIGN – SI brace features a unique double diamond-shaped pressure design to adjust the diamond pressure belt up and down according to the size of your sacrum to get more stable and more fitted. Low-profile and wrap-around design gives you the freedom to wear invisibly all day/night under or over the clothing.

LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE – The perforated neoprene used in the inner belt is lightweight, breathable and pilling resistant. The ribbonfish fabric used in the secondary straps is breathable, elastic and pilling resistant. The anti-slip silicone strips on the inner belt prevents the belt from sliding up and down. You can wear it while doing physical activities but vigorous exercise is discouraged during the recovery period.”

Both these belts look as if they do the same thing so it is quite difficult to decide which one I want to try especially with price differences. I will definitely be trying one for sure and if it helps with my sacroiliac pain I will be delighted and I will definitely write a post on it here.

If any of my readers have tried any of the above then I would love to hear from you to go with my next review after I have given one a try.

Source: Amazon. Health & Care, Back Pain Help Spine Universe