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Your spine is made up of a column of 33 bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked one on top of another like Lego bricks.

There are 7 cervical vertebrae in your neck, which includes one which links to your skull, 12 thoracic vertebrae in your chest, 5 lumber vertebrae in your mid/low back and 5 sacral vertebrae at the bottom of your back and finally 4 bones in your coccyx, which is the tail end of your back.

All these joined together are able to give you the ability to curve and flex your spine.

Attached to your vertebrae are your muscles and ligaments. Ligaments are tough fibres which help to keep everything in place. Nerves appear from gaps between each pair of bones which then supply your muscles and then carry sensations to your brain.

Major muscle groups also support and help to stabilise your spine, providing your spine with the ability to flex, extend, twist and bend sideways.

The lumber nerves have a bundle of nerve fibres known as the sciatic nerve, which supplies the legs and feet.

In between the bones are the discs which stop the spine from jarring acting like a cushion to enable you to move. These disc make up about a quarter of the height of the spine. They come in two parts, a jelly which is the centre piece for your discs and supports the weight, and a series of concentric rings which keep the jelly in place.

Behind your discs nerves pass through and behind this is what is called a facet joint, which allows your bones to move on another. All the bones are joined together by ligaments.

The more you learn about how your back works, the more you will understand when it’s bothering you.

Source: Polyclinic, London Norwich Spine

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The technology and the corresponding physiological idea be- hind the Joya shoe is rooted in the longstanding experience of the swiss family Müller. The knowledge is based on the studies and experiences with previous functional footwear. In addition to that the Joya Academy promotes an ongoing dialogue with the medical community (Physiotherapists, doctors, podiatrists..)

in order to improve and fine tune the technology. Therefore the Joya concept is based on scientific results of universities (Uni- versity Jena, ETH Zürich..) or medical institutions (AGR) as well as empiric science and the feedback of customers and the medical community.

Prof. Dr. Med. habit. Christoph Anders from the University of Jena conducted a study of Joya and the following is a statement after the study.

“When using the „Emotion“ model, the back is relieved because there is a measurable reduction in the average muscle amplitude values for the main stabilization muscle, M. multifidus, as compared to conventional shoes.When using the “Motion“ model, the back is activated and thus trained even more strong- ly in the sense of an unconsciously induced training (measurable increase in the average muscle amplitude values for the main stabilisation muscle, M. multifidus).

Moreover, the foot is also relieved because:

The softness (Emotion) or the forward displacement of the step zone (Motion) can have a positive effect, especially in patients with heel problems.

The Motion shoe causes a significant increase in the co-contraction of the lateral and medial compartment of the leg, i.e. the active support of the foot arch. In particular, this occurs in the phase of the initial heel contact.”

The award winning shoes at Joya are MOTION – for Active walking and standing The Joya Motion line promotes an increased late- ral-medial balance movement due to the height and shape of the sole. The curved rocker bottom facilitates the roll off which may be especially beneficial for people with arthrosis or hallux rigidus. Developed to mimic active walking and standing in deep sand.

And the EMOTION ( as discussed above) which is for Stress-free walking and standing

The Joya Emotion line generates a more stable way of walking due to the flatter sole whilst providing passive cushioning and reset forces .The WAVE technology can especially be combi- ned with orthopedic insoles. Developed to mimic joyful walking in firmer sand along the waterline.

At the moment ShoeMed are currently offering Joya customers 10% off the full RRP when using Discount Code: GOLD10

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Scoliosis is a condition where there’s an abnormal curvature in the spine. Most people’s spine runs straight down their back (from the neck down to the lower back). However, scoliosis patients have a backbone that curves to the side. When this happens, the spinal column may be twisted.

While this may sound excruciatingly painful, the truth of the matter is that most scoliosis sufferers feel no pain. Only the structure of their upper body gives an indication that they have scoliosis.

While the condition itself is not painful, due to the curvature, back pain may occur. It all depends on the degree of the curvature… and the type of scoliosis.

Congenital scoliosis
This occurs prior to birth and children born with it will still be able to engage in sports and other activities like their peers. However, as they get older, the condition will become more visible if the curvature is progressive. This will cause the body to compensate and other muscles, ligaments and joints will take up the slack.
This can stress them out over a long time. The back may be inflamed and painful. There may be numbness and weakness in the area too.

In the early stages, braces can be used to correct the curvature and they’re very effective. Of course, there will be the embarrassment that many kids feel at having to wear these braces/casts. However, this early treatment will save them a lot of pain in future.

Degenerative scoliosis
Like its name suggests, this condition worsens over time. The problem escalates because the curvature keeps getting worse. If the patient has osteoporosis, this can be a very serious situation which may result in vertebral collapse.

Chronic back pain usually accompanies degenerative scoliosis because the constant pressure on the spine makes it inflamed. Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or use injections to help relieve the pain. The patient will also need to lose any excess weight to help with the healing process. Osteopathic manipulation, acupressure and even acupuncture may also be used as complementary holistic treatments.

Neuromuscular and syndromic scoliosis
While these are two different types of scoliosis, they have one common trait. Both are the result of other illnesses in the body. Neuromuscular scoliosis usually occurs at an early age, and as it progresses the curve will worsen.

Braces and surgery only have limited effectiveness. This condition is linked to neurological disorders and should be assessed on a case by case basis. Most often, you’ll need to consult a specialist in the field to treat this type of scoliosis.

Syndromic scoliosis occurs when there are genetic disorders. Here too, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional. Very often, syndromic scoliosis can be detected during childhood and monitored closely. Surgery or braces can be used to correct the curve but it all depends on the individual.

The back pain that one may get from scoliosis can be treated with medication, hot and cold treatments, massage, etc. All these will help to mitigate the pain, but for long term relief, it’s possible that one may require surgery. Your doctor will be the best person to advise you on this matter.

The Scoliosis Association (UK) (SAUK) aims to provide advice, support and information to people with scoliosis and other spinal conditions, including kyphosis and lordosis.

SAUK has a variety of ways to support you – they run a dedicated helpline and you can get further support by becoming a member, allowing access to the scoliosis contacts network, local support through Regional Representatives, access to the online members’ forum, and our magazine, Backbone.

Ailie Harrison and Stephanie Clark formed the Scoliosis Self-Help Group, the forerunner of the Scoliosis Association (UK), in 1981 to help people with scoliosis and their families. The group started out in a small way with about 200 members, all of whom were past or present patients of Dr Phillip Zorab at the Brompton Hospital, London. Dr Zorab was an eminent chest physician with an interest in scoliosis, and as his work grew a need for support for scoliosis patients was identified and the charity set up.

The group changed its name in 1986 to conform with its sister organisations in the USA and Canada, but its aim of self-help remained. The formation of the British group has stimulated interest all over the world and self-help groups modelled on SAUK have now been set up elsewhere. These groups exchange newsletters, and many members from different countries correspond with each other.

Over the past years membership subscription has grown into the thousands.

The organisation is run by a few dedicated staff and with the help of volunteers from among the membership. In November, 2006, SAUK became officially affiliated with the British Scoliosis Research Foundation (BSRF). SAUK remains the only national support group for children and adults with scoliosis in the UK and there are no signs that the need for the service has decreased since it was established.