WEGO HEALTH AWARDS – BACK PAIN BLOG HAS A NOMINATION…

 

Wego Health Awards...

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills, and insights of Patient Leaders.

They are the world’s largest network of over 100k Patient Leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics. Their network collaborates with pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, agencies, consultancies, startups, and all types of organizations across healthcare.

WEGO Health offers enterprise and on-demand solutions that allow organizations to leverage the patient experience and expertise in the design, development and promotion of their products and services.

Nominate the exceptional patient advocates, influencers, and experts who make a difference in the lives of patients and caregivers. They say it is an honour just to be nominated, but they think the honour is all in the nominating itself!

After being nominated, connect with others in their Patient Leader Network:

  • Nominate another Patient Leader
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Join them and help celebrate the inspiring and impactful nominees. Feel good while honoring these Patient Leaders and then join in on the festivities.

I feel honoured to be nominated for Best in Blog Show.

If you know someone who deserves any of the awards at WEGO Health then pop down to their website and nominate someone and make their day. If you think I am worthy of this award I would be delighted if you could endorse me. Just click on this Wego Health link and click on the thumbs-up sign. Thanks very much

 

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BEST PILLOWS FOR BACK PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA SUFFERERS…

If you adopt the best pillow positions for people with back pain you may find this really helps your sleep. Tuck Advanced Better Sleep says Individuals who experience back pain can adjust or reposition their pillows in order to alleviate their discomfort. According to Healthline, the following methods may be suitable for different sleepers:

  • Side sleeping with a pillow between the knees. You should ensure your body makes contact with the mattress between your shoulder and buttocks. The pillow should be placed in a position where it won’t slip out; this will help the hips and pelvis align with the spine, which can reduce pain and discomfort. If a gap forms between your side and the mattress, then a smaller pillow may be used to fill that space.
  • Fetal position with both knees tucked. To achieve this position, lie down on your back and then roll onto one side with both knees bent and tucked toward your chest. Bend your upper body toward the knees; this will help expand the spine and alleviate pressure on the disks. Be sure to rotate to the other side if you begin to experience discomfort.
  • Stomach sleeping with a pillow beneath the pelvis. Although stomach sleeping can exacerbate back pain symptoms, a pillow placed under the pelvis can relieve stress on the neck and back disks. Some sleepers in this position are more comfortable without a pillow beneath their head.
  • Back sleeping with a pillow beneath the knees. Lay flat on your back and place a pillow beneath both knees. This helps straighten out the spine and alleviates pressure points between the neck and hips. If you find this is insufficient, consider placing a rolled-up towel under your lower back.

 There are six standard sizes for pillows, as well as smaller specialty sizes normally associated with specific pillow types (such as orthopedic memory foam pillows). The following table breaks down the width and length dimensions of these seven sizes, as well as suitable pillowcase measurements.

PILLOW SIZE DIMENSIONS PILLOW CASE SIZE AND DIMENSIONS NOTES
Small 20W” x 12L” Specialty sizes Normally found with orthopedic/cervical pillows (see below)
Standard 20W” x 26L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) The most common pillow size, as well as the most compact and usually the least expensive
Super Standard 20W” x 28L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) Slightly longer than the Standard, but uses Standard-size pillowcases
Queen 20W” x 30L” Standard (20-21W” x 30-32″L) Queen (20-22W” x 30-34L”) The second most common pillow size, and suitable for most people who toss and turn
King 20W” x 36L” King (20-21W” x 36-41″L) Good for people who toss and turn, and also makes good headrests and backrests
Euro 26W” x 26L” 24W” x 24L”

22W” x 22L”

20W” x 20L”

18W” x 18L”

16W” x 16L”

Euro (dimensions vary) The only standard pillow size that is square-shaped, and not normally used for primary sleeping pillows
Body Pillow 54W” x 20L” 48W” x 20L” Body pillow (dimensions vary) The longest pillow size, mostly suitable for side sleepers and pregnant women

Pillow shape is also important for people with back pain. Although a wide selection of pillow shapes are available, pillows generally fall into one of these two categories:

  • Even: These pillows have an even, non-contoured surface. They may not be as suitable for sleepers with back pain, but pillows made from certain materials (such as shredded memory foam or feathers) conform beneath the head and neck for targeted pain and pressure relief.
  • Curved: Also known as cervical or orthopedic pillows, curved pillows are usually made from foam and have a contoured surface. The neck is raised with the area for the head dips down, which can provide better support for people with neck pain — but some sleepers claim that these pillows are more comfortable when they are placed upside down on the mattress.

Lastly, let’s discuss pillow loft, a term that refers to how thick a pillow is when not bearing weight. Specific loft measurements vary by model, but there are three general loft categories:

  • Low-loft: Less than three inches thick.
  • Medium-loft: Three to five inches thick.
  • High-loft: More than five inches thick.

The loft will help determine how supportive and comfortable the pillow feels, and whether it is suitable for people with back pain. However, there are several factors to take into account when selecting a pillow based on loft. These include:

Sleep position: Choosing the right pillow based on loft depends on whether the sleeper prefers the back, side, or stomach position.

  • Back-sleepers are usually most comfortable with medium-loft pillows because they find the right balance between thickness and softness.
  • Side-sleepers often prefer medium- or high-loft pillows because this position can cause large gaps to form between their head/neck and the pillow.
  • Stomach-sleepers tend to prefer low-loft pillows because higher-loft models elevate the neck too much, causing the spine to become uneven; this can lead to aches and pains throughout the body. Some stomach sleepers find that not using a pillow at all is most comfortable.

Pillow position: People who sleep with a pillow completely beneath often prefer medium-loft pillows because there is less space. For those who sleep with a pillow partially beneath their head, then a medium- or high-loft pillow may be needed to fill the larger gap.

Mattress type: Certain mattresses, such as all-foam and latex models, are designed to sink deeply beneath the sleeper’s body. A low-loft pillow may be most suitable for these mattresses because there is less space between the neck and the mattress surface. Other mattresses, such as innersprings and hybrids, are less responsive and will not sink as much. A medium- or high-loft pillow can help fill the extra space and provide more support.

Body weight: People with above-average weights (more than 230 pounds) may sink deeper into their mattress than lighter individuals, and thus prefer a low- or medium-loft pillow that won’t elevate their heads too much. People with below-average weights (less than 130 pounds) may prefer medium- or high-loft pillows because they don’t sink as much.

Head size: People with larger-than-average heads are more likely to feel comfortable on a high-loft pillow that won’t sink too deeply. Low- or medium-loft pillows may be the best option for those with small or average-size heads

Shoulder width: People with wider shoulder spans experience larger gaps between their head/neck and their pillow, and may need a higher-loft pillow to compensate for space. Those with narrower shoulders usually feel more comfortable with low- or medium-loft pillows.

It’s important to note that many pillows offer adjustable loft. The owner simply unzips the pillow cover and adds or removes the fill material to increase or decrease the loft. Adjustable-loft pillows may be the best option for people whose loft preferences tend to vary from night tonight.

Best Pillow Materials for People with Back Pain

Pillows come in a wide selection of fill materials, each with unique benefits and drawbacks for sleepers with back pain. The table below lists pros, cons, and back pain ratings for the seven most common pillow materials.

PILLOW MATERIAL DESCRIPTION PROS CONS NECK PAIN RATING
Buckwheat The pillows are filled with five to 10 pounds of buckwheat hulls, or outer shells Adjustable loft Sleeps cool

Good support

High price Too firm for some

Heavy and difficult to move

Good Buckwheat pillows offer adjustable loft and sleep fairly cool, but many people with back pain find they are too firm
Down The pillows contain the soft inner plumage of ducks or geese, and may also be padded with outer feathers Adjustable loft Lightweight

Sleeps cool

High price Flatten easily

Too soft for some

Fair
Most down pillows are not suitable for sleepers with back pain because they are excessively soft and will lose their shape quickly
Down Alternative The pillows are filled with polyester fibers that mimic the softness of real down Adjustable loft Lightweight

Low price

Short lifespan Flatten easily

Too soft for some

Poor Most sleepers with back pain do not feel comfortable on down alternative pillows because they are too soft and will become flat rather quickly
Feather Pillows are filled with outer feathers of ducks or geese (as opposed to down, or inner plumage) Adjustable loft Lightweight

Long lifespan

High cost Flatten easily Very Good Feather pillows tend to be firmer than down pillows, making them more suitable for people with back pain
Latex Pillows contain solid latex, a substance extracted from the sap of rubber trees Close conforming Long lifespan

Retain full shape without flattening

Non-adjustable loft High cost

Dense and heavy

Good Latex pillows offer even support, but the loft is not adjustable
Memory Foam Pillows may contain shredded or solid pieces of memory foam, which softens when it comes into contact with body heat Close conforming Adjustable loft if shredded

Lightweight

High cost Sleeps hot Very Good Memory foam pillows conform closely and alleviate a high amount of pressure; most orthopedic pillows are made from memory foam
Polyester Pillows contain shredded polyfoam, which has a similar feel to memory foam, or interlocking polyester fibers that give the pillow a fuller shape Low cost Adjustable loft when shredded Short lifespan Flattens easily

Sleeps hot

Good Memory foam pillows provide more pain and pressure relief, but polyfoam pillows can be a low-cost alternative for people with back pain

Additionally, some pillows contain interior water chambers that can be filled or drained to adjust the loft. The chambers are usually padded with foam to make the pillow more comfortable. Many sleepers with back pain claim that water chamber pillows alleviate pain and pressure to a noticeable extent.

WORLD #FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY 12th MAY, 2020…

Help us to promote World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on 12th May 2020 in any way you can. Some Fibro groups have created unique ways to help promote awareness.

Fibromyalgia UK is still there but with the COVID-19 virus cannot hold any events but say they still have a hotline and contact form.

The Fibro Blogger Directory should be your first port of call for anything to do with Fibro. There is a large database of bloggers who all write about Fibro in one way or another and it is an award-winning blog for all the work it’s writer Lee Good does for this condition. It is CONNECTING the fibro blogging community, inspired by all the fibro bloggers and their stories.

The biggest problem with Fibromyalgia is the fact that you have so much overall pain which has nothing to show for it.

It’s not that you want to go around with a plaque on your head saying ‘I’m in pain’, but if you look at the number of invisible symptoms of Fibromyalgia it makes you realise why people question your pain when there is nothing to show for it.

I had more sympathy for a broken metatarsal which was in plaster than I’ve ever had for my chronic pain and I wouldn’t have minded but once your foot is in plaster there is no pain.

Hopefully, the more awareness raised an out Fibromyalgia the more others will understand your condition. This infographic from Fibromyalgia Treatment Group explains it all.

Fibro and Chronic Pain Support Group promote the awareness day on a Facebook page which is an online event only so you can attend from the comfort of your home or work! Fibromyalgia (FMS) & ME/CFS Awareness Day for May 12th of each year, but will be recognized by us all year round. It isn’t just one day that we want awareness, it’s every day because every day we deal with chronic pain.

Together Walks is another US charity that has been set up to raise funds for research and help people connect for May 12th Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.*  More than 700 live champions and thousands of online champions have joined Together Walks. Obviously, with social distancing, the virtual walk will be the most popular. Click here to register for live and virtual 2018 Together Walks as well as to create and join walk teams.

There are a large number of symptoms of #fibromyalgia but the main symptoms as listed on the Fibromyalgia Support Network are -It is very important that other possible causes are ruled out. The number of, and severity of the rest of the symptoms, seems to be different for every person. They can also vary from day to day, even minute to minute. You could be walking along limping from severe pain in your left leg for a few minutes, that slowly wears off, only to have worse pain in your other leg next time you start walking.

The main symptoms of #fibromyalgia include:

      • Chronic widespread pain without apparent cause
      • Fatigue
      • Sleep Disturbance
      • Cognitive Dysfunction
      • Morning Stiffness
      • Cramping and Muscle Spasms
      • Restless Leg Syndrome
      • Digestive Problems
      • Headaches and Migraines
      • Skin Sensations
      • Balance Problems
      • Sensitivities – to just about everything are common as well. Sensitivities to:
        • Touch – It can feel ‘uncomfortable’ to be touched. Tickling can be completely unbearable.
        • Heat – sweats and feelings of breathlessness
        • Cold – increases in pain and difficulty getting warm
        • Changes in the weather – pain increases
        • Side effects from meds – more susceptible to side effects and side effects can be more severe. Also, a med that works well for one person can make another very ill.
        • Foods – Common foods that people become especially sensitive to include chilli, dairy, gluten and fatty foods.
        • Light – Bright or glary light can be an issue. So can seeing in low light levels.
        • Sound – Loud sound can cause tinnitus. It can also be very difficult to separate sounds, like when talking to someone in a noisy room.
        • Taste – Some tastes can appear stronger than others, and this can vary.
        • Smell – a sense of smell can be diminished, but it can also be more sensitive. Can cause nausea and headaches.
        • … the list goes on and on.

For me personally from this long list of symptoms I suffer mostly with chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, digestive problems, balance problems and most definitely some of the sensitivities listed above. What do you suffer from most?

 

GROUP THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF #FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC #PAIN…

Group Therapy for the treatment of #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain.

You read something new every day on treatments for #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain, but now they are saying that group therapy can help pain sufferers. A trial published in the Lancet, revealed that after only six sessions of group therapy, it showed patients still found improvements a year later.

All patients who took part in the study were given advice about remaining active, avoiding bed rest and taking pain medication, and felt more positive about being able to deal with their pain and less fearful about their situation. The study, led by Professor Sarah Lamb at the University of Warwick, found: “Compared with advice alone, advice plus cognitive behavioural intervention was associated with significant benefits in nearly all outcomes. This trial shows that a bespoke cognitive behavioural intervention package, Best, is effective in managing subacute and chronic low-back pain in primary care.”

The treatment also compared favourably with other ways of combating back #pain, such as acupuncture and teaching correct posture. Dr Laxmaiah Manchikanti, from the Pain Management Centre of Paducah, in Kentucky in the US, said the study “showed rather impressive results”. The book ‘The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy’ by Irvin Yalom and Molyn Leszcz is a great book to help you understand what is behind group therapy. It presents the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as the writers’ clinical wisdom and expertise. Hailed by Jerome Frank as “the best book that exists on the subject,” Irvin D. Yalom’s The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has been the standard text in the field for decades.

In this completely revised and updated fifth edition, Dr. Yalom and his collaborator Dr. Molyn Leszcz expand the book to include the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as their broad clinical wisdom and expertise. New topics include online therapy, specialized groups, ethnocultural diversity, trauma and managed care.

The charity MIND also has lots of details on group therapy treatments.

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. They provide support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year. They raise awareness of the issues that matter. And with your support, they will keep driving change across society until this country is great for everyone.

You can get involved by working in one of their charity shops, campaign for change, fundraise, make a donation, partner with them or work for Scope. 

They have a very active online community in which anyone can join groups, actively comment on discussions within the community or talk to a community advisor.

You can also find hundreds of practical tips contributed by disabled people and their families to help make life a little easier.

DOES BAD POSTURE CAUSE BACK PAIN?…

Does bad posture cause back pain? Well of course it does. There are lots of reasons that you are suffering from back pain but sitting and standing badly will definitely contribute to that.

In my youth (many years ago) you were given a sash to wear around your waist which you were only given to you if you had good deportment. There was even an end of term deportment prize which was something I never managed to achieve so maybe that’s the reason for my back problems (if only, mine was a malformation in my lumbar spine).

Tap the word deportment into google and  ‘the way a person stands and walks, particularly as an element of etiquette.”poise is directly concerned with good deportment” comes up.
With the young generation now not only bent over to work on a computer most of the day they also stand badly when they are using their mobile phones and I am quite sure that the heavy bags they carry around is another contributor to back pain.
There are numerous support belts available on Amazon which most look suitable for builders or anyone who has to carry weight rather than a posture corrector. There are also a number of posture corrector braces which are mainly to support your back and shoulders but not your whole spine. Back supports are quite different from posture correctors, back supports and lumbar supports offer compressive and proprioceptive benefits which can keep you mobile for longer and make you more aware of your movements and the range of motion you are able to attain. Compression works to manage inflammation which in turn can offer pain relieving qualities. They can also be used to help with conditions relating to the nervous system such as sciatica.
A new great spinal support is a ‘Posture Shirt‘ made by Alignmed, who sell patented posture clothing.  Their shirts give you a gentle pull and help relieve pain. It also helps to correct your body alignment, improve your balance and increase your mobility. They say ‘your posture has an influence on your physical health and overall well-being, so having aligned posture benefits us during work, training and in everyday life.’
In my opinion, I think schools should have good deportment in as part of the curriculum so all the children can learn how to sit and stand correctly so they do not suffer from spinal pain in their later years. Until then it’s a case of finding the right support to suit your pain. I will write another post to cover all the different types of spinal supports for not just low back pain but for any type of back pain in the near future.
Posture Shirt’s are also offering any of my readers a 15% discount if you buy from their website, just pop in Barbara15 as your discount code.