2019 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO WALK MORE FOR BETTER HEALTH…

Walking for health encourages people to get active by arranging health walks up and down the Country for all levels of fitness.

Walking will improve stamina, help keep weight gain at bay and reduce your risk of major diseases. 20 minutes of walking can burn up 100 calories.

It is also beneficial for SAD sufferers who feel low and lathargic due to the lack of sunlight in the winter months. At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual

Walking for life was set up in 2000 and now has over 600 local schemes with 66,000 regular walkers nationwide.

For more details of walks in your area go to the Walking for Health website.

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SIT & SIGH BATH CUSHION FOR TOTAL COMFORT…

I was given the opportunity to review an amazing product for anyone with back pain/ fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions. Sit & Sigh BATH is the perfect cushion for anyone who has difficulty enjoying a bath in comfort.

We all know that a warm bath can help relieve aches and pains but being comfortable in your bath when you have pain from your back, fibromyalgia or other related conditions means this does not always happen.

I couldn’t wait to give this cushion a try as I really miss my long bath soaks, which I stopped having due to the discomfort I was in while trying to relax in the bath. I’m sure I am not alone and that many other back pain and fibromyalgia sufferers find it hard to enjoy a long soak in the bath as the base is so hard and the curve of the bath means you cannot lie down in comfort. I bought a lovely neck cushion but I still had low back and hip pain which meant a long soak was a short one and so a shower was the only option for me.

What an amazing difference this Sit & Sigh BATH cushion made to my bath time. Without the cushion, I would feel pressure on my tailbone and spine but because this cushion has a patented cutout which supports the pelvis without direct contact to the tailbone, it gave me complete relief without any pain whatsoever.

Finally, I can enjoy a long hot bath in comfort with this cushion, which is nothing like the more typical neck or head-rest cushions you see. I must admit I had never tried a full bath cushion before – only the neck ones – as I didn’t even realise these were available.

If you have other people using the bath after you, this cushion is easy to pop away and re-inflate when you next want to use it, but I would not be in the least bit surprised if everyone in the family would also want to enjoy the comfort of the cushion.

It has 6 suction cups that keep the Sit & Sigh BATH securely in place. It has the cutout to support the pelvis, it has a rear-facing wedge to reduce sliding forward and extra thick base and backrest which provides the comfort and a safer alternative to a hard bath surface. I also found it easier to get out of the bath with this cushion as it gave me that extra bit of height and support to get out.

As far as I am concerned, I would give it ten stars out of ten and could not recommend it enough. Bathing will be so much nicer for me now.

Sit & Sigh say, “It’s ideal for anyone with tailbone pain who can’t sit comfortably in the bath. Great for pressure relief or for a more relaxing bath experience during pregnancy, and Sit & Sigh BATH isn’t just great for those with pain, it’s also perfect for anyone wanting a more luxurious, comfortable bathing experience.”

 

 

 

ON YOUR FEET BRITAIN, 27th APRIL 2018…

Did you know that British people sit for 8.9 hours each day (on average)? Get Britain Standing is a dynamic campaign to increase awareness and education of the dangers of sedentary working and prolonged sitting time. Regular minor movement whilst at work is essential for us to:

  • keep our bodies healthy
  • prevent illness & relieve stress
  • liberate us & make us more productive

Active Working and standing desk workstations deliver a compelling solution, enabling us to mix up sitting with intermittent periods of standing. More of some of these later in the post.

In recent years a variety of major international research has produced compelling evidence that sitting for more than 4 hours each day leads to:

  • Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
  • Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)
  • Disrupted blood sugar levels
  • Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
  • Leg muscles switch off

Irrespective of your level of physical activity, the result leads to increased risks of Heart disease, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer, Backache, Dementia, Depression, and Muscle degeneration.

Get Britain Standing are holding an On Your Feet Britain Day on Friday 27th April 2018. Take part in their national day when workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work. It’s FREE to sign up, simply register here
The On Your Feet Britain Challenge dares you to take James Brown at his word and convert ‘sitting time’ to ‘standing time’. Follow some simple changes – Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it. Stand during phone calls, stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes, use the stairs, have standing or walking meetings, walk to your colleague’s desk instead of phoning or emailing them, stand at the back of the room during presentations.
So Friday 27th April 2018 is your chance to get the ball rolling and encourage your employees to take a stand. Team up with colleagues and see how much “sitting time” you can reduce on the day. Check out their challenge page for fun and easy ideas to take part. Why not take on a team challenge? Join-up with your co-workers and work together and compete with other teams within your organisation[More info].   There are a number of companies who make different types of stand-up desks or you could make your own.
Mike Dilke the owner of Relaxback UK and radio presenter on UK Health Radio is the founder of a unique backapp chair ( and desks) specifically designed to help people who suffer from back pain. The Back App will ensure an excellent posture and provide a workout for the core muscles that support your back.It does this by allowing you to sit with an open hip angle and constantly makes you balance as you sit keeping you alert and providing a low level workout.  You only have to hear some of the testimonials from people who have bought some of Relaxback UK’s products to hear the difference they have made to people’s lives.

RELAXATION THERAPY FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

Many people think that relaxation means sitting in front of the television, or going on holiday, but in actual fact, it can be taken by doing your favourite sport. You can relax when you are swimming, cycling, walking, doing yoga, aerobics, playing golf, and so on. The best way to look after your body is to find ways to help you relax.

A relaxation technique is any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress or anger. Wikipedia

Normal stress is a challenge which strengthens the body’s own defences. However, abnormal stress and too much of it can overtax us physically as well as mentally.

The NHS site says “Having a massage is no better at beating stress than home relaxation techniques, like breathing deeply and listening to soothing music,” reports The Daily Telegraph. This news is based on a trial on the effectiveness of therapeutic massage in treating generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), compared to thermotherapy (a heat-based treatment) or relaxation room therapy.After 12 weeks, anxiety scores improved in all three groups.

If you are getting a sudden searing pain in your back, then try ‘The Jacobson Technique’, also called Progressive Muscle Relaxation, which has been around for 100 years. The Jacobson technique is commonly used for pain management for all kinds of conditions. Jacobson’s relaxation technique was developed by Dr. Edmund Jacobson over half a century ago. Jacobson formulated over 200 exercises and techniques which, taken together, relax the entire body by releasing muscular tension that accumulates as a person experiences a stressful situation.

Jacobson, and those who have followed in his footsteps claim that this technique will cure not only tight muscles and cramps, but also reduces the intensity of pain, and will relieve stress and anxiety. Today, the 200 exercises developed by Jacobson have been reduced to between 15 and 20. In order to receive maximum benefit, it is recommended to practice this technique every day for at least 20 minutes, at the same time every day, in a quiet, comfortable place.

Jacobson founded the International Stress Management Association, which continues his work to this day. The International Stress Management Association (ISMA) produces publications and offers training in Jacobson’s relaxation therapy.

According to the NHS Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospital where the definition of the Jacobson Technique is,  a technique that uses muscle contraction and relaxation to make you feel calmer.

 

 

CAN FIBROMYALGIA CAUSE FOOT PAIN ?…

After recovering so well from my elbow surgery and even being given a gold star by my surgeon for being a model patient, I was ready to get back to normal again. So, you can imagine how disappointed I was when I started to have pain on the outer side of my foot.

It started a few weeks ago when I was over at my Dads for a few days and the weather was so changeable I just thought that maybe it was a bit of arthritis as the pain is on the outside of my foot and after looking on the internet it could (or could not) be a sign of arthritis.

I did wonder if it was because I have not done a lot of walking recently or was it Fibromyalgia. It’s hard to decide what and what is not related to your Fibro as there are so many symptoms that relate to this disease. Of course it could be connected to my low back as all my spinal pain is left sided and it’s my left foot that is bothering me but I only had my facet joint injections 10 days ago so if anything it should make it easier. Of course it could also be something which is associated with Fibro and that is Metatarsalgia.

According to an article in Fibromyalgia Symptoms –

Source of Foot Pain with FMS:  Metatarsalgia

Another source of foot pain that is often found in people with fibromyalgia is metatarsalgia, inflammation of the metatarsals of the foot.  It shows up as a burning, sharp or aching pain in the ball of the foot and can be felt in the area around the second, third and fourth toes, or only near the big toe.

Other signs of this kind of pain include:

  • pain that worsens with walking, standing or running but gets better when resting
  • sharp or shooting pains in the toes
  • numbness or tingling in the toes
  • gets worse when feet are flexed
  • feet feel bruised
  • pain worsens when walking on hard surfaces barefoot

The pain can come suddenly upon an increase of impact movement like running or jumping.  However, it is likely to be a gradual increase of pain over time.

The What and Why of Metatarsalgia Foot Pain in FMS

The factors that cause metatarsalia are mostly related to the mechanics of the foot and the way weight is distributed in the body and ultimately onto the feet.

Each foot has five metatarsal bones running from the arch of the foot to the toes.  The first is short and thick and the other four are about the same length and thinner.

Whether walking, running, jumping or moving, the weight of the body is transferred to the toes and metatarsals during the push-off phase of the movement.  The first two metatarsals take the brunt of the punishment, usually about 275% of the body weight.

Depending upon how the weight in the body is distributed, and how much weight there is, excessive pressure can be put onto those bones that lead to pain and inflammation in the bones and the tissues around them.

Some of the same risk factors that exist for plantar fasciitis apply to metatarsalgia, along with a few others.  Certain foot shapes, bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, a condition called Morton’s Neuroma along with aging are all factors in metatarsalia.

I guess the only way forward for me is to wait and see how it feels after resting it as much as I can and wearing a tight elastic bandage when I weight bare.