Schools out and the holidays are well and truly active with day trips, weekend breaks and holidays in the UK and all over the world planned to fill the long summer break.

All the planning for your holiday fun are ready but I bet the last person you have thought about was yourself.  We are busy planning fun for the children and visit’s to different places instead of thinking about ourselves.

The easy way to avoid a flare up is to plan ahead. Walk the event through your head. How long will you be in the car? if it’s going to be a long haul journey make sure you have your sciatica pain relief cushion with you. This one is not just for sciatica pain but is great for low back and fibromyalgia pain.  It’s easily portable so think about what you will be sitting on when you arrive at your destination.

Think about what the temperature is going to be like where you are going to. Pack your pain relief cushions which are great hot or cold for neck pain or any other body pain and can come in handy if someone else in the family has some pain. This company do a number of different shapes and sizes.

Buy yourself a 14 day pill organiser as it’s easy to forget when you last had your medication while away from your usual environment.

Finally, don’t forget to pack your walking stick as you will without doubt be walking on completely different terrine to what you are used to at home and that can soon trigger off low back pain. Folding walking sticks are cheap enough to buy nowadays and there are also some pretty and floral ones around.  I learnt very quickly to make sure I had a spare in the boot of the car or in my suitcase after leaving mine behind a couple of times while on holiday.



This post is a guest post from Kathryn O’Hara at N:Rem Sleep System...

When we’re sleeping, our brains are actively working to process the information from the day in to our long-term and short-term memory. Good sleep not only helps our bodies and minds to rest and repair, it allows us to perform better too.

What happens when you sleep with Fibromyalgia?

Many Fibromyalgia sufferers say they feel lucky if they reach 5 hours’ sleep a night. Do you ever find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle? Pain makes it difficult to sleep, but sleep deprivation means the body can not repair itself – making the pain worse.

Lack of sleep also causes stress, lack of coordination and agility, weight gain and poor judgement. The last thing that a Fibromyalgia sufferer needs.

How to drift in to a restful slumber:

Resist the afternoon caffeine rush:

It will take your body up to 7 hours to process only half of the caffeine in your cup of coffee. We know it keeps us awake, so try to make your last caffeinated drink before 2pm to give your body chance to process it before you hit the hay.

Set a bedtime:

Train your body to feel tired and awake at the desired times by going to bed at the same time every night, even at the weekend. It will help you to fall asleep faster, sleep for longer, and wake feeling more refreshed.

Keep your cool:

When you sleep, your body temperature naturally drops. Keeping your bedroom cool (not cold) should help to ease you in to a deep sleep. The ideal temperature is between 18-21C.

Ditch the screens:

Your body will not produce enough melatonin (sleep hormone) to help you sleep if your brain is stimulated by the blue light emitted from your phones, laptops and TV screens. Stop using electronics at least an hour before bed. A good book and some soothing music is a far better option.


A Guide to a better night’s sleep for Chronic Pain Suffers

We are proud to launch our very first E-book, which will be a collection of useful tips to help Chronic Pain sufferers sleep better, as pain and sleep unfortunately often constitute a vicious cycle.

This is an issue we are hoping to solve, through some easy steps to follow around health, lifestyle and diet, to ease you into a better night’s sleep.

We have been fortunate enough to get some valuable help from 2 contributors who suffer themselves from Chronic Pain and have been keen to share their tips and personal journey towards a comfortable and refreshing night’s sleep.

Head over to the N:Rem Sleep System website to download your free ebook here.

Kathryn O’Hara 


Is it safe to say that the increase in pain you get with fibromyalgia is bound to have an effect on your immune system? Well the jury is still out on this question.

If you take a look at some answers on the internet from Pro Health who say that ‘While fibromyalgia does not “cause” an impaired immune system, it’s clear to see how they relate to each other. The same factors that create an impaired immune system can also open the door to health challenges such as fibromyalgia, autoimmune concerns, and chronic disease’.

Chronic Body Pain say that experts believe ‘ we don’t know for sure if fibromyalgia directly affects our immune system. We do know for certain that there is an inaccuracy in the way the adrenal gland is connect to a person suffering with fibromyalgia’.

And Fibromyalgia Treating say that ‘Fibromyalgia shares most of its symptoms with autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. However, researchers do not yet agree on a definite cause for fibromyalgia and therefore it is unknown if it’s an immune system disorder.

What we do know is that a fibromyalgia flare is more likely to occur at times when your immune system is already run down. It is unknown whether the weakened immune system is the cause of the fibro flare or is just occurring at the same time, but ultimately the goal in either case is prevention.’

So, what is the true answer to the question on whether fibromyalgia affects the immune system. Well, personally I think it does. I agree with Fibromyalgia Treating that a flare up is more likely to occur at times when your immune system is already run down, but doesn’t that mean the same thing?

This year I have suffered with multiple fibro flare ups and needed surgery on my elbow and extra medication for my lumber pain but I have just been poorly with what I thought was a virus which is going around at the moment. I completely lost my voice (laryngitis) and the chemist explained to me it can take up to three weeks to clear but that it was a virus and so you do not need to go and see your GP just drink plenty of fluids, suck on throat lozenges and gargle with salt water.

As the week went on I just felt worse and soon had pain in my ear and my throat was on fire as well as an eye infection so I decided to go and see my GP. She told me over the phone it was probably a virus but to make sure it had not turned into an infection I needed to pop down and see her.

She then found that not only did I have a chest infection but I also had a throat, ear and eye infection and inflamed glands. I was put on a gambit of medication and antibiotics to take with my usual gambit of medication. So you can’t tell me that fibro does not affect your immune system as my symptoms this year have all come from my fibromyalgia.

Do you find that fibromyalgia affects your immune system?



I was given the opportunity to review Pernaton’s Gel Forte the original green lipped mussel extract gel for muscle massage.

My first and lasting impression is the delightful calming smell this gel has which lingers on after massage.  The gel creates a lasting and pleasantly warm feeling which stimulates muscles and increases circulation in the skin. It’s non greasy and absorbs straight away.

Pernaton is manufactured in Switzerland using a special formula which also includes menthol, pine and other essential oils.

I have been using it for a sprain and arthritis on the outside of my foot three times a day and found the initial results really excellent.




There is no question of a doubt that a poor mattress can exacerbate your back pain, and rest is an essential part of the treatment for back pain but how do you know if it’s your mattress that is contributing to it?

The Back Pain Expert says that a poorly suited mattress can put your spine out of alignment. Firmness and comfort are key issues, but it should also be noted that weight is an issue too.

Spine Universe comment that the average person spends approximately one third of their life in bed. Yet when it comes to where we sleep, we often do not consider how our mattress can affect our backs. No other piece of furniture in your house is used as often or affects your overall health more than your bed. 

There are a number of different types of mattresses to choose from innerspring, foam, flotation (water beds), and air mattresses, plus the foundation, often called a box spring. One particular company who cater for people with back pain is the N:Rem which is the only orthopaedic mattress with 5 interchangeable support zones. One reviewer wrote having severe back pain for most of my life, this mattress has helped me no end, getting comfortable, falling asleep and waking up without aches and pains, amazing!

It is customisable to your individual needs combining just the right amount of support and comfort to give you your best night’s sleep and was designed for back pain sufferers. You can trial it at home for 100 nights and pay on a payment plan. You can also get your first month FREE on the payment plan using this code BACKPAINBLOG .

Another company who specialises in designer mattresses is the Simba Sleep Mattress who created their mattress after extensively testing it with The Sleep to Live Institute whose research is based on profiling more than 10 million people and 180 million body profile data points. One reviewer put the best sleep you could wish for from a mattress. it cured my back pain, waking up each morning in a Simba mattress is like being on Cloud 9. Absolutely no regrets.

The majority of mattress companies say that if you’ve had your mattress for at least 5 years it’s recommended you are ready for a new one.