THE BEST POSITION TO SLEEP WITH BACK PAIN…

 

If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease then they say that one of the best positions is to sleep on your stomach as this can relieve the pressure on the disc space. You should then place a flat pillow under your stomach and hips to help reduce stress on your lower back.

If you are suffering from spinal stenosis then try to sleep on your side with your knees curled up in the fetal position. This can help relieve pressure on the nerve root. If you are lucky enough to have a reclining chair or adjustable bed then this can be adjusted so that your head and knees are elevated to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

If you have pain from a herniated lumber disc then the most comfortable sleep position is really dependant on which disc is prolapsed. For a paracentral (the most common) it is better to lie on your stomach and for a foraminal, it’s best if you sleep on your side in the fetal position.

However, in general, elevating the knees slightly by placing a pillow under them while lying on your back can help many general forms of low back pain.

According to bed site Drommabed the best position if you are experiencing upper back pain they suggest you use one memory foam pillow or no pillows under your head. Lie on your side and place a pillow between your knees. Drommabed also has the best positions for lots of different types of pains.

 

 

 

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A POSTCODE LOTTERY FOR FACET JOINT INJECTIONS IN THE UK…

 

As some of my readers will know I have regular facet joint injections for my low back pain which I find really beneficial. I have them every four months and it has been an important part of my pain management program for some time so I was really disappointed when I found out that due to the postcode I live it I could no longer have these injections.

My pain consultant was as frustrated as me but very sympathetic and encouraging that we would find something else that would help with the pain. He is also introducing me to another painkiller rather than Tramadol which will start in a small dose and then increase over a period of time until I feel the most benefit of it and also another injection with a steroid.

The differences in quality of a number of treatments on the NHS seems to be quite common now, but you tend to just read about it and hope it never happens to you.

My local area is basically saying that they will not fund chronic pain as facet joint injections are used mainly for this reason. Other postcodes in my County have said they will not fund facet joint injections but they are willing to look at specific cases if the consultant in charge feels you really need them. My pain consultant was hoping this would be the case for me but unfortunately, my County is not even willing to look at a specific case.

To say I am gutted is, to put it mildly, but I trust my consultant so much that I am not giving up hope that he will find some form of injection that will help with some of my chronic pain.

 

 

TOP SIX 2017 HEALTH BOOKS TO BUY FOR CHRISTMAS…

  1. The Little Book of Hygge – the Danish secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking.

Pronounced hoo-ga, hygge is a Danish word that describes a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary. It may be the newest craze, but there is something to learn from the philosophy of comfort, togetherness and well being, and this book provides ideas and advice on how to incorporate hygge into your everyday life.

Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

My friend bought me a book similar to this one which has inspired me to start a new blog on the hygge way so keep your eyes open for when I launch it. Available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

    2. Making Friends with Anxiety: A Calming Colouring Book by Sarah Rayner and Jules Miller.

Discover how to ‘make friends with anxiety’ and thereby manage stress • Learn why colouring, in particular, is so therapeutic • Find out about other creative activities that have a similar effect on the psyche, providing an array of solutions to help ease worry over the long term

Each illustration incorporates a mantra – a few simple words to help boost your mood.

All this alongside Jules Miller’s pictures… You’ll find magical gardens, pretty coastal scenes and gorgeous country landscapes, dogs snuggling by the fire and cats playing with wool. Each illustration incorporates a mantra – a few simple words to help boost your mood.

The result is a book to treasure – a unique combination of words of wisdom and pictures filled with childlike joy that will encourage positivity long the colouring-in is done. Available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

     3. Chronic Pain: Your Key to Recovery by Georgie Oldfield MCSP.

Can you really cure chronic pain without drugs, surgery or therapy? Surprisingly often the answer is Yes. While chronic pain can have a physical cause, this book, written by a leading UK Physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, reveals how very real, and even debilitating pain, can frequently be caused by our brain in response to repressed emotions as a result of current and even past experiences. This process is at the root of many common complaints, including back pain, sciatica, migraines, fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, digestive disorders and many medically unexplained symptoms. This self-empowering book explains research findings, describes dozens of case studies and provides practical tools to help you identify the cause of your pain and puts you on the path that leads to relief once and for all.

Available from Amazon and other good bookstores.

    4.  Chronic Pain Diary: Daily Assessment Pages, Treatment History, Doctors Appointments, Monitor Pain Location, Symptoms, Relief Treatment. Notebook, Journal Template Volume 6 (Health) by  Signature Planner Journals 

A great way to start 2018 to achieve better control of your pain is to keep a pain diary. This notebook has everything you need to keep details of your overall health and how you are coping with it.  I will help you to keep an accurate record to track the location of your pain and any patterns and triggers which you are experiencing.

A great book to share with your doctor or specialist to help aid your treatment methods or monitor any side effects you are experiencing. Available from Amazon and other good bookshops.

    5.  The Little Book of Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard.

Another ‘little’ book but another handy one to read. Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment. It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world – without chanting mantras or setting aside hours of time for meditation.

Dr Patrizia Collard will show you how to bring simple 5- and 10-minute practices into your day in order to free yourself from stress and, ultimately, find more peace in your life.

This beautifully illustrated book will set you and your family on the road of mindfulness so you can lead a more mindful, peaceful and relaxed life. Available from Amazon and other good bookshops.

    6.  Complimentary & Alternative Therapies for Pain by (myself of course) Barbara McLullich.

Obviously, I am going to pop my book on the list but I am also putting it on the list so you can save it for 2018 when the updated version comes out. The new one will include more therapies, and ‘My Story’, from my first spinal operation to a near-death experience and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

My book offers a practical guide and up to date information on the more commonly used treatments. It has chapters for each specific therapy and explores the benefits of each therapy. Easy information on how Complementary Therapies affect/help in health and pain. Available from Amazon.

 

 

 

WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE VITAMIN D FOR YOUR BONES…

I have written in the past how deficiency in Vitamin D can cause back pain in women and cause havoc on your immune system, well now they say we also need it for our bones.

It allows your body to absorb calcium, without it, your bones become brittle and weak. In adults loss of Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis.

To check you have enough Vitamin D you need to be able to expose some portion of your skin to direct sunlight for 15 – 30 minutes a few days a week, however UV rays can also cause cancer so its getting the balance that is important.

Adults, infants, children and adolescents can all be affected by a deficiency in Vitamin D, so your diet is very important. If its low in milk or the foods that naturally contain Vitamin D like salmon and eggs then you need to try and increase these types of food into your every day diet.

Low Vitamin D may also worsen the prognosis for women with breast cancer. And it has also been shown to cause depression and weight gain.

Other food sauces of Vitamin D are egg yolks, cod liver oil, beef liver, margarine, yoghurt and some cheeses. You can of course, take some supplements if you feel you need more.

THE BEST EVER PORTABLE HEAT PAD FOR TRAVEL..

As I am sure many of you will have seen from previous posts, I am a real advocate of heat for pain. I have always said that travel is easier if I use a heat pad for a flight or train journey and have been lucky enough to have had heated seats in my car and my husband’s car.

Recently though we changed my car which did not have any heated seats in it so I researched on the best portable ones that plug into your cigarette lighter.

I decided I didn’t want the ones that have a back and cushion that you secure to the seat as I felt they would be a bit of a hassle to move over when my husband was driving. Instead I found one that was just the cushion and looked easy to set up.

As the weather changed I was getting a bit desperate for the cushion and only realised when I went online to my Amazon account that the one I had ordered was coming from China so it would take a bit longer to arrive.

It arrived last week and I just had to write a post on it as it’s the most amazing heat pad I have ever used. It’s light and portable so I can position it at my back and not as a cushion and does not need strapping in so it can be moved from one seat to another with ease. It has two heat temperatures with a remote in the middle of it but it gets so hot that I have only used the lowest temperature. It’s easy to just pull out of the cigarette point when I don’t want to use it and I can honestly say was worth every little penny it cost me.

It is so easy to move around that I would not hesitate to take it with me if I am in another car as I find car journey’s the most painful of all transport. The price is also extremely reasonable at only £12.89 including delivery.

It is advertised as a Comfortable Quick Warming Heated Car Seat Cushion Pad Auto 12V Warmer Pad Hot Cover Automobile Heating Mat for Cold Weather and Winter Driving, from a company called  sweetlife