Until I started suffering from ‘muscle pain’ from my chronic back problem I really misunderstood the role of my muscles in my body.

They don’t just help with movement, but they also provide a vital support for our organs and bones.
If your muscles are out of balance, even slightly, then this can cause related problems with pain and all of which can cause lower left back pain.

GP’s over the years tended to treat this pain with drugs, surgeries etc only to realise that some of the pain is still there after all the treatments. In actual fact curing the muscle imbalance is the way to get rid of some of your lower back pain.

Since seeing my pain consultant for a number of years we now find that if I have pain relief injected directly into my lower back muscles, it helps with my lower back pain. And, for the first time last month we tried the same injections in my shoulder muscles for my neck pain.

My neck pain has been chronic for years and years and everything I did irritated it but to my delight and surprise the injections have also helped with this pain tremendously.


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The NHS says that Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes persistent fatigue (exhaustion) that affects everyday life and doesn’t go away with sleep or rest.

CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. Myalgia means muscle pain and encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Both CFS and ME are commonly used terms.

Sometimes the term ‘myalgic encephalopathy’ is used. Encephalopathy means a condition that affects brain function.

CFS is a serious condition that can cause long-term illness and disability, but many people in particular children and young people – improve over time.

Anyone can get CFS, although it is more common in women than in men. It usually develops in the early 20s to mid-40s. Children can also be affected, usually between the ages of 13 and 15. It is estimated that around 250,000 people in the UK suffer from CFS.

Most cases of CFS are mild or moderate, but up to one in four people with CFS have severe symptoms where you are able to carry out minimal daily tasks, such as brushing your teeth, but you have significantly reduced mobility. You may also have difficulty concentrating.

It is not known exactly what causes CFS. Various theories have been suggested, include a viral infection, problems with the immune system, an imbalance of hormones or a psychiatric problem, such as stress and emotional trauma.

Some people are thought to be more susceptible to the condition due to their genes, as the condition is more common in some families.

There is no cure for CFS, so treatment aims to reduce the symptoms. Everyone with CFS responds to treatment differently, so your treatment plan will be tailored to the individual.

All of the above can also temporarily affect some people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. With Fibromyalgia chronic fatigue (not CFS) can come and goes at will. Sometimes it can be worse than other times, especially if you have been through a good patch as you then tend to overdo things a little.

Personally, when my chronic fatigue flares up, I find it totally debilitating and can feel too exhausted to even talk sometimes but it does pass and certainly does not last as long as CFS sufferers have to cope with.

The biggest stigma that is still attached to this problem is that you have nothing that people can see to show for how you are feeling, which can cause many problems with sufferers and medical professionals who are trying to diagnose it.

Hopefully in the not too distant future there will be an easier and simpler way to diagnose this condition just like we are finding with the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

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Back App chair use shown to ‘significantly’ reduce lower back pain
In difficult economic times, the last thing UK businesses need is staff off sick or underperforming

ACCORDING to NHS research, back pain is the most common reason for people to miss work and when at work, it can also affect concentration and productivity.

Most people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life. It is triggered by several factors, but one of the most common is sitting badly or awkwardly, or slouching in chairs.

Mike Dilke, owner of Back App UK Ltd, sole distributor of the Back App chair in the country, said:

“A study carried out by physiotherapists at Limerick University compared the use of the Back App with the widespread, ‘standard’ office chair with an adjustable back and arm rests.

“Twenty-one people did a one hour typing exercise with a laptop and mouse at a typical office desk and their experience was recorded. What scientists found was that using the Back App significantly reduced lower back pain but there was increased lower back pain on the standard chair.

Overall, the trend was for more general body discomfort on the standard chair and a lot less when using the Back App.”

The Back App is a ‘saddle’ seated chair without a back rest, which moves around to various degrees via a ball at the base. The movement varies from slight (‘green’ zone) to dynamic (‘red’ zone.)

Unlike the standard chair, which is stable and sets your hips at a 90 degree angle, the Back App seat sets the hips at a larger angle. This means there is less muscle effort to hold the body upright, as the spine’s position is similar to when you are standing. And this has the same, less stressful effect on the back muscles.

Scientists also recommend that movement helps with back pain and the saddle is constantly moving.

But Mike added that another advantage of using the Back App is that it can also increases alertness and productivity at work – something most of us could do with from time to time.

“Using the Back App is all about prevention as well as treatment. It can help reduce lower back pain in those already suffering from it, but it can also prevent its development over time, which is something many of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives,” he said.

About Mike Dilke, Relaxback UK and Back App:
Mike came across the Back App Chair online when looking at running a business helping people with bad backs, owing to his long-term interest in Yoga.

The chair was invented by Norwegian, Freddy Johnsen, who had suffered severe back problems during his life. It is currently manufactured in Sweden. After Mike enquired about the product, he was invited stay with Freddy and following this visit, they agreed to do business together. Mike is now the sole distributor in the UK.

The Back App is the combination of a chair with an adjustable balancing board. It sets your position, when sitting, in an open hip angle, not at 90 degrees as in a regular chair. This means it’s less effort for the body to hold itself in a good posture and the spine is also resting in its most natural position, so the pressure between the vertebrae is less.

The adjustable ball makes the chair wobble and prevents stiffness from sitting ‘too’ still, as well as giving you a low level core workout at the same time.

For more information on the Back App, go to:
Telephone Mike on: 01727 757221, mobile 07979 248286 or email:
Explanatory video