WEGO HEALTH AWARDS – BEST IN BLOG SHOW & BEST IN SHOW FACEBOOK…

Back Pain Blog has been nominated for two awards from WEGO Health, Best in Blog Show and Best in Show Facebook. I would love you to support me and endorse me for either of the above nominations. You simply pop over to my Profile Page and click on the thumbs up sign next to each nomination. I feel honoured to be nominated for Best in Blog Show and Best in Show Facebook.

Endorsements are open for the 9th annual WEGO Health Awards. Endorsements were created to give community members the chance to share their perspectives and support on who the top patient leaders truly are.

So WEGO Health invite you to browse the WEGO Health Awards nominee directory and start endorsing the patient leaders you believe deserve to be recognized!

WEGO Health day “join them and help celebrate the inspiring and impactful nominees. Feel good while honoring these Patient Leaders and then join in on the festivities. 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.” Thank You.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAVENDER…

As I am sure you have seen from previous posts I have written on Lavender that I am a bit partial to it. Well, according to The Federation of Holistic Therapies, in an article in Natural Health, it has many many health benefits.

It was first introduced to Britain by the Romans and is said to get its name from the Latin word ‘lavare, which means to wash or cleanse.

In aromatherapy, the lavender essential oil is highly regarded for its soothing and balancing effects. When used at bedtime, lavender helps to calm the mind and promote sleep.

It’s also used to soothe aches and pains and skin problems and as an insect repellent.

It lends a delicate flavour to casseroles, scones, roast lamb, and even ice-cream. It is a tonic to the cardiovascular and digestive system, it can lower blood pressure and can help to thin the blood due to the presence of coumarins.

It’s good for muscle spasm, sprains, strains, cramps, and rheumatic pains. It can work as a sedative to the central nervous system and can relieve headaches, nervous tension and insomnia, mood swings and PMS and even keep the moths away (we have loads at the moment).

It’s a front-line defense against respiratory infections.

Looking through the Internet brought me some brilliant websites which have some good products to help you sleep including slumber gel, which you apply to your temples and pulse points.  Mayfield Lavender had some really unusual teapot oil burners and Not on the High Street is another good site with unusual gifts like this Lavender Gift Set.

Norfolk Lavender has an array of fantastic candles, bath bombs, and an aromatherapy lavender stress gel with camomile and Norfolk lavender.

Faith in Nature (which has dozens of stores up and down the country) has refill stations for many products and in their range is a Lavender & Geranium Body & Haircare which you can just keep going back to fill up doing your bit for the planet.

Of course, you could grow your own lavender and could use it in so many things from adding to food, filling bags for your wardrobe to keep the moths away, using in bean bag making, sprays for your pillow and for spraying your ironing ( my favourite). If there is one thing I can remember about my Grandma it was her smelling of this lovely herb.

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THERMAFLX GARMENT FOR BACK PAIN…

Ross Lorberbaum a long time back pain sufferer, like myself, contacted me about his launch to “Kickstarter”, to raise funds for a full body hot and cold therapy garment they have developed. Here are the full details on how the ThermaFLX garment can help you.


ThermaFLX brings you the ability to take full advantage of hot and cold therapy anytime and anywhere. ThermaFLX Hot & Cold Garments allow the user mobility, ease of application, and evenly distributed hot or cold therapy to any combination of major muscle groups. Our compression fit garments bring a unique and much needed solution to applying hot and cold therapy.

Whether you have an upper or lower body injury, stiffness, muscle pain, aching, back problems, or muscle spasms; ThermaFLX was designed with you in mind!

When you head over to their page there is a video on how to use the ThermaFLX to get the full benefit of the garment.

ThermaFLX Hot & Cold Packs bring the best of both worlds, offering you access to the full benefit of either hot, cold, or contrast therapy. Our packs were made with a focus on quality, longevity, and ability to maintain the proper temperature to meet the demands of your therapy.

Use our all-in-one packs for heat applications by throwing them in the microwave, or for cold applications by throwing them in the freezer. There’s no need to have different packs for different situations. ThermaFLX packs can handle them all!

Our team knows what it means to have no way to apply hot & cold therapy on the go. We’ve all been stuck on the couch laying on an ice pack for what seems like eternity. We couldn’t help but think there had to be a better way to apply hot & cold therapy.  

We set out to start developing ThermaFLX products well over a year ago as a small side project. It quickly turned into a full-blown passionfor our team. We’ve been through countless product design iterations to ensure we bring our customers the quality and functionality they deserve. Mediocre is not something we were willing to accept. The more individuals we connected with, the more we felt a sense of duty to bring these products to the market.

Check out the ThermaFLX story on “Kickstarter” to maybe help them and you kick start their journey to pain relief for many with the ThermaFLX garment.

EXPERT’S 10 TIPS FOR BUSINESSES & WORKERS TO TRANSITION OUT OF LOCKDOWN AS SOME OFFICES REOPEN…

Employers: Consider ditching ‘hot-desking’ trend as Coronavirus deep-cleaning priorities kick in
 
Employees: Get ready for ‘the new normal’ – desk-working back-to-back (not face-to-face)  
 
Home workers: Avoid awkward makeshift workstations like ironing boards, top back expert warns
 
All workers: Become accustomed to ‘blended working’, part-time office, part-time at home 
Homeworkers are risking back pain, migraines, sciatica and RSI by creating makeshift workstations from domestic appliances like ironing boards, sofa armrests and rickety garden furniture.
That’s the finding of one of the country’s leading health ergonomists and back-injury-prevention experts, who has conducted hundreds of home workstation assessments since lockdown began on March 23.
Nichola Adams normally tours top British companies’ offices around the country advising them on how they can minimise the risk of back injury in the workforce. Her top ten tips are –
FOR EMPLOYERS 
1 TIP ONE: CONSIDER DITCHING ‘HOT-DESKING’ It’s going to be essential when we return to the office to implement a new ‘single-desk-per-day’ regime, and to clean work surfaces, like desks, chairs, monitors, keyboards and mice, at the end of every individual worker’s shift. So, this does sound a death knell for the widespread cost-saving practice of ‘hot-desking’. If workers are nervous about continuing to hot-desk, you’ll need to respect their concerns.
 
2 TIP TWO: DOWNSIZE TO LOWER CAPACITY Because of the continuing rules on social distancing, companies with, say, 100 staff, will now only have capacity for 20-40 employees in the office at any one time. Businesses should plan ahead for this lower capacity. The need to radically reduce the amount of people in the office has already prompted many companies to rotate staff by day or by the week, to widen the spread between teams. A mix of homeworking and office shifts looks likely for the foreseeable future.
3 TIP THREE: GET BUSY SCREENING & CLEANING Screens or barriers may be needed around desks. Pods or self-contained units for workers will have partitions on all sides of the desk to stop the virus spreading when we cough and breathe. Covid-19 lingers longest on plastic, so the more porous your partition fabric, the more the virus is absorbed, meaning there’s less likelihood of transference. Workstations should be cleansed after every shift, also chairs, tables, monitors and office break-out furniture as the virus lands on many surfaces. If used, reception sofas should be cleaned after each arriving guest.
 
4 TIP FOUR: INCREASE SUPPORT FOR YOUR WORKFORCE A new Institute for Employment Studies (IES) survey of 500 homeworkers, found 75% said their employer had not carried out a health and safety risk assessment of their homeworking arrangements in lockdown. People are confused, need help, guidance and want to feel safe. Good advice is scarce. I recommend employers host health and wellbeing workshops, support employees’ mental health, and conduct fresh office ergonomic workstation assessments, which they’re legally obliged to if workstations move. Some staff may feel keen to return to the office, others nervous. Talk to individuals about their concerns.
5 TIP FIVE: DOUBLE EMPLOYEE ALLOWANCES Musculoskeletal issues like back pain and injuries, and neck and upper-limb problems, cost UK plc nearly 7 million working days a year. Part of the problem of homeworking is few people have the right equipment to work comfortably in the long term. In lockdown, many companies are offering homeworkers an allowance (average budget from £150) to buy work furniture. But with rough costs, (chair £100-£150), (table £60-£90), (keyboard £40), (mouse £20) adding up to £300, employers should double their allowance. Also, offer advice on what equipment to buy, or consider sending their office equipment home.
 
FOR EMPLOYEES 
1 TIP ONE: BEWARE ‘MAKESHIFT’ SET-UPS AT HOME The IES survey found, on average, a 50% increase in back-pain issues in lockdown. It’s crucial to seek advice on how to create your homeworking set-up correctly, warns Inspired Ergonomics Founder Nichola Adams. “I’ve seen makeshift workstations using ironing boards, drinks cabinets, coffee tables, bar stools, sofa armrests and old fold-up garden chairs and tables. Around 5% of people are slouching on beds. You can get away with it short-term but for longer-term homeworking, use tables and office chairs,” advises Nichola. “Adjust furniture to support a healthy posture. If there’s space, stick to tables and office chairs. Simple changes can have a huge impact.”
2 TIP TWO: THINK TOILET SEAT! Research on germs by UK ergonomics firm BakkerElkhuizen shows there are 45,670 more bacteria on an average computer mouse than there are on the average toilet seat; 20,598 more on a keyboard than on a loo seat. Returning to your office, take your keyboard and mouse with you so any germs are your own. Leaving work, wipe clean to avoid taking office germs home. Positioning equipment incorrectly can cause shoulder and neck strains, headaches and migraines.
 
3 TIP THREE: SWAP HANDBAGS FOR BACKPACKS Mrs Thatcher famously clobbered politicians with her handbag, but now heavy handbags can cause neck and shoulder injuries to women who haven’t been used to carrying them in lockdown. Out-of-condition muscles mean, to avoid injury, it’s wiser to distribute the weight of your belongings evenly using a backpack, preferably with adjustable, padded straps. As many of us may be avoiding public transport, backpacks are also ideal when cycling or walking to work.
4 TIP FOUR: WATCH YOUR BACK Government guidelines recommend that office workers should no longer be sitting face-to-face at their desks. Instead, employees social distancing correctly are being encouraged to sit back-to-back or side-by-side, and six feet apart. This may mean desks moving position, so a fresh ergonomic workstation assessment is recommended.
5 TIP FIVE: MAKE A STAND With companies reducing their capacity and allowing fewer employees in the office at any one time, work rooms will be less full. Provided you follow social-distancing guidelines, this new environment allows you to stand up and walk around more often, along the guided route. Take regular screen breaks, stand up and move about to help improve blood circulation, ease muscle tension build-up and prevent injury. Do this at home, too.
Nichola Adams, who has conducted hundreds of assessments remotely during lockdown, says: “A lot of businesses and employees with whom I’ve consulted now believe they may be going back to work in September or next January.
“There’s fear of a second wave and many employers are being very cautious about the health and welfare of their workforce in the office. Some tell me they’re worried they may be sued if an employee falls ill.
“With many of us facing up to another six months at home, there’s now a lot of confusion about what people should be doing, especially as there are still so many unknowns ahead.
“Homeworkers are struggling. One lady in her 20s, who works for a London law firm, was using her ironing board as a laptop desk and a rickety fold-up garden chair to sit on.
“The ironing board was too high, giving her severe neck and shoulder problems. The garden chair had a gap at the gap, so without support, she got lower-back pain – all compounded by her moving less than she normally would in the office.
“Others use dining tables that are too high, or their beds, slouching and craning their necks. One lady used her sofa arm as a mouse mat. People think they know how to set up a workstation correctly, but they need professional support and advice.”
Leading UK osteopath Gavin Burt, whose north London practice Backs & Beyond has just re-opened, said patients whose employers had arranged for their office chairs to be transported home were reporting the least back pain.
“I wasn’t expecting such a high number of patients telling me this,” he said, “but it seems that the small adaptation of having a proper office chair at home, even if only used at the dining table, has helped workers substantially reduce the amount of both neck and shoulder, and back pain that they have been suffering from since the beginning of the lockdown.”
Nichola Adams, MSc Health Ergonomics, Tech CIEHF (Technical Member of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors), Reg Member ACPOHE (The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics), is the Founder of Inspired Ergonomics (inspiredergonomics.com) and one of the UK’s leading back-pain experts, advising companies on how to minimise the risk of back pain in the workplace.