IS STRESS CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR PAIN ?…

We all suffer from a little stress on a regular basis but if your stress is constant then this can contribute to your pain. Constant stress has been proven to lead to heart attacks and depression, and also disrupted sleep.

We constantly judge ourselves over how our life is, mistakes we my have made or what other people think of us. But negative thoughts can play havoc on our health.

If you can identify what you can’t control, which can be a number of things for people in chronic pain, and think instead on how you can deal with your problem, this will bring your stress down a notch.

It’s hard to admit to yourself that there are some things that you can no longer do but if you can find someone to help you with it then you will feel much less stressed out.

If it’s a situation that you feel you have no influence over, make a decision about whether you will adapt to it in the best way you can, ask someone else to do it for you or leave it alone.

Practising some simple breath awareness with some yoga poses, or meditation, can help to relieve pain. Everyday Health say eliminating stress relieves pain. Stress and pain can each impact the other, creating a vicious cycle that sets the stage for chronic pain and chronic stress.

Patients need to manage their stress to be in the best psychological state to benefit from other therapies,” says Carmen Green, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology and director of pain medicine research at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.”

Constant chronic pain can affect your quality of life, but learning how to cope with stress and can help you manage the pain and lessen it’s impact.

A few great books to help you deal with stress are The Stress Solution, 4 steps to a calmer, happier, healthier you, by Rangan Chatterjee. This book offers simple and achievable interventions to help you re-set your life, offering simple tools for how to cope with modern life.

The Art of Relaxation and Stress Relief – Butterflies – Colouring Book for Adults, by Eva Alcantara . Colouring books are now considered a great way to unwind and take your mind off your pain and stress.

Yoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress Relief by Julie Lusk. This book is packed with meditation, relaxation skills and visualisation techniques to help you cope with stress.

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TUESDAY TIPS FROM #BACKPAINBLOG – THE IMPORTANCE OF REST DAYS…

Our Tuesday tips this week are the importance of rest days for people suffering from any type of pain.

Is there such a thing as too much rest? What if you get out of shape or lose muscle? Is it necessary to rest completely, or is “taking it easy” enough, and for how long? How do you know when to lay off and when to “use it or lose it”? How can you rest anatomy that you need to use all day, every day?

Pro Health say that ‘Rest is a key factor in successfully managing and living with fibromyalgia.  However, most people with fibromyalgia tend to push themselves to their limit every day.  Often this results in a push/crash cycle – doing way too much one day, then taking several days to recover.’

When you are in less pain it’s easy to expand more energy than you have available. I do it all the time and then my symptoms are intensified and I’m in the bad books with the family. ‘The trouble is ‘, as I say to my family, ‘the bell doesn’t ring until after I’ve overdone it.’

Spine Universe wrote that some specific benefits for fibromyalgia sufferers are:

  • It strengthens your muscles. Muscles that are lean, flexible, and strong combat stress. Strong muscles also support your body and bones better, which aid movement and support.
  • It increases energy. People with fibromyalgia often experience debilitating fatigue, and regular physical activity can help boost energy and endurance levels.
  • It promotes a restful sleep. Research shows that exercise helps you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Sleep disorders are a common fibromyalgia symptom—one that exacerbates the disorder’s widespread pain. Better sleep can mean less pain.
  • It’s good for your mental health. Exercise reduces stress, anxiety, and depression—all common symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
  • It keeps the weight off. The more weight you carry, the more stress it puts on your body, causing pain. Exercise, along with a balanced diet, will help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.

I think we all know that doing nothing at all while in pain does not mean you will get better but pacing yourself and resting regularly can definitely give a kick start. I redesigned my bedroom to feel like a sanctuary and most days between 3-4pm I close my blinds, pop my heat cushion on and get under the duvet for 40 winks. The difference for me if I don’t have my rest days is pain, pain and much more pain.

 

 

PILATES FOR #BACK PAIN FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME…

Pilates is a holistic exercise system designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance.

Exercises involve the whole body and are performed on spring-assisted apparatus or a mat, sometimes utilising small equipment.

Pilates is effective as it addresses underlying structural imbalances in the body which can create on-going pain and difficulty with movement. The whole body is considered. Lengthened and strengthened muscles improve posture and overall fitness and retrain dysfunctional movement patterns, restoring optimum physical function.

The Pilates Foundation was founded in 1996 and is the only not-for-profit Pilates association in the UK. They aim to establish and maintain quality and excellence in Pilates teaching.

They promote the original works of Joseph and Clara Pilates, including honouring the original repertoire and principles, yet bring current knowledge and research to the teaching of the Pilates Method.

Their Members undergo extensive training with a Pilates Foundation Accredited Teacher Training Provider and pass a rigorous examination process (or meet standards set by our Professional Standards Committee) to gain membership into the organisation, and is the best place to find a class or pilates teacher.

There are lots of Pilates classes throughout the UK but if you find it difficult to get to a class or give your commitment to one then why not try the Pilates Anytime from your own home.

Pilates Anytime is an online Pilates studio, delivering world-class teachers anywhere, anytime, at an affordable price.

Members have access to over 3,000 Mat and equipment classes for any experience level, all of which are available for streaming on computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions in high definition video. Over one hundred highly skilled instructors film about six new videos each week.

You simply choose a video after searching, browsing and filtering to find the class you want and get moving. You can take a challenge from one of their programs for guided practice and join the global community to chat to other people from around the world.

It could not be easier. You can try a free 15 day trial and then it’s only £12 a month and you can cancel anytime. This has to be the easiest way to try this if you are unable to get to a class or are not even sure if it’s what you are looking for.

MY CERVICAL NERVE BLOCK INJECTION…

Yesterday I went in hospital for a nerve block injection into my cervical spine where I have been having lots of problems since last June. Surgery had been talked about but then an injection was a preferred choice which is also used to diagnose the source of the pain. A cervical nerve block injection is where a steroid and local anaesthetic are injected into the nerve root. The medication can decrease inflammation in the nerve root and will often, but not always then reduce the pain.

The consultant uses a live X-ray image (fluoroscopy) to very carefully insert and guide the needle to the spinal nerve then a contrast dye is used to confirm the needle placement. Next, the medication is slowly injected, and the needle removed.

In 2001 I had a cervical trigger point injection done in a side room at the hospital and not in the X-Ray department. Unfortunately it went very wrong and I collapsed and had to be resuscitated. The memory lasted a long time and I did say I would never have one in my spine again.

Since then I have had many different types of injections from epidurals, trigger points and facet joint injections in my spine, but all in my lumber spine. I have to admit I was a little nervous before having this second cervical injection as I have never had a nerve block before.

I explained my fears to all who were looking after me yesterday and they could not have be more sympathetic and kind. But, my consultant did explain to me that he felt the injection should be placed in at the C8 level and not C6/7 as requested as he could clearly see from the CT and MRI scan that C6/7 was where my other metal work and fusions were. Trying to inject around the metal work would not work nor relieve the pain.

I must admit it did throw me at first but it all made complete sense as I have had two cervical fusions so the last one had to be at that level and C8 had to be where the disc was giving me all the problems. The minute I told him my symptoms he was certain it was that disc but he did explain to me it was not an easy one to access. It also carried quite high risks with it but he understood that I really did not want surgery which probably had higher risks involved with that also.

He really took his time and explained every detail along the way. I cannot say it was not uncomfortable because even with a local anaesthetic once the medication started hitting the nerve boy did I know about it.

Today I’m ‘extremely perky’ as my sister put it after a great sleep last night, no pins and needles, no pain when I did simple tasks like cleaning my teeth and drying my hair. As the day has gone on the pain has got easier and easier and it’s just ‘amazing .’

Before the consultant left me yesterday I asked him if the injection was a success how many could I have in a year. ‘None, as far as I’m concerned ‘, he said ‘It’s to tricky a procedure .’

I felt a bit despondent about his reply so when I got home I had a quick look on Google about the area I ‘d had the injection and soon realised why he said it. An article from Inside Radiology wrote ‘Accurate needle placement, high-resolution image guidance and skilled specialist doctors are essential to avoid the major complications that arise as a result of poor quality imaging.

Luckily this time I had the treatment done in the right environment with a great consultant.