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WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE EXPERIENCED MORE BACK PAIN DURING THE LOCKDOWN…

The Metro wrote that a third of people in the UK have experienced more pain during lockdown, according to a new study. The research, conducted by Nurofen, found that since we have been spending more time at home, more people have been experiencing backaches (36%), headaches (34%), joint pains (27%), neck aches (26%) and muscle aches (24%).

The researchers suggest that is caused by an unexpected pain paradox associated with the perceived ‘benefits’ that come with lockdown living. But what is causing these chronic aches and pains? At the top of the list of triggers is stress – which was the main cause for 50% of people surveyed. Which comes as no surprise, because living through a global pandemic is pretty stressful to say the least.

However a number of lockdown ‘benefits’ were also listed as surprising triggers of pain. These included having more time for: Watching more TV and films (39%) Hobbies (like DIY and gardening) (21%) Looking after children (12%) Exercise and fitness (16%) Whilst lockdown enabled people to spend more time at home with their families, this may have increased pain suffering as 12% of respondents attributed new discomfort to increased childcare hours.  Younger people (aged 25-44) said they experienced more back pains and headaches, in comparison to those over 45, says The Metro.

This age group were also more likely to claim that their increased pain was caused by a poor work from home set up and more time looking after their children; perhaps as a result of juggling work with home schooling. On top of this, 50% of all respondents claimed stress was a key factor in their increased pain, which might have been a reflection of the lockdown climate. DIY and gardening, which may have been a result of new found leisure time was cited by more than a fifth (21%) as causing more acute pain. 39% believe the increased time spent in front of TVs, computers or laptops has been causing their pain. In fact, more screen time may also have had other consequences, with 35% believing changing sleep patterns and 33% thought less physical activity also worsened their pain. Some people used the new time gained to improve their health and fitness during lockdown, but this may have led to further pain as 16% of respondents felt exercise had increased their aches.

The survey also found that 60% of people want more advice on how to deal with pain, and 39% have not relied on any sources of information to help manage their pain – turning to GPs and pharmacists for help has decreased. To avoid making lockdown more painful and allow people to enjoy their pastimes, The researchers are now urging people to follow NHS advice and have developed the ‘Three P’s of Pain Management’ to help people take action when pain strikes. Proactivity – Be proactive, don’t let acute pain persist Identify pain triggers and address them. Be conscious of your pain and take action. Pain Relief – take positive steps to find a solution that works for you. And finally Prevention – help to avoid future pain occurring

Source : The Metro

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HOW THE COVID SYMPTOM STUDY APP and NHS COVID-19 APP ARE DIFFERENT – and WHY YOU NEED BOTH!…

A message from Professor Tim Spector, On behalf of the The COVID Symptom Study team.

On the 24th September, the NHS COVID-19 app launched across the UK, as part of the NHS Test and Trace service and NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. We are aware that this new app has been causing some confusion as lots of you have been in touch, so we wanted to briefly explain how the two apps are different and why you need them both.

The COVID Symptom Study app

As most of you already know, the COVID Symptom Study app is a global public science project supported by the UK government and crowd-funding, with more than 4.2 million participants providing vital health data to help researchers and the NHS understand and beat COVID-19. And it’s thanks to your ongoing support since March that we have been able to achieve some pivotal successes in the fight against COVID, like: getting loss of smell recognised officially as a major COVID symptom (as well as delirium as a key symptom in frail older adults), rapidly identifying local hotspots ahead of time, providing the government with daily data updates and much more!

The COVID Symptom Study asks you, our study participants, to log daily health updates across a wide range of potential symptoms. We invite participants to book an NHS test if they report symptoms (including but not limited to the ‘classic’ three) that might be caused by COVID-19. Please note, the COVID Symptom Study does not have any contact tracing or QR check-in facilities. It cannot access your phone’s Bluetooth, GPS, location data or contacts, and does not track you as you move around.

The NHS COVID-19 app

Unlike us, the NHS COVID-19 app has been created to support the government’s efforts to control the spread of the virus through testing and contact tracing. It has a basic symptom checker, which includes the three ‘classic’ symptoms, to help identify people eligible for a test. It also notifies users if they’ve been in ‘close contact’ with someone who then tests positive for coronavirus and allows them to check in to venues using a QR code.

The bottom line

The apps are totally separate and entirely compatible, meaning you can and are highly encouraged to use both to help us all get through the pandemic.

It’s important for as many people as possible to keep using the COVID Symptom Study app to monitor their health on a daily basis and contribute to vital research into the pandemic. You can also log on behalf of family and friends who aren’t able to use the app, including children and the elderly.

We need everyone to play their part to help us all get through this. We urge you to download and use both apps to help us get through COVID-19 over the months ahead.

More details on why we need both apps here.
Keep safe and keep logging.

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3 BOOK REVIEWS ON HERBAL & HEDGEROW MEDICINE…

With months of being mainly at home during the summer I have walked more in the countryside than ever before. It made me look at wild flowers and hedgerows in a completely different light.

I am sure most of us will not know that Britain’s hedgerows may have remedies for all sorts of health conditions, tinctures, beauty and even household uses. So, I headed to Amazon and purchased some books on the subject. There are quite a number of them but I think the ones I write about here are well worth investing in. They are all by the same authors who seem to be a specialist in this field.Just remember if it is something that you take then first check with your GP in case it might interact with any medication you are on.

Kitchen Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal & Matthew Seal £12.75

They say our kitchen shelves are full of remedies for all sorts of illnesses and accidents. In fact most domestic accidents occur in the kitchen. But if the home has hidden dangers, it also contains many handy but often overlooked ingredients for treating household emergencies and common ailments, from bee stings and cuts to sore throats and chilblains.

The products for these remedies include herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, oils and vinegars, and many other familiar items.

In Kitchen Medicine the authors of the successful Hedgerow Medicine now move indoors to describe the wealth of healing and emergency remedies that sit unused and idle in the kitchen. Superb illustrations adorn a lively text.

The ailments and illnesses that kitchen medicine can address are comprehensively listed, making diagnosis and cure both immediate and easy.

This book has a great wealth of knowledge, an inspiration and healing abilities. The photos are amazing and it has historical notes and anecdotes with an easy reference listed by ailment. You will be amazed at what you have in your store-cupboard. A bit like having a chemist at your doorstep.

Hedgerow Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal £12.75

Julie and Matthew explain that Britain’s hedgerows abound with forgotten remedies for countless health problems. Julie Bruton-Seal, practicising medical herbalist, together with her co-author, the editor and writer Matthew Seal, have responded to the growing interest in natural medicine by aiming this book at the amateur who wants to improve his or her health in the same way that mankind has done for centuries around the world: by using local wild plants and herbs. There are clear instructions about which plants to harvest, when, and over 120 recipes showing how to make them into teas, vinegars, oils, creams, pillows, poultices or alcohol-based tinctures. Julie and Matthew explain which ailments can be treated, and what benefits can be expected. As well as being packed with practical information on using 50 native plants, Hedgerow Medicine also gives a fascinating insight into the literary, historic and worldwide application of these herbal remedies.

This is another great book clearly laid out for you to discover what’s growing in your local hedgerow. You will never look at a hedgerow the same again after reading this book. It has 250 beautiful colour images and something that will be picked up by anyone if left on your table.

It contains each herb, with its own page or two (or three) about what it does, how to use it, how the herb was used in history with a beautiful accompanying picture. An priceless book for herbalists enthusiasts alike that gives good tips on making tinctures, teas, poultices and much more. It would make a great Christmas present.

The Herbalist’s Bible by Julie Burton-Seal – £17.99

Julie explains that Herbalist to King Charles I, John Parkinson (1567–1650) was a master apothecary, herbalist and gardener. Famous in his own lifetime for his influential books, his magnum opus was published in 1640, the Theatrum Botanicum, which ran to 1,788 large pages. The sheer scope and size was perhaps to prove the book’s downfall because, while it was much revered and indeed plagiarized, it was never reprinted and now has the status of an extremely valuable rare book. Parkinson was writing at a time when Western herbalism was at its zenith, and his skills as a plantsman combined perfectly with his passion for science, observation and historical scholarship. In this editor’s selection, Julie and Matthew have printed Parkinson’s clear and lively description of a chosen plant’s ‘vertues’ or healing properties, adding their own modern commentary and a contemporary take on his almost-forgotten herbal recipes. Busy herbalists, historians and gardeners will welcome this restoration and sensitive highlighting of Parkinson’s huge lost classic.

This book shows you a glimpse into another world when plants were the only remedy of most ailments. They say that even today around 40 per cent of all drugs used are of plant origin.

It’s a great book well set out with lots of information and stunning pictures. It has the original John Parkinson’s text and line drawings along with the modern descriptions and photos.