A new type of remote control ‘pacemaker’ for back pain is being trialled in the UK. The matchbox-sized device sends electrical pulses to muscles around the spine to strengthen them. The idea according to The Daily Mail Health is that stronger muscles take the strain off the damaged spine and thus reduce pain.

Six out of ten patients responded to treatment and now, around 100 are taking part in a new, larger clinical trial in the UK and elsewhere. They say that there is more evidence that muscles play a major role in low back pain and one of the theories is that the brain tries to limit painful movement by reducing or blocking the nerve signals that activate muscles. This then aggravates the initial problem and the muscles become fragile from not being used and then cannot properly support the spine.

This new device is a less invasive surgical option for low back pain and is designed to replace the nerve signals blocked by the brain and stimulate the muscles to keep them strong. It consists of a battery and tiny electrodes and is implanted in the back just under the skin above the waistline, in an hour-long operation which is done under general anaesthetic.

The electrodes are attached to the dorsal nerves in the spinal cord that supply the muscles. Patients then use a remote control to activate the stimulation for 30 minutes a day. As the muscles around the spine are strengthened over time, the brain senses reactivation and again starts firing the nerve signals that activate the muscles and further stabilise the spine.

Recent results from earlier trials involving 53 patients showed that the device can be very effective. Improvements were seen in around 60 per cent and quality of life improved in 80 per cent. It’s certainly something I am personally going to keep my eye on for the future.




I read an article recently in The Daily Mail Good Health about how antidepressants may reduce chronic lower back pain.

In the journal Pain Medicine, a study led by Fukushima Medical University in Japan, 150 patients were given the antidepressant duloxetine once a day for a year. Their pain levels dropped significantly from the second week onwards. One theory, they say, is that antidepressants raise levels of the brain chemical serotonin in the spinal cord, which reduces the pain.

Serotonin is a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. The NHS point out how they think serotonin works. It’s thought that SSRIs work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a messenger chemical that carries signals between nerve cells in the brain). It’s thought to have a good influence on mood, emotion and sleep.

After carrying a message, serotonin is usually reabsorbed by the nerve cells (known as “reuptake”). SSRIs work by blocking (“inhibiting”) reuptake, meaning more serotonin is available to pass further messages between nearby nerve cells.

It would be too simplistic to say that depression and related mental health conditions are caused by low serotonin levels, but a rise in serotonin levels can improve symptoms and make people more responsive to other types of treatment, such as CBT.

I have taken a number of different types of antidepressants for my back pain and they have swapped me around every now and then to try a different one. At the moment I am taking Nortriptyline which I have found the best of all to help me get a more comfortable sleep. The only problem with all these types of medications is that you can soon find them hard to come off if you have taken them for a while, but if they work then that’s all that matters.



Turmeric has many healing powers and has become the latest supplement being used for a number of complaints including pain, improve brain function and even tackle cancer.

The root which comes from India, is apparently being added to everything from health supplements to juices and beauty products says The Mail’s Good Health.

Professor Susan Hewlings, a dietitian at Central Michigan University who co-authored an extensive 2017 scientific review on the spice said that ‘Increasing evidence suggest curcumin reduces levels of damaging inflammatory protiens released by our cells and therefore has the potential to help many inflammation-based disease like arthrtitis, dementia, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Even the NHS dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker says that ‘the research on turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects in the body are very promising.’

Turmeric is available as a tea, in a capsules, as a drink shot, as a spread, as a daily oral spray, as a drink, and even as a clay mask for your face, but before you start taking this on a regular basis you should check it with your Doctor first. The Bad Back Company sell the 10,000mg Turmeric Tablets for £19.95


Marijuana has been a taboo subject for a long time. People refuse to legalise it because they fear it might cause substance abuse in others. Unfortunately, people are getting addicted to it, but the drug itself is not as dangerous as heroin or cocaine. With enough research and studies, scientists discovered that weed can be used to ease pain in people. This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

Doctors are prescribing medicinal marijuana in countries where the drug is legal. Not only that, the extract from the herb is used to create CBD oil that is also efficient against pain. Studies have shown that the oil is beneficial against pain. Many studies suggest CBD may activate a system called the endocannabinoid system, which provides relief from the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

Click on this link for more ways on how to use the oil to manage pain,

Moreover, some people choose to try different treatment for their pain. They’re just not comfortable with any products that is associated with weed. They’re not to blame either. But if you don’t have anything against the drug, then you should try CBD oil for your pain. There is lots of online research to read about other people’s experiences with the oil. Since medicinal marijuana can ease pain, then the oil should be able to do the same thing.

CBD oil can help with a number of conditions including cancer, headaches, IBS, to name a few.

Its far from a cure for cancer, but at least it can ease some of the symptoms in a patient. Radiation causes the patient to vomit and feel nauseated all the time. CBD oil can help reduce the nausea. They suggest you take a drop of CBD oil and hold it under your tongue. This way the substance is properly absorbed in the mouth. Then you can proceed to swallow the liquid. The effect of the oil will not be as good if swallowed directly, that’s why you should follow this step carefully so that you can eliminate all the negative symptoms from the body. This process can be repeated a couple of times during the week but before trying it you should always ask your doctor first.

Headaches are a regular part of our lives. We all know that they can cause incredible frustration and moodiness. Pain in the head can prevent us from doing our daily tasks. That’s where CBD oil comes in handy. It can even be more functional than other medications as it reduces inflammation that causes the headache in the first place.

Another important thing that you should remember is take the oil regularly. This is the only way that it will prove effective. Every time you have a headache you can take the oil in a capsule and let the liquid work its magic. The oil doesn’t cause any negative symptoms, unlike other medications that can cause dizziness and fatigue.

People that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome know that the disease can be a huge inconvenience. Taking the oil can reduce some of the symptoms of IBS. This means that you won’t get bloated as often and you should be able to rest better as well. The only way that this can be effective for IBS is by smoking or vaping the oil. First and foremost you need to start with an oil that has a lower concentration of CBD,then work your way through it. Your body needs to adjust to the change after vaping the oil. With time you can use a liquid with a higher consistency of CBD.

Furthermore, you should be able to notice a difference with time but have patience as nothing works right from the start. You need to take your time with the oil as with any medication prescribed. Always remember to see your Doctor first before trying any new type of treatment. Make sure that you follow the instructions of the doctor carefully so that the end result can be satisfactory.


Can long term use of opioids cause respiratory problems and is it time for a change?

The straight answer is ‘yes’, according to Desert Home Treatment who say that ‘ The long-term effects of opioids on the bowels are significant, but it is the damage they do to the respiratory system that is behind most of the overdoses and fatalities that are related to opioid use. As opioids depress the central nervous system, they directly interfere with the body’s breathing mechanisms.’

Science Daily pointed out that ‘ Opioids are highly effective at killing pain, but they can also kill people by depressing their breathing and at the same time sedating them so that it can be impossible for them to wake up from oxygen deprivation,” says Richard Horner, a professor in the departments of Medicine and Physiology.’

Most pain killers opioids or otherwise can cause side effects but they tend to improve shortly after starting the treatment or following an intended dose increase. The most common side effect being constipation and itching but a respiratory problem is feared by many. They say it is mostly a concern in acute pain management where patients have not developed tolerance.

So should we be right to be sceptical about taking opioids for long term pain when they keep appearing in the news as sceptical ? Drug Abuse has written a great article on a ‘Need for Change’ with a list of 10 opiate alternatives. They include –

Over-the-Counter Acetaminophen

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)


Serotonin and Norephinephrine

Reuptake Inhibitors




Physical Therapy Massage, Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care


It’s certainly something to ponder about.