#BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #health, #lowbackpain, #pain

CHECK OUT MY POST THIS MONTH ON THE BAD BACK COMPANY “LOCKDOWN THE NEXT STAGES”…

The BAD BACK Company helps give you the solutions you need. Their large range of products are geared towards helping you live a full and pain free life.

They have sourced, studied and sampled all there is to offer to beat pain and now you can be like countless others who have shopped with them in fighting back against pain.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5132.jpg

If you are looking for a back support, knee brace, posture corrector, shoulder support, ankle brace, hot and cold therapy, magnetic aids and much more we have products to help relieve sciatica, back pain, disc pain, neck pain, knee and ankle injuries and just about anything else your body needs help with, The BAD BACK Company are bound to have it. They also stock vitamins and supplements specifically for mechanical musculo-skeletal conditions.

My post on The Bad Back Companies Blog this month is called A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Sufferer: Lock Down. The next stages where I write about a book I wrote for my granddaughter all about a robin in her garden. Check it out on The BAD BACK COMPANY website here.

#BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #fibromyallgia symptoms, #health, #nurses, FIBROMYALGIA

FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS MONTH AND WORLD FIBROMYALGIA DAY MAY 12th #SupportFibro…

World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May 12th and Fibromyalgia Awareness Month May 1st-30th – May is the month we all come together to educate and raise awareness about Fibromyalgia with friends and family, at work, and in our neighbourhoods.

Take part to share the facts, and make a difference for all those impacted by Fibromyalgia, #SupportFibro. Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12th and World Lupus Day is May 10th. Get ready to turn the month of May purple!

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person, and the NHS describe some of the awful symptoms.

There may be periods when your symptoms get better or worse, depending on factors such as:

  • your stress levels
  • changes in the weather
  • how physically active you are

If you think you have fibromyalgia, visit your GP.

Treatment is available to ease some of the symptoms, although it’s unlikely they’ll ever disappear completely.

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are outlined below.

Widespread pain

If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain.

This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck.

The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.

The pain could feel like:

  • an ache
  • a burning sensation
  • a sharp, stabbing pain

Extreme sensitivity

Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is painful.

If you hurt yourself, such as stubbing your toe, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would.

You may hear the condition described in the following medical terms:

  • hyperalgesia – when you’re extremely sensitive to pain
  • allodynia – when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch

You may also be sensitive to things like smoke, certain foods and bright lights.

Being exposed to something you’re sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.

Stiffness

Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you have been in the same position for a long period of time – for example, when you first wake up in the morning.

It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.

Fatigue

Fibromyalgia can cause extreme tiredness (fatigue). This can range from a mild tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness.

Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. If this happens, you may feel too tired to do anything at all.

Poor sleep quality

Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you have had plenty of sleep.

This is because the condition can sometimes prevent you sleeping deeply enough to refresh you properly.

You may hear this described as non-restorative sleep.

Cognitive problems (‘fibro-fog’)

Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning.

If you have fibromyalgia, you may have:

  • trouble remembering and learning new things
  • problems with attention and concentration
  • slowed or confused speech

Headaches

If fibromyalgia has caused you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headaches.

These can vary from being mild headaches to severe migraines, and could also involve other symptoms, such as feeling sick.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhoea.

Other symptoms

Other symptoms that people with fibromyalgia sometimes experience include:

Depression

In some cases, having the condition can lead to depression.

This is because fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with, and low levels of certain hormones associated with the condition can make you prone to developing depression.

Depression can cause many symptoms, including:

  • constantly feeling low
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • losing interest in the things you usually enjoy

If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to get help from a GP or your fibromyalgia healthcare professional, if you have been seeing one.

#BACKPAINBLOGUK, #health, #hip pain, #lowbackpain, #nhs

ARE STEROID INJECTIONS FOR SIJ ARTHRITIS THE BEST TREATMENT?…

As I have written before I am having big problems with pain in my SIJ due to arthritis with referred pain into my hip causing bursitis.

Last November I had steroid into both hips for the bursitis and a further CT guided steroid injection into my SIJ. I found they both helped with the pain but four months later the pain all started coming back again. My left sacroiliac joint has been terrible for some time now. It wakes me up when I turn over in bed. It’s painful to lie on my side and sit in a certain position and I cannot stand for long in one spot so I was keen to get another injection as soon as possible.

My insurance company had told me last time that they would not cover me for any more injections and with lockdown pain management appointments are a long way off so I decided to go back and pay for one myself. After a quick examination my consultant offered me another steroid injection into my bursa which was again inflamed and offered me another SIJ injection for my sacroiliac joints were causing significant pain when he checked me out.

He said he would arrange for me to have another CT guided steroid injection into my left SIJ but pointed out that it is not something I can keep having done. The two other options he talked about were bilateral sacroiliac joint radiofrequency ablation which I will cover in this post or if this did not work then I could have fusion surgery to my sacroiliac joints, but I have said time and time again that surgery was not something I wanted to go through again.

I looked into the radiofrequency ablation and on an NHS website it explained what this type of treatment is for and what happens during the treatment.

Each of the sacroiliac joints has its own nerve supply, the lateral branch nerve, which normally carries information about the state of the joint to your brain e.g. pain caused by inflammation, joint position etc. These nerves can be numbed / blocked by your doctor using a local anaesthetic to assess if they are transmitting pain signals (Diagnostic). Radiofrequency denervation, which is the burning of these nerves, is then performed at a later stage in order to interrupt the nerve supply and pain messages for a significantly log time. This prevents the passage of pain signals to the rest of the nervous system. The aim of this treatment is to interrupt the nerve supply to the affected sacroiliac joints.

The treatment involves –

  • A small needle is placed in the back of your hand for sedation or emergency drugs.
  • SIJ RFD is performed lying face down.
  • Your back is cleaned. The skin is numbed with some local anaesthetic is injected which stings a little.
  • A special X-ray and a radiofrequency generator machine will be used by the doctor to identify the location of the nerve.
  • Electrical tests will enable the tip of the specially designed needle get close to the nerve. The final electrical test is done to make sure that the needle tip is well away from the main spinal nerve to your leg, thereby improving the safety of the procedure.
  • When the doctor is happy with the needle position, local anaesthetic is injected before a high frequency (radiofrequency) electrical signal is passed down the needle for 90 seconds.
  • You may feel discomfort at this stage.
  • After each lesion, the area is injected with a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid, to help reduce discomfort afterwards.
  • Depending on the technicality of the procedure and your medical condition, you may be offered a pain killer or sedative as agreed with your doctor.

There are of course a few complications that could arise but that applies to any type of treatment even with the steroid injections.

In an article on the Spine-Health website it says that the success rate has conflicting results. Success usually depends on the accuracy of diagnosis, variations in the anatomy of the nerve, and the type of technique used. Some patients have reported up to 100% reduction in pain from RFA. Research suggests:

  • RFA performed for the facet joint may provide pain relief in 45% to 60% of patients.
  • RFA performed for the sacroiliac joint may provide pain relief in 75% to 86% of patients.

Typically, if effective, RFA may provide pain relief lasting 6 months up to 2 years. However, some studies have shown patients experiencing pain relief up to 3 years. During or after this period of time, however, the nerve usually regenerates, and the pain may or may not return. The pain relief from this treatment is usually more significant when performed on the facet joints as compared to the sacroiliac joints. Some patients may not experience any relief from pain after this procedure.

I have now been passed onto the NHS pain team who have been in touch and need to refer me to a special triage service who will chat with me then refer me onto the appropriate person to chat about whether this is something I should or should not think about having done. In the meantime the steroid in my hip has helped and my SIJ injection is due at the end of the month.

I understand I cannot keep having steroid injections as there is concern and some evidence that frequent shots can cause damage to the tissue and cartilage within the joints. I guess I have to leave it to the experts to advice me.