Here are 21 ways to distract yourself from chronic pain. If only one of these techniques from this infographic helped you from chronic pain I would be really happy.

Do let me know if any of these have helped you.


With summer well and truly here making sure that you are able to stay active, do the things you love and create great memories with friends and family is key. Back Pain affects 7/10 people in the UK and although it is such a common occurrence there are only two options.

Spend a lot of money heading to an osteopath or head down the medicinal route which only masks the pain. Lower Back Pain Relief is something that needs to be tailored to each person, lifestyles are different, the activities a person does are different and what works for one person may not work for the other. This post is here to educate and inform readers of an alternative treatment that is  out there. is a new platform that aims at reducing the costs people spend on treating back pain. It is run by Graeme and Toby who combined have over 25 years of experience as Osteopaths and run an Osteopathy Clininc in Ascot – their main aim when setting up back pain online was to relay their years of experience to members at a fraction of the cost.

Their solution is to create a hub of 100s of videos that members can access. Once you have filled in the E Consultation form you will then have a tailored video path for you to work through. The videos cover three main areas: education, advice and rehabilitation, all of which are aimed at improving lower back pain and improving mobility. The platform offers users access to an information hub and there is the option to try the product for 7 days free of charge.


How Compatible are Mobility Scooters with Cars?…

When you suffer from back pain or a disability, a mobility scooter can prove invaluable. However, it can be daunting investing in a mobility scooter for the first time, especially when it comes to transporting it where you need to go.

The good news is, modern-day mobility scooters are generally very compatible with cars. So, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to transport them. Nevertheless, below you’ll discover everything you need to know about mobility scooter and car compatibility.

How easy is it to fit mobility scooters into a vehicle?…

It’s surprisingly easy to fit mobility scooters into modern vehicles. However, the full-size mobility scooters can be a little heavy and difficult to get over the lip of the boot. So, you may want to consider investing in a powerchair to transport with you, rather than a full-size mobility scooter. You can find exceptional quality powerchairs in the same place you’d find wheelchairs for sale.

However, if you still want to stick with a mobility scooter, there are a few tips you can use to make them easily portable. Firstly, you have the option to use a ramp. This is a great idea for those who have a fairly large vehicle which would make it difficult to lift the scooter up into the boot. The ramp will help you fit it into the car with ease.

You could also get a wheelchair hoist which would be an even easier option to get the scooter into the car. Or, if you want as little hassle as possible, investing in a wheelchair accessible vehicle would be the best option.

TGA Self Propelled Wheelchair

Tips for unloading your mobility scooter…

Once you’ve arrived at your chosen destination, it’s fairly straightforward to unload the scooter. Again, you can use a ramp or a hoist to help remove the scooter from the car. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you are using some kind of hoist, not all of them are suitable for heavier mobility scooters. So, you’ll need to make sure the one you invest in can accommodate the type of scooter you own.

You’ll also want to ensure that you’re parking on a flat surface. It’s going to be a lot more difficult trying to unload the scooter if you’re parked on a hill for example. Also, ensure there’s plenty of space behind the car to easily get the scooter out.

Are some cars better for mobility scooter access?…

You should find most cars these days are compatible with mobility scooters. However, it all depends upon the type of scooter you own. The heavier, full-size scooters, for example, aren’t going to fit easily into a smaller, compact vehicle.

As a general rule, MPVs tend to be the most convenient option due to the sheer amount of space available in the interior. However, if you truly want to ensure your car is suitable for mobility scooter use, it’s a good idea to consider adapted vehicles.

Overall, transporting a mobility scooter is easier than you might think. Provided you do the measurements and invest in the best aid to fit your needs, you’ll be able to take your scooter practically everywhere with you


Chronic pain is often identified as arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica symptoms, tendonitis, Angina Pectoris and Fibromyalgia. In many cases, however, a misdiagnosis is involved, and the pain is actually caused by trigger points in the muscles.

This can be diagnosed correctly and treated through trigger point massage therapy, given by professional massage therapists. Dr. Janet G. Travell, personal physician of US President John F. Kennedy, discovered and mapped out trigger points in 1942.

Trigger points are nodules that are contractions in bands of muscles that have tightened. The trigger points themselves cause local pain while simultaneously referring pain to other body parts. The referred pain is often located far from the trigger point. Painful trigger points that actively refer pain to other body parts are called active trigger points.

Trigger point massage therapists identify a patient’s trigger points and use deep prolonged pressure to deactivate then resolve them ( a bit like acupressure ). The therapist uses hands, fingers, knuckles, elbows, feet and many massage tools to apply and maintain such deep pressure consistently. After resolving the trigger points, the therapist works further on the muscles and fascia, using their natural range of motion to stretch, elongate and relax them.

According to the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy ‘skilled practitioner who has been trained to recognize the symptoms of myofascial pain and palpate muscles for myofascial trigger points can assess whether myofascial trigger points are present. There are no commonly available lab tests or imaging studies that can confirm the diagnosis at this time. Myofascial trigger points can be seen on special MRI scans and special ultrasound but these are currently only used in research.

“Myofascial pain syndromes are muscle pain syndromes that are classified as musculoskeletal disorders. They have a defined pathophysiology that leads to the development of the characteristic taut or hard band in muscle that is tender and that refers pain to distant sites. MPS can be regional or generalized. If an MPS becomes chronic, it tends to generalize, but it does not become fibromyalgia. It can be classified both as a primary disorder without other medical illness or as a secondary pain syndrome that occurs as a result of another process. MPS may persist long after the initiating event or condition has passed, but it is nonetheless a muscle disease that can be satisfactorily treated.” Robert D. Gerwin, MD

A great detailed book on the subject which I have found really useful is ‘The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self Treatment Guide for Pain Relief’, by Clair Davies, Amber Davies and David G Simons. It is dangerous to get trigger point massage therapy from an untrained therapist, though.

Trigger points will not be resolved if not enough pressure is applied or if it is not held long enough. If too much pressure is applied, on the other hand, or if the pressure is held too long, the trigger point may be bruised and this will lead to even greater pain. The untrained therapist may also cause the development of new trigger points or the activation of existing latent trigger points.


Dr. Sandro LaRocca is an orthopedic spine surgeon in NJ practicing minimally invasive spine, neck, and back surgery since 2001. New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C. 3131 Princeton Pike Building 6, Suite 106 Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Dr. Sandro LaRocca is an orthopedic spine surgeon in NJ practicing minimally invasive spine, neck, and back surgery since 2001.
New Jersey Neck & Back Institute, P.C.
3131 Princeton Pike
Building 6, Suite 106
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Following on from my recent posts on The doctor who gave up drugs. A recent article in the Huffington Post  Contributor platform, written by Dr.Sandro LaRocca, M.D. a spinal surgeon in New Jersey with extensive experience in minimally invasive back, neck & spine surgery pointed out that “people need to be told the truth about their pain relief options and encouraged to seek a surgical consultation and evaluation for lower back pain far earlier than is the norm by their physician. What we surgeons have known intuitively and anecdotally for years, published research now confirms. While waiting for the medical community to stop arguing amongst themselves there are certain things you can do and ways you can empower yourself or a loved one in the grip of chronic lower back pain.

A new study recently published in the journal Spine showed a correlation between chronic lower back pain (cLBP) and illicit drug use. The study, by Anna Shmagel of University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and several other brilliant researchers will be very affirming for anyone who has seen someone battling chronic pain and developing a secondary problem of addiction to prescription opioids. This is a scenario so prevalent that a massive surge in opioid addiction in the last 20 years has created an addiction crisis unlike anything our country has seen and overdose has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death in people under the age of 30. There is no new news here, only the reinforced message that pain management is fraught with risk and the once standard of care in prescriptions as pain management must be re-thought.

What was fascinating to me about the study however, was that the correlation in illicit drug use was not limited to prescription or illicit opioids – it held true for marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. The study was confirmed this in all directions – those with pain reported more drug use, those with addiction history reported pain, those with opioid prescriptions were more likely to abuse other drugs, and vice versa. This research was basically confirming what most physicians and surgeons are learning about the pathology of addiction and how it intersects with overall health as well how we conduct our healing. But I want to point out another conclusion I believe we can draw:

This recent study about cLBP and illicit drug abuse is one more reason that we need to change our national conversation on back surgery and how we see surgery as a solution for chronic pain. I’ve been an orthopaedic surgeon for over 20 years and performed thousands of neck and spinal operations, including reconstruction after trauma in the emergency room, scoliosis and degenerative conditions of the aging spine. When I entered surgical residency, back surgery for chronic low back pain was a risky proposition with a mediocre prognosis. Surgery was reserved for injuries and only the most severe cases of chronic pain. But in the decades that I have been practicing the techniques, technologies, recovery time and most importantly the positive outcomes have made several types of surgeries early options that were last resorts only a few years ago.

I would argue that in fact we have come so far in achieving positive outcomes with surgery that a pain management plan should be developed only AFTER surgery is ruled out. The pain management practitioner should encourage a thorough imaging review by a surgeon, ideally more than one opinion should be obtained. With the ease of emailing MRI’s and CT Scans to a physician this can be done remotely, and additional opinions obtained without any geographic or travel challenges.

Decisions can be made on simple data – when I review an MRI I can inform the patient what the outcomes are for patients with similar diagnoses and their prognosis – in full transparency. The trouble used to be with cases where a patient had a 50 or 60% chance of relief – that gave everyone pause and usually the smallest hesitation would dissuade a patient from surgery. Even with a great pain management plan, a majority of these patients need surgery after a few years when their condition deteriorates with aging or other spinal degenerations. With this new revelation about the risks of drug use those patients now have additional factors that weigh their decisions towards surgery. Addiction is as lethal as cancer – and we must eliminate its risks in the exact same way. There is a new urgency to back surgery.

My experience is that there is an enormous amount of people who are candidates for surgery with excellent chances of relief and are stuck on the treadmill of pain management limbo because of this overarching myth that surgery should only be a last resort. Instead of navigating the treachery of opioid prescriptions or, god forbid, the self-medicating that the other illicit drug use revealed in the study indicate, a surgical option must be evaluated promptly. That “no man’s land” of chronic lower back pain is a very dangerous place with potentially deadly side effects”.

I don’t know about you and many of my fellow chronic back pain sufferers but what Dr. Sandro LaRocca is saying makes perfect sense to me. Maybe more articles like this might change the mindset of doctors and consultants on how to treat a patient suffering from chronic low back pain which have previously been poo pooed away from a possible surgery intervention.