STAYING POSITIVE…

A lovely quote on Staying Positive today to any of my blog friends who are going through a hard time…

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THERAPEUTIC KNITTING THERAPY FOR CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, DEPRESSION AND MUCH MORE…

Knitom wrote in an article that ‘Knitting is an effective, easily accessible tool that everyone can use to manage daily stresses. But it is also a valuable self-help tool for those dealing with more serious mental health issues and/or medical conditions.  The main conditions that therapeutic knitting is used for are:

  • Stress
  • Low mood
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Addiction
  • Eating Disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

Research at Cardiff University found that the more frequently people knitted, the happier and calmer they said they felt.

Eighty one percent of respondents said they felt happier during and after knitting, and 54% of the respondents who were clinically depressed said knitting made them feel happy or very happy.

Similar to a yoga flow, the rhythm of working the same stitch over and over again calms the heart rate and breathing, creating a feeling of stability and inner quiet.

The Independent wrote ‘ Knitting won’t just result in a new sweater – research has found the hobby can also reduce depression and anxiety, slow the onset of dementia, and distract from chronic pain.

Published by Knit for Peace, the findings are the result of extensive research into previous studies analysing the benefits of knitting, as well as the initiative’s own research.

According to Knit for Peace, a network of over 15,000 knitters in the UK who knit for people in need, there is substantial evidence that suggests knitting is beneficial to a healthy mind and body.

Knitting, has proved a perfect way to switch off and relax, even better than meditation which some people find hard to practice.

Knitting groups are also popping up all over the country where you can meet up with fellow knitters and catch up on all the gossip.

A physiotherapist (Betsan Corkhill) was so convinced of it that she set up a knitting group in the Chronic Pain Unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and founded Stitchlinks which aims to provide support and friendship through knitting and stitching worldwide.

Experts feel that there’s a neurochemical effect on the brain which undoubtedly changes brain chemistry for the better, possibly by decreasing stress hormones and increasing feel-good seontonin and dopanine, while knitting.

The UK’s Hand and Knitting Organisation who has a list of knitting groups throughout the UK explain why joining a group will make it even more beneficial.

  • They provide an opportunity to make new friends who already share an interest.
  • They can get you out of the house and give you some ‘me time’.
  • Knitting group members are always willing to help each other with advice when someone runs into difficulties with a project.
  • They give opportunities to share and swap patterns, and check out new yarns. Some even run yarn swap sessions.
  • Chance to work on group projects from yarnstorming to charity knitting.
  • Company at a yarn show. Yarn events can be more fun with others to share the joy of squishing a colourful skein and admire a new pattern.

Knitting groups come in all shapes and sizes and meet a variety of places – check their list to find one that’s right for you.

As most of my readers know I have recently moved from the East Midlands to West Sussex and so I decided I would definitely join a knitting group once I was settled in but I missed the monthly meeting so I decided to go to a crochet class instead.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet but I soon found out it wasn’t right for me as I needed to look down at the stitches for to long which meant it was pulling on my neck fusions and causing me pain.

I don’t have the same problem with knitting as I’ve been knitting for so long that I hardly look at the needles. So although knitting is without doubt very therapeutic it may not be suitable for everyone depending on their circumstances.

They are extremely sociable though, so much so, I rang to ask if I could still come to the class, pay my fees but bring my knitting as it was the whole group that I enjoyed.

4 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BACK PROBLEMS BUT WITH SIMILAR NAMES…

Back pain comes in an array of different conditions with some that have similar names which can make it a bit confusing. Four similar conditions are SPONDYLOLISTHESIS, OSTEOPOROSIS, SCOLIOSIS and SPONDYLOSIS SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

Spondylolisthesis is where one of the bones in your spine, known as a vertebra, slips out of position.

It’s most common in the lower back, but it can also happen in the mid to upper back or at the top of the spine at the back of your neck.

Spondylolisthesis is not the same as a slipped disc. A slipped disc is when a disc (the tissue between the bones in your spine) moves out of place.

Many people may not realise they have spondylolisthesis because it does not always cause symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • lower back pain – which is usually worse when you’re active or when you’re standing, and is often relieved by lying down 
  • pain, numbness or a tingling feeling spreading from your lower back down your legs (sciatica) – this happens if the bone in the spine presses on a nerve 
  • tight hamstring muscles 
  • stiffness or tenderness in your back 
  • curvature of the spine (kyphosis)

The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person.

OSTEOPOROSIS…

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).

The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are:

However, breaks can also happen in other bones, such as in the arm or pelvis. Sometimes a cough or sneeze can cause a broken rib or the partial collapse of one of the bones of the spine.

Osteoporosis is not usually painful until a bone is broken, but broken bones in the spine are a common cause of long-term pain.

Although a broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis, some older people develop the characteristic stooped (bent forward) posture. It happens when the bones in the spine have broken, making it difficult to support the weight of the body.

Osteoporosis can be treated with bone strengthening medicines.

SCOLIOSIS…

Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.

It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most often starts in children aged 10 to 15.

Scoliosis doesn’t normally improve without treatment, but it isn’t usually a sign of anything serious and treatment isn’t always needed if it’s mild.

Signs of scoliosis include:

  • a visibly curved spine 
  • leaning to one side 
  • uneven shoulders 
  • one shoulder or hip sticking out 
  • the ribs sticking out on one side 
  • clothes not fitting well 

Some people with scoliosis may also have back pain. This tends to be more common in adults with the condition.

SPONDYLOSIS …

Cervical spondylosis causes neck pain – often in the over 50s. A GP should check more serious cases affecting the spine.

Ageing causes wear and tear to muscles and bones – called cervical spondylosis. 

Symptoms include:

  • neck and shoulder pain or stiffness – that comes and goes
  • headaches – often starting at the back of the neck

Source : NHS England

BACK PAIN AWARENESS WEEK 7th-11th OCTOBER…

This year’s theme for BackCare Awareness is Golf.

Golf is a more dangerous sport than Rugby! ‘Low back injuries account for 15.2% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7% to 27%), shoulder (4% to 19%) and wrist 10%’ – National Centre for Health Statistics
Golf is a repetitive strain sport – With an average of 300 swings per golf-playing-day, a golfer repeatedly experiences minor traumatic injuries to the spine
Back Pain In Golf – There is a distinct lack of awareness regarding the prevention of back related injuries among golfers which hinder their play and performance in the sport.

This year, BackCare focuses awareness week on back health among golfers whether they are junior/seasoned, men/women, amateur/professional and provide healthy tips to enjoy the sport.

BackCare was the brainchild of a local businessman, Stanley Grundy, who established the charity after suffering a back injury caused by a sailing accident. At the time, he was concerned about the lack of information and support for back pain sufferers at the time.
For nearly 50 years BackCare has been dedicated to educating the public throughout the UK and wider further afield in ways of preventing and alleviating back pain. The charity aims to significantly reduce the burden of back & neck pain by providing information, guidance and advice to all people and organisations those affected by such pain.