It’s four days since I went over on my foot and sprained my ankle. Even with crutches the effort of getting up and downstairs on my back side was playing havoc with my low back but today I think I’ve turned the corner.

I’ve managed on one crutch for most of today and could walk down one step at a time on the stairs and got a fairly good nights sleep last night. I knew the crutches would bother my arm and neck but I forgot about the crawling I had done after I went over on my foot and what trouble the stairs could cause me.

I’ve been religiously doing exercises I found online for a sprained ankle as it soon goes stiff but it’s no where near as swollen as I have been using one of my five a day vegetables to freeze the ankle and reduce the swelling ūüôā

Over the past 48 hours I’ve kept myself busy by making some new handmade cards. I’ve created some new styles to my usual ones using needlecraft and painting some of them. Do let me know what you think of them?

After I’d seen the nurse at A&E she asked me if I would mind joining a study which is researching the recovery from significant ankle ligament injury’s. The purpose of the study called SALI, is all about Osteoarthritis. I will be sent a questionnaires to fill in shortly after my injury, 3 months, 1 Year, 3 Years, 5 Years, 10 Years and 15 years. The study will help them understand why some people who have an ankle injury go on to develop osteoarthritis, and why others don’t.

Of course I said I was happy to take part as this study will mean I am part of and contributing to a large body of research being conducted within The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis. They said I will be sent updates on the SALI study with a newsletter, and kept up to date with any developments regarding the study, ankle injury prevention and recovery from it, and other news of interest which I can then post on here for others to benefit from.

I really hope I don’t end up developing Osteoarthritis due to this ankle injury and I am now keeping my fingers crossed that my appointment with a spinal consultant on Tuesday will mean that I will soon be booked in for an injection.



Research has shown that if you suffer from fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis pain in the knee or hip, then aerobic and stretching exercises in warm water can help to relieve it.

There are three categories of exercises called hydrotherapy: hot water, cold water, and alternating hot and cold water. Hot water is known for stimulating the immune system and is also good for increasing your circulation. Cold water constricts blood vessels and is effective in reducing inflammation.

Using both hot and cold has been found to improve circulation. It was found that water heated to between 32 degrees C to 36 degrees C slightly reduces osteoarthritis pain over three months. They say that hydrotherapy changes lives and has been proven to be a highlyeffective form of natural therapy which works by stimulating the endorphins, which in turn helps you to control pain and alleviate tension.

The hydro bath works by releasing millions of large bubbles, which relax your muscular tension and helps reduce swollen joints, giving you increased mobility and more importantly lessens your pain.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms says that Hydrotherapy is actually one of the oldest types of health treatments in existence today. It still occupies a major place in medicinal treatment throughout China, Japan, and Europe. Believed to have healing properties, water has long been used to treat various illnesses, ranging from gout to depression. The use of thermal spas and baths was introduced by the Romans in the fourth century BC and since then has risen in popularity. Various forms of hydrotherapy are now used in countries all over the world.

Hydrotherapy appears to be particularly effective for those suffering from fibromyalgia. In particular, hydrotherapy techniques help to:

  • reduce muscle pain
  • improve sleep disorders
  • increase mobility
  • reduce stiffness

A variety of studies involving fibromyalgia patients and hydrotherapy have been performed. In one study, fibromyalgia patients were given therapeutic whirlpool baths twice a week for six weeks. Upon conclusion of the study, the patients involved had better muscle and joint function, reduced pain symptoms, and improved sleep quality.

Hydroptherapy UK says the only side effects are as with any water-based activity, caution should be exercised to remain safe from drowning. Almost all hydrotherapy is carried out in pools more shallow than the height of the person using it.

Patients should drink sufficient amounts of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.

The buoyancy of the water can make some activity seem easier, while it is actually working muscles very hard. Patients should get used to how their body feels after a session in order to gauge appropriate levels of activity (i.e. not ‚Äúoverdoing‚ÄĚ it).

The warmth of the water may make a person feel dizzy.

If the hydrotherapy is taking place in a chlorinated pool, the patient should shower immediately after to avoid irritation to their skin.

Arthritis Research has an article on how you can access hydrotherapy through the NHS. They say that hydrotherapy sessions are available on the NHS, and most hospitals have access to hydrotherapy pools. Any member of the healthcare team should be able to refer you to an NHS physiotherapist if they think you might benefit from hydrotherapy. In some parts of the UK you can also refer yourself to a physiotherapist, who’ll assess whether hydrotherapy would be suitable for you. Check with your GP or call your local rheumatology department to find out if an NHS physiotherapist in your area will accept self-referrals.

They also say that scientific studies have shown that hydrotherapy can improve strength and general fitness in people with various types of arthritis. The exercises can be tailored to your individual needs, so you can start slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility.

The extra support that the water provides may make you feel like you can do more exercise than normal, so be careful not to overdo it. The exercise and the warmth of the water may make you feel tired after treatment, but this is quite normal. In general, hydrotherapy is one of the safest treatments for arthritis and back pain.



Exactly a week ago I had the some facet joint injections in my low back. I’ve had other lumber injections from epidurals to trigger point injections but never a facet joint injection which is used mainly if they think you have osteoarthritis in your facet joints.

According to BUPA facet joint injections can help to diagnose and sometimes to treat neck and back pain that originates in your facet joints. Each of the vertebrae in your spine has a set of facet joints, which stabilise your back and allow your spine to move.

Facet joint injections can confirm if your pain is coming from your facet joints and if you need further treatment such as radiofrequency denervation. It can also sometimes help to treat neck or back pain caused by inflammation of your facet joints. This can happen if the joints worn down by conditions such as osteoarthritis.

This type of treatment is widely used for the treatment of chronic back pain due to Facet Joint disease. A Facet joint injection is not a cure for the cause of your pain, but it is used to help reduce the level of your pain. The injection contains a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid.

I had it done on the NHS at the Circle Nottingham¬†in theatre and under x ray and could not have been happier with my treatment. As I haven’t had these before the nurse suggested I kept a diary of my pain ready for when they phone me back in six weeks to see how I have got on since the injections.

One week on I have ‘NO‘ lumber pain whatsoever and have not had any of my strong pain killers (Tramadol) since last Thursday evening after the procedure as it seemed to stir things up. I cannot remember the last time I have felt this pain free in my lumber spine and hope it lasts and lasts. If you find them successful then you can have them done at intervals of four months.


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Are you suffering from aches and pains during this strange weather?
Iit could be one of many conditions from Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Arthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis. But they are all treated differently. However, the sooner you seek treatment, if its rheumatoid arthritis, the better as over time chronic inflammation can cause erosions and weakness of the bones as well as the muscles, which could then lead to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
You are most likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis between the ages of 30 and 50 whereas arthritis can affect people of any age. Fibromyalgia is mainly in women and could also strike at any time.
Unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear of the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby instead of fighting infection, the immune system attacks the cells that line the joints which then damages them.
They now know that much of the long-term damage can happen in the first months of developing the condition, so an early diagnosis is crucial.
Unfortunately, a bit like Fibromyalgia, there is no one single test for rheumatoid arthritis and so the diagnosis can be complicated. Usually you will be referred to a rheumatologist, who will examine your joints and may send your for xrays, and ultrasound or an MRI scan and of course take some blood tests.
Once you have been diagnosed then you will be cared for by a team of specialists . Moving around can be one of the difficult problems with rheumatoid arthritis but they do say that borage seed oil and evening primrose oil ‘may’ help reduce morning stiffness.
There is plenty of details online about the condition or you could go direct to the arthritis care website on



Disc bulges/prolapsed/slipped are very common back complaints/injuries, but it’s no wonder with the amount of work they are put through.

From the second cervical vertebrae right down to the sacrum, the bodies of adjacent vertebrae are separated by these discs.

Each disc has a tough outer fibrous ring and an inner, soft, very elastic core. The discs cushion the vertebrae and permit movements of your spine while absorbing vertical shock.

The inner jelly like core of the disc can absorb fluid and swell. However this is normally counteracted by the weight of the body pressing the discs between the vertebrae.

At night while you are asleep the swelling process is not put under any pressure so the discs can then expand back to normal again. This explains why we are somewhat taller when we get up in the morning than we are towards the end of the day.

The ¬Ďslipped disc¬í is in fact a disc from which the jelly like content has bulged or escaped their normal boundaries (herniated or prolapsed) causing the disc to impinge on your ligaments and nerves. And, although herniated discs do not always cause problems, they can produce some painful symptoms.

Looking after your discs is therefore very important and some contributing factors to slipped/prolapsed/herniated discs are often the result of bad posture and poor body mechanics during daily activities. Things like bending and lifting incorrectly can cause them as can an injury due to sports. As we age, the discs gradually lose water and become less springy so keeping fit and carrying less excess weight, is another important factor.