SIXTEEN THINGS THAT CAN TRIGGER BACK PAIN…

Believe it or not, there are some very strange things that can trigger your back pain, as well as the usual things that you should avoid.

1.Your wallet in your back pocket can cause sciatica due to you pressing on it while sitting down.

2. Your mobile phone can cause you neck pain due to the way you hold your neck if you use it a lot, it can also cause arthritis of the thumb.

3. Flip flops can cause pain in your back due to the poor arch support.

4. Long-distance driving can cause back pain due to the position you sit in for a long period.

5. Being a couch potato can also cause back pain from not moving around enough.

6. Laptop cases over one shoulder can cause back and neck pain due to the weight on one side of your neck.

7. Large handbags can cause back pain due to the same reason as laptops.

8. Lifting can cause back pain if you do not bend properly. Lift an object by bending your hips and knees and then squatting to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your body while lifting.

9. Your workstation can cause you neck and back pain if your chair is not the correct height.

10. Your laptop can cause you neck and back pain if you do not have it at the correct height.

11. Brushing can cause back pain for a short while due to muscles being used which have not been used for a while, the same applies to using a lawnmower.

12. Push rather than pull when you must move heavy objects.

13. Don’t carry excess weight as this can cause back pain.

14. Stress can also create muscle tension, causing a loss in flexibility that can lead to back pain. To reduce stress.

15. If you smoke, stop. It puts you at increased risk for back problems since your blood has trouble delivering oxygen to working tissues, making your back weaker.

16. Don’t overload your trolley as this can cause back or neck pain.

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THE BAD BACK COMPANY…

Check out my latest post on The Bad Back Company Blog

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BACK PAIN SUFFER, MOVING DAY. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BACK PAIN SUFFERER 

Monday, Moving day…

 

A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Suffer, Moving Day.

We’ve lived in our lovely happy home for the last 33 years and have too many memories to mention but now its time to leave, it’s moving day today. I’ve been sleeping restlessly lately with so much on my mind. Having not moved home in such a long time you forget how stressful it really is, from packing, to agreeing dates, to signing the hundredth piece of paper how can your mind and body rest?

 

However, the day is finally here! After a fitful night’s sleep thinking about my children’s first steps down our hallway and waving them off when they finally left home. I must admit I was a little emotional about saying goodbye to our beloved home and physically tired at the thought of yet more packing, those last few essentials that are far more than a ‘few’ items to carefully put into boxes.

 

Since having chronic back pain, I have always struggled with even packing my suitcases to go on holiday. So, when we finally took the plunge to move, I was practically giddy at the thought of packing up my entire home. My husband and I had discussed this and as his back is also not in the best way, we decided we would get some help for packing the house up, although deep down the nerves did kick in at the thought of my wedding china being packed up by someone else!

 

On the day of the move I decided that a long hot shower would help relax my back, as I have already mentioned I have been a little sleep deprived lately, which can often aggravate my back. However, I do find the heat from a long hot shower somewhat eases this pain and also gives you that time to mentally prepare yourself. With that done, a very strong coffee and a quick glance at the weather (no rain!!) some excitement creeping through I felt far more ready for moving day!

 

The email I had had from the removal guys said they would be with us between 9.30 and 10am. So, after an early breakfast I put everything away except some tea, coffee and biscuits to keep the removal guys topped up. Now as with anything that you want to run on time there is always a slight hiccup, the guys arrived late and the removal process did not start until about 10.45, which for someone who runs her life approximately an hour early for everything this was not quite as relaxed as I had hoped for!

 

Both myself and hubby were sitting on pins waiting for a phone call from our solicitors as contracts should be exchanging at any minute as they had assured us it would all be sorted first thing Monday morning, still nothing at 11:30am…… I was getting a little nervous now!

 

After making numerous cups of tea and sitting on camping chairs my back was starting to ache as it was not being supported properly and unfortunately, I was getting rapidly more stressed! I had now seen my coccyx cushion disappear into the abyss of boxes and genuinely felt a pang of missing it, as a fairly new addition to my back-care routine I have found it very helpful and now it was missing it was all I needed! However, I had remembered to keep aside my heat pad which as all you fellow back pain suffers know.. heat soothes! 

 

A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Suffer, Moving Day.

Now with my heat pad firmly attached, I wandered into the conservatory which had always been mine and my husbands’ favourite room, where we could sit and watch the birds and squirrels play in the garden, surrounded by beautiful blooming flowers. I must admit at this point I did question why we were leaving and then I remember we were moving to be closer to our family, there really was no contest. 

 

It quickly became 2 o’clock my house was packed I could not believe the removal guys had done an amazing job and finally the solicitors had called, “it would all be complete in the next half an hour.” Well I was delighted and did a somewhat stiff dance, if you have ever suffered with back pain you will know that even a little twirl can sometimes be too much. I heard my husband laughing as he came in mimicking my robotic dance move, he had over heard the conversation and he was just as excited as I was. We decided to take a cup of tea and one final walk in our garden to loosen our backs ahead of a long journey to our new home. We really didn’t want think our new neighbours had robots moving in!

 

2.35pm 

Then it came the phone call that you dread on moving day… ‘“ I am so sorry to say”, said our solicitor, “ but the contracts have still not been exchanged due to one of the solicitors down our chain not being available.” Heart sinking I didn’t know what to say and passed my phone over to my husband who normally has a few harsher words to say than I do but this time he just listened and accepted it. We looked at each other, and after a quick chat where he explained that the solicitors had assured him tomorrow would be the day we decided that in our hearts we had already moved so we would leave today anyway. We left the keys with the removal team and set off to our favourite hotel near to where we were moving to treat ourselves to a much deserved glass of wine.

CANNABIS/CBD THE LATEST BUZZ WORD IN HEALTH AND IN FOOD…

 

According to Food Dive, both consumers and manufacturers have been buzzing about including cannabis in food and beverage in the last several years. And with President Trump’s signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, items made from the plants known for their psychoactive and relaxation qualities are getting closer to being a part of everyday grocery carts.

Under the Farm Bill, cultivation of hemp — a plant in the cannabis family — becomes legal. And derivatives from hemp — including the cannabinoid CBD, which is known as an aid for relaxation, anxiety and pain — are no longer considered Schedule I narcotics.

Whatever seems to happen in the USA, Great Britain seems to catch up in the end. On a daily basis now I seem to get in the region of around 20-30 emails promoting CBD and its benefits for health. I’ve been approached by a number of companies asking me if I would be willing to try a course of CBD and then review it. But, I guess I am still old school and I just don’t feel comfortable about trying something I have always been told is illegal in this country.

The Guardian Newspaper only wrote an article in July saying ‘Don’t fall out for the CBD scam’, so where do you really start with this drug? They say that ‘Sellers in the UK are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements. In this, they are supported by breathless, uncritical media reports on CBD use for airily unspecified “wellbeing” purposes.

Britain is poorly prepared for the wide-ranging changes to cannabis law that are flowering worldwide. British hemp farmers face serious commercial disadvantage as CBD may be legally extracted only from the stem and leaves of hemp crops, not from the flower, where the cannabinoids are produced in the greatest profusion. Most CBD is therefore imported: a wasted opportunity to create and control – and tax – a new industry.

What is clear is that legal reform on cannabis, while welcome, is not moving anywhere near quickly enough to benefit millions of patients.

The CBD market urgently needs proper regulation and more broadly, both the THC and CBD sectors demand the creation of a new medical model that accommodates the complexity of a plant that has been used as a medicine by humans for thousands of years.

 Mike Power is a freelance journalist specialising in drugs, science and technology

I guess it’s like many other pain relief medications it’s a case of watch and wait and see what happens in the not too distant future.

 

NEW REMOTE CONTROL ZAPPER FOR BACK PAIN…

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.

 

THE EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PAIN OF MOVING HOMES…

As I am sure most of my readers know I have been in the process for the last seven months of moving from my home of 33 years in Nottinghamshire to the sunny West Sussex countryside.

After caring for my father last year for three months while he was in hospital I had made a conscious decision that I would like to move nearer to my children to avoid the stress, pain and emotional upset of looking after me when I am older.

Dad was a sprightly 93 years young with an active brain but being in the hospital for three months changed all that which meant we could not leave him on his own at all. He was far too fragile and had good and bad days. I just knew that I would never like to my children through what I had just gone through. With both my married siblings living down south the decision was made that we would downsize and move to Sussex.

I am now 15 minutes from my daughter and 50 minutes from my son. Quite a difference from the four hours it used to take to come over to see them.

My Dad was a hoarder of papers and had bank statements going back years and years ago. In fact, we used an industrial shredder to get rid of 10 bags of paperwork of his but what surprised me was that we had about 8 bags of it and I’ve been using online facilities for years. I had to make some firm decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. After all, those school reports you keep as you are so proud of them don’t deserve to be shredded up but neither of the children wanted them so I simply kept the best of the bunch and took some pictures of others.

 

After living in our old house for 33 years it was no wonder that we had accumulated a substantial about of ‘stuff’, and it took us a good and I mean a good 3 months to slowly go through all the personal stuff and that was before we started on the furniture and ornaments collected throughout the years but we were downsizing so a lot had to go.

I must admit it was quite therapeutic going through everything and my old house seemed to look so much bigger without so much ‘junk’, and I kept telling myself that when I moved I would NOT collect the same again.

The last few weeks of the move were the most stressful with contracts not exchanged at the last minute and nearly becoming homeless, but that stressful few week was worth it all. We are now in our much ‘tinier’ but lovely home with some lovely views from upstairs windows over the South Downs.

The only way I could get through all the unpacking (as the removal guys did the packing) was by trying to pace myself but you cannot help but get a bit carried away with it all and want to get straight as quickly as possible. But my body started to slow down once the adrenalin stopped and I slowly started going back onto my Tramadol again.

I decided I needed to get myself registered with a local doctor down here as it will take a couple of months to get me into the system for my injections which are due at the end of August. I felt so organised before we moved and I know I was running entirely on adrenalin but the holiday period of this move has now gone and life has to get back to normality again soon.