Tag Archive back pain

ByLouise Hampton

Understanding pain…

Pain is a symptom we are still trying to understand.  At a cellular level nerve cells called neurons transmit impulses down a nerve.  The inside of the cell is usually negatively charged however, when an impulse is sent from a cell body, sodium ions flood into the cell and the impulse is transmitted down the nerve through a series of action potentials. Usually neurons do not fire an action potential unless stimulated to do so.

When a nerve is injured however, it can repeatedly fire and become hypersensitive. Or it can sit just under the threshold, so that the slightest thing makes the neuron fire, such as a small movement, extra stress or heat.

Many things play a part in the pain process.  You may have pain in your leg one hour but not the next.  Or sometimes you can be tickled and sometimes not. There are so many things that can affect the outcome.

Pain can be seen as a circular model, where the pain can start anywhere along the circle and can be changed by the different inputs and feedback. The following figure shows how so many things impact pain.

 

Due to the circular nature this is how chronic pain can ensue long after a tissue injury.  Not only do you need to look at healing the physical injury, stress and your mental health can also have an affect on pain.  Things like doing meditation or mindfulness can really help pain levels as well as addressing any tension in muscles such as trigger points.  Massage or using a massager can really help to reduce these.

To book a free chat or for more information call 01763 878087.

ByLouise Hampton

Things that might aggravate your back…

Low back pain is a symptom and is usually taken to be where you are getting the pain, from the lower rib margins to the buttock creases and can also include pain into one or both legs or include neurological symptoms in the lower limbs.  It is rarely possible to find the main cause of the low back pain.  Low back pain tends to have many dimensions from the biophysical component to the psychological and then the social impact as well.

Risk factors for reporting low back pain:

  •  Diabetes and chronic conditions
  • Smoking
  • Low levels of physical activity
  • Being Overweight
  • Physically demanding job
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Being tired
  • Suffering from anxiety or depression

 Information taken from Lancet low back series working group, 2018.

 

 

If you experience back pain it is important to look at what you do in your everyday life that might be aggravating your back.

  • Do you spend a lot of time sitting?
  • Do you have to carry heavy loads?
  • Do you have to bend a lot?
  • Do you spend a lot of time driving?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you sleep on your front?
  • Do you look after small children?
  • Have you had an accident or jarred your back in the past?
  • Do you play any impact sports?
  • No time for myself?
  • Am I stressed?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, that might be what is contributing to your back pain.  See if you can make little changes to your life to help your back.  Doing some exercise like pilates or tai chi could help strengthen your back and enable it to cope with everyday tasks.

For more information or to book a free chat call 01763 878087 today.

 

 

ByLouise Hampton

What is sciatica?

Ever wondered what sciatica actually is?

Sciatica is usually the name given when the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed in some way, causing pain down the back of the leg where the sciatic nerve runs.  There are lots of different causes of sciatica but the main ones are either a disc pressing on one of the nerve roots or piriformis syndrome where the piriformis muscle presses on the sciatic nerve.

Here is a picture showing where the sciatic nerve runs and why pain, tingling or numbness can be felt all the way down to the foot.

 

Is a disc involved?

A disc would affect a nerve as it leaves the spine and depending on how much the disc is bulging effects how far down the leg the pain is felt.  Discs can also cause weakness in the muscles and the loss of reflexes.  If you ever experience pain down both legs with problems going to the toilet you must seek medical attention as soon as possible as it could be something called cauda equina.

The piriformis muscle

This next diagram shows where the piriformis is and how close it lies to the sciatic nerve.  Therefore if this muscle is in spasm it is more likely to affect the sciatic nerve.

 

If you suffer from pain in the back or leg why not give us a call and see if we can help.  We can do some orthopaedic tests to help us work out where your pain is coming from and the bast way to treat it.  You will then know how to manage your pain and how to prevent it coming back with advice on the best exercises to do along with treatment such as massage if a muscle like the piriformis is involved or treatment to reduce the inflammation in the spine.

To book your free chat call 01763 878087.

 

ByLouise Hampton

Have you seen our testimonials?

At attend2health the main thing we are concerned about is helping people get better.  We want to provide the best service possible and strive to do this everyday.  We hold group training sessions to learn from each other and discuss any tricky cases with the patients permission.  By working so closely together we feel we can provide the best service for our patients.

We have questionnaires for patients to fill in to make sure we are doing all we can to help and love it when we also get testimonials from patients saying how well they are doing.  Currently there are 54 reviews on google which can be seen here.

We also have 51 reviews on Facebook and 20 on Whatclinic.com

A couple of patients have given us a video testimonial which is great for other people to hear their experiences.  One can be seen here.

If you experience any aches or pains don’t wait for them to get worse call us today on 01763 87 80 87 and see how we can help.  We are open 7 days a week to make it easier to get an appointment around work.

 

ByLouise Hampton

Things that could be aggravating your back….

If you experience back pain it is important to look at what you do in your everyday life that might be aggravating your back. Ask yourself these questions…

• Do you spend a lot of time sitting?
• Do you have to carry heavy loads?
• Do you have to bend a lot?
• Do you spend a lot of time driving?
• Are you overweight?
• Do you sleep on your front?
• Do you have to look after small children?
• Have you had an accident or jarred your back in the past?
• Do I do any impact sports?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions that might be what is contributing towards your back pain. Look and see if there are any changes you can make to your everyday life to help your back.

• Did you know that there is more pressure on your discs when you sit down than when you stand up? Could you get up and walk about every hour? Or lying down for 5 minutes would really take the pressure off the spine. Swimming is a great activity to help relieve the pressure as when you float there is no pressure on your spine. Just avoid breaststroke with your head up!
• Could you decrease the load you are carrying or wear a support belt? Try to avoid lifting with a bad back as this will aggravate it further. Wearing a support belt could really help if you just have to lift something.
• Could you bend from your hips or change what you are doing to avoid bending? Bending is very bad for the discs. Even bending forwards slightly when washing up or hoovering is enough to set it off. Ask for help with these jobs as you don’t want to make your back worse.
• Could you take breaks between driving to walk about? Try and clench your buttocks in the car or wriggle around in your seat as the back gets its oxygen supply through movement.
• Could you look at what you eat and reduce your calorie intake?
• Could you change your sleeping position? Try and sleep on your back or side. If you are on your side have a pillow between your knees.    
• Could you try some strengthening exercises for your back to help it recover from an injury? Look into a pilates class as these are great to help build up the core muscles.
• Could I reduce my training to give my back a chance to recover? Make sure you give your back a chance to recover before going back to full training. Go back slowly so you can gauge if your back can cope with it or not.

Want to know more? Why not sign up for our 20 top tips

Here’s an example of two of the tips…

ByLouise Hampton

Slipped disc? Sciatica? What’s going on?

Have you ever been told you have a slipped disc or sciatica?  Ever wondered what this actually looks like in the spine?

This diagram shows how when you have a slipped disc or sciatica what actually happens is tiny tears occur in the outer fibres of the disc which means the inner jelly called the nucleus pulposus is pushed outwards towards the sciatic nerve.  The disc is not normally seen by the body but when it bulges out the body then attacks it a foreign creating a lot of inflammation which puts extra pressure on the nerve.  It depends how far the disc has bulged out as to how bad the symptoms are and how long they may take to go.

If you are experiencing pain down your leg with any tingling or numbness it is a good idea to see a chiropractor or osteopath as there are lots of tests they can do to determine how bad the problem is and whether they can help or if you need further investigation such as an MRI scan.  A lot of the time treatment can really help ease the pain but it usually takes quite a long time when the disc is bulging out.  Long term Pilates exercises can really help to stabilise the spine and prevent further episodes.

If you would like to book a free chat with one of our practitioners give us a call on 01763 878087, we’d be happy to help.  Or why not like our Facebook page for up to date advice.

 

ByLouise Hampton

How to look after your back in the garden

Starting work in the garden? – here’s some tips to help your back

Winter hibernation is coming to an end and many will be starting to think about Spring gardening jobs. It’s great to get outdoors and blow the cobwebs away but take care of your back with our great advice.

Clothes

– Don’t wear clothes that are tight or could constrict your movement.
Warm Up
– Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into the heavy work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.
Take a break
– Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.
Clever spring pruning
– Get as close as possible to the things you are pruning and avoid overstretching to reach the area you are dealing with.
– Invest in some long handled secateurs to reach plants and bushes that are beyond normal reach.

Plan ahead

– If you are planning a trip to the local garden centre store to buy heavy items such as compost, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry. Better still, have it delivered direct to your home.
– Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.
– If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.
– A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.
If you do start to suffer from back pain – book a free 15 minute chat with one of our practitioners and they can let you know if it is just an ache which will go after a day or two or whether any treatment maybe needed to help it.  Don’t suffer in pain call 01763 87 80 87.

 

ByLouise Hampton

Which supplements are good for joint pain?

Here are three supplements to try if you suffer from joint pain.

As with all supplements the research supporting them varies but it is always worth trying them for around 3 months and see if they help

 

Turmeric

This has been getting a lot of press lately and it seems from the research that it is very good to help reduce inflammation and for spinal cord injuries. One study was published in the journal Neurology Research International was called The potential of Curcumin ( the Indian spice Turmeric) in treatment of spinal cord injury and is worth a read.

Combined medical and surgical treatment after acute spinal cord injury: results of a prospective pilot study to assess the merits of aggressive medical resuscitation and blood pressure management. Fernando L. Vale, M.D., Jennifer Burns, M.D.,  Amie B. Jackson, M.D., and Mark N. Hadley, M.D.

Division of Neurosurgery and Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

 

Glucosamine Sulphate

Glucosamine has had mixed research reviews but it is worth trying this supplement if you suffer from arthritis in the joints.  Glucosamine has been shown to help rebuild the cartilage in joints and decrease inflammation.  1500mg should be taken a day but this supplement should be avoided if you are diabetic, pregnant or allergic to shellfish.

Derfoul A, Miyoshi AD, Freeman DE, Tuan RS. Glucosamine promotes chondrogenic phenotype in both chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells and inhibits MMP-13 expression and matrix degradation. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2007;15(6):646–655. [PubMed]

Dodge GR, Jimenez SA. Glucosamine sulfate modulates the levels of aggrecan and matrix metalloproteinase-3 synthesized by cultured human osteoarthritis articular chondrocytes. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2003;11(6):424–432. [PubMed]

 

Omega-3

Omega-3 fish oil are made up of essential fatty acids which are known as EPA and DHA.  Omega 3 is an excellent supplement to help rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is also good for the heart.  This meta-analysis below showed reduced consumption of painkillers when taking 2.7g of Omega-3 a day for people with RA.

AMR – Omega-3 PUFA and Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis  Lee YH1, Bae SC, Song GG. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis. Arch Med Res. 2012 Jul;43(5):356-62

 

I hope you have found this information helpful.  All these supplements are for sale at the clinic.  Ask your practitioner to see if any would be suitable for you to take and see how you get on.  They don’t suit everyone but some people have seen enormous benefit from them.

For a free 15 minute chat to see how we can help call the clinic on 01763 878087.

ByLouise Hampton

5 Top tips to help prevent back pain

Here are 5 tips to help prevent back pain occurring or it returning.

1. Be careful when you wake up

The back is the most vulnerable the first hour after awakening so take extra care during this time.  This is because the discs have the most water content in the morning making you also around 1 cm taller in the morning.

2. Try not to stoop

Bending puts a lot of pressure on the discs in the spine and over time this can lead to the discs becoming aggravated.   Try to kneel on a cushion if putting washing in the washing machine or when washing up try and change position so you are sometimes sideways onto it so you are not constantly leaning forwards for a period of time.   When going to sit down stick your bottom out to keep your back straight.

3. Strengthen your spine

It is really important to strengthen your spine with pilates type exercises or things like the plank if you are able to.  Any exercise should be performed pain free so start slowly and build up what you can do.

Exercises to help the low back.

Here are a couple of examples of back exercises which may help.

 

4. Avoid sit ups and crunches

Although it is important to strengthen your core muscles, sit ups curve your spine and put extra pressure on the discs so this exercise should be avoided.

5. Walk tall

When you are walking think about being pulled up from your head, and push your sternum up.  This will take the pressure off the bottom of your spine.   At some point during the day take some time to lie down.  If you are sitting and standing a lot of pressure is being put through your spine.  When you are lying down your body is in a great position and gives your spine a chance to relax.  This is a great thing to do in the evening for 5 minutes in front of the TV.

More information, stretches and videos can be found in the members area of our website or call 01763 878087 and see how we can help.

 

ByLouise Hampton

Gardening Tips

shutterstock_347038889 (1)

As the weather gets warmer and the garden starts calling we thought you may appreciate a few little tips to keep you fit and healthy whilst you work outdoors.

Follow these helpful hints and you will stay pain free and be able to sit back in comfort and enjoy gazing at your efforts.

Warm Up

– Gardening is like any other exercise; you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into the heavy work; start off with lighter jobs as this will lessen the chance of muscle strain.

Take a break

– Vary your activity by spending no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and make sure you take regular breaks.

Don’t reach

If you reach to prune or get a weed this places massive pressure on your spine and muscles and is likely to lead to muscle strains.  Make sure you are as close to the plants as you can be.

Plan ahead

– If you are planning a trip to the local garden centre store to buy heavy items such as compost, buy smaller bags rather than one big bag as they are easier and safer to carry. Better still, have it delivered direct to your home.

– Don’t lift with your arms straight out, keep the elbows bent and to your side to minimise the stress on your back.

– If having items delivered, have them unloaded as close to where you need them as possible; this will save the effort of moving them again.

– A specialist garden trolley might be worth investing in to move these sorts of materials around, especially if you have lots of patio pots to move around as well.

 

If you feel any pain always stop and seek advice.  At Attend2health we offer a free 15 minute chat so if you have any concerns pop in and see if we can help.  Call 01763 878087 to book your chat today!