10 questions most back pain sufferers ask me.

Here are a list of the top 10 questions that back pain sufferers ask me, and my answers.

Q1: Why do I have backpain10 questions most back pain sufferers ask me.?

Back pain is very common and about 80% of us will suffer from back pain at least once in our lives. The human back is a complex structure comprised of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, bones. Sometime the cause of backpain is never located. We aren’t meant to treat our bodies like we do now – sitting so long and carrying out repetitive movements, and dealing with so much daily stress.

• Strain – the most common cause of back pain is a strain where we have strained a muscle or ligament, and the muscle may go into spasm – we have lifted something awkwardly, something that was too heavy, or we moved in an awkward way.
• Structural –some examples: a ruptured disc which causes pressure on a nerve and results in pain. A bulging disc bulges and we get pressure on a nerve. Sciatica can be caused by a disc pressing on a nerve. Arthritis can cause spinal stenosis where there is less space around the spinal cord so that nerves are affected. Some people have an abnormal curvature of their spine.
• Posture and bad habits – back pain results because of everyday activities – the way we sit at work, push or pull, carry something, a repetitive action, standing too long, sitting too long, bending down for too long, over-stretching, driving for too long, a head forward posture when using a computer, using a mobile phone too much.
• Stress – if we have a stressful job, anxiety, depression, stress at home, an unhappy relationship, then these are all factors which can cause our muscles to go into spasm and cause back pain.

Q2: Should I rest?

When most people have a flare up of back pain, their first reaction is to head to bed and lay still. Maybe we think that we are giving the damaged tissues chance to heal, and plenty of doctors still give this advice. However, rest isn’t as helpful as we might think. Studies show that extensive bed rest is not only unhelpful for back pain, it may actually cause recovery time to lengthen.

Q3: If I shouldn’t be resting, what should I do?

Research shows that tissues recover faster if they are used gently. Try to remain as active as possible. Do some gentle regular walking. Even if it is only around the house, keep moving. Start gently, just five minutes, and slowly increase. Gentle yoga stretches help to maintain flexibility.

Q4: Is bed rest is never a good idea for back pain?

Research shows that for anything more than short periods, ie an hour or two a day, then the answer is no. If the back pain is severe then take a break between activities.

Q5: Why should prolonged bed rest be avoided when I have back pain?

Lack of activity can cause muscles to grow stiff and weak. The intravertebral discs can lose nutrients and become dried out and inflexible. Soft tissues can lose their flexibility and become more vulnerable to injury. The spine needs movement to move nutrients around the cells and into the vertebral discs. Prolonged resting means that the muscles can stiffen and make the back feel more tight and less mobile.

Q6: What if I literally can’t move?

If unable to move, rest until the pain calms, and then move gently and slowly. An odd fact is that people living alone recover faster because they don’t have anyone to bring them food and drink and so they move more!

Q7: What is one simple thing I can do to help myself right now?

Drinking more water decreases back pain. Clients who have been to see me for a Bowen session will know that I ask them to increase their water consumption. We all need water to be able to digest our food and eliminate waste. Water lubricates and cushions our joints, plumps up our skin cells, flushes waste products from all our cells and allows nutrients to replenish them. We can’t survive without water. Some medications dehydrate us, as can exercise, coffee and alcohol, salt in our diet and hot weather so it is important to take these factors into consideration. However, a study has shown that people who are well hydrated when suffering from lower back pain experienced more pain relief after back manipulation than those who were dehydrated. Don’t wait until back pain strikes to increase water intake, do it now!

Q7: What can people do to prevent back pain in the future?

• Lose weight around their middle.
• Walk regularly 20 to 30 minutes a day or three x 10 minute short walks.
• Join a yoga class, a pilates class, or swim.
• Stand and sit tall.
• Don’t sit for longer than half an hour.

Q7: When should I seek immediate medical advice for back pain?

NHS guidance says that if a person has back pain and:
• numbness or tingling around their genitals or buttocks
• difficulty peeing
• loss of bladder or bowel control
• chest pain
• a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
• unexplained weight loss
• a swelling or a deformity in their back
• it doesn’t improve after resting or is worse at night
• it started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident
these problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be checked urgently so contact a GP or NHS 111 immediately.

Q8: Will taking paracetamol help?

Research shows that paracetamol does not stop lower back pain and GP’s should consider prescribing exercise instead according to the study by the University of Sydney in the British Medical Journal.

Q9: How does Bowen Technique work to help back pain?

A study into the effects of Bowen Therapy on Back Pain showed that 89% of treatments given resulted in either a complete or partial recovery. By triggering a re-balancing of the muscles around the lumbar and pelvic areas, Bowen may help to stabilise a weak area, reduce compression around nerve roots, or improve circulation to the spinal discs, muscles and joints. Bowen is a whole body therapy – the therapist makes small, precise, rolling type movements over muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue in specific points of the body. There is no force used.

Q10: How long will it take before my back pain is gone?

This depends on many factors and is impossible to predict. Some of these factors are:
• The cause of the back pain.
• Fitness levels
• Occupation
• Stress levels

Please be aware that this information is for interest only and does not in any way seek to replace the advice of a medical practitioner. Always consult a GP if concerned about back pain.

I hope that this article has been helpful. I’m available for a chat:

Thanks for reading,

Sue Jaycock MBTPA, MFHT, MCNHC, ITEC, PGCE
Bowen Therapist & Aromatherapist based in Daventry and Milton Keynes
www.choosewellbeing.co.uk
info@choosewellbeing.co.uk
0771 563 4747

Taking care of wellbeing – Choosewellbeing

An Interview with Yoga Teacher – Rebecca Gartshore

An Interview with Yoga Teacher - Rebecca GartshoreBody in Balance:

Recently, to my delight, I discovered a yoga class in the hall just across the road, and not only that, classes are on my day off.  Absolutely perfect!  I absolutely love my yoga classes.  I come out feeling calmer, taller and more balanced.

As a Bowen therapist I definitely recommend clients to go along to an exercise class such as yoga, pilates or a somatics type class.  This is because Bowen Therapists are primarily working on fascia, and when fascia becomes tight due to us sitting too much, not moving enough, moving in habitually poor ways because of our job, or hobby, not listening to our body as it – then problems occur and we end up losing our range of movement, we find ourselves fixed in a dysfunctional pattern and pain ensues.

Yoga and Bowen:

Bowen is all about releasing tension in the fascia and helping the body to get back into balance.  It’s about listening to your body and being aware.  This is why Bowen and yoga, pilates or somatics mesh so well together.  Every day I see clients with back and neck pain, and a myriad other issues, and their recovery is so much faster if they are attending a regular class.

An Interview with Yoga Teacher – Rebecca Gartshore:

With this in mind, I asked my lovely yoga instructor, Rebecca Gartshore a few questions about what she does so well:

Q:  Rebecca, can you tell me why did you decide to become a yoga teacher, and what made you decide on yoga?

I had always loved practising yoga when I worked as a fashion buyer, recognising that it was the one time I could stop to listen to my body and really relax my mind. When my son was born I needed to find a new path to match the new chapter in my life and yoga seemed like a great solution. I first trained as a teacher for children, to fit around my son, loving the interaction with kids and helping them to relax. As my son grew, I was able to grow my business and so qualified to teach adults, yoga as therapy, yoga for pregnancy and post natal.

Q:  What are the 3 biggest benefits you can offer people?

To help them to learn to listen to their bodies, get control back if they are suffering from chronic pain or recovering from an operation and to learn to switch off. Relaxation is the key to a healthy body and mind

Q:  What are the most popular issues that clients ask you to help with?

Most definitely in the group classes, it’s a bad back and aching shoulders. These are almost always linked to poor posture, too long spent over a laptop or steering wheel and a weak core. Our tummy is one of the first things to stop talking to us and the last one to wake up and listen!

Q:  What are the most popular misconceptions about what you do?

That the classes are all about omming and chanting. People are so surprised by how stretched they feel and that they find muscles they never knew they had. Almost all leave feeling taller, lighter and very relaxed.

Q:  What drives you nuts?

When I get body dyslexic! Sometime I get so wrapped up in the moves I’m teaching, I almost switch off and before you know it, I’ve come back to reality and everyone is waiting for me to get my lefts and rights in order.

Q:  Can you give 3 tips that anyone can follow that will help them with their wellbeing?

To roll your shoulders back as often as you can, when you stop at traffic lights and after every email. Start the day with a mug of warm water and lemon, it will neutralise your tummy, help digestion and kick start your metabolism. Learn to take deep breaths when you feel stressed and find a positive part of every day, it will keep you smiling.

Q:  If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

To take time before making a decision. Don’t always believe that you know what your life should look like and understand that we live in a world of changing chapters. To smile and always leave a room knowing that you have tried to make as many people as you can happy – happiness is infectious but so is anger. Chose the better option.

An Interview with Yoga Teacher - Rebecca GartshoreQ:  What are the most read/loved books on your bookshelf?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, utterly heart warming and life changing. The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama – a great book to dip into when you need to know where to go next.

Q:  A surprising fact about you?

I suffer terribly from vertigo but love the idea of sky diving, I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to manage it yet….

Thank you so much, Rebecca, for taking part in my blog post.   If you decide to go along to a yoga class I can assure you that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose, plus Rebecca gives you the warmest welcome.

To find out more about Rebecca’s classes and find out how you can benefit from yoga please visit her website www.Yogasenses.weebly.com or her Facebook page www.facebook.com/yogasenses or email her directly at yogasenses1@gmail.com

To find out more about how Bowen Technique can help you, please visit my website www.choosewellbeing.co.uk, email me info@choosewellbeing.co.uk or give me a call.

Thanks for reading!