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

Some Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Water

Benefits of Drinking WaterHow Much Do You Drink:  If you have been for a treatment with me, you will know that I will ask you during the consultation how much water you drink daily.  I will often also test this with a simple kineseology test.  The majority of people answer honestly that they do not drink enough.  Most people say apologetically that they drink plenty of tea/coffee/herbal tea/juice/squash but not water. So that’s okay, isn’t it? Most people say they don’t like drinking water, it’s bland, it’s boring.

Let me give you some benefits of drinking water which may not be what you expect.  Also, to help you, at the end is a calculator to work out how much you as an individual should be drinking.

Benefits of drinking waterWater at a Cellular Level:  Our bodies contain something like 70 to 100 trillion cells.  By the time you have read this short blog, 50 million of your cells will have died and will have been replaced by new cells.  This is amazing isn’t it?  Some of these cells come to the end of their life naturally and some are lost through wear and tear and the remainder self-destruct.  Every single cell in our body is carefully controlled so that we have just the right amount of each type of cell.  Cells in the stomach are replaced every 2-9 days. Cells in the skin 10-30 days.

Common sense tells us that if we have healthy cells then we have a healthy body.  So how do we ensure we have healthy cells?  Basically a healthy cell is one where the nutrients can get in easily and the toxins eliminate easily.  How do we make sure that happens?  Adequate hydration – benefits of drinking water.

Think about all the food and drink we put into our bodies.  The cells in your body are working hard to eliminate the waste.  If we are constantly dehydrated then the cells can’t elimiate the toxins and the waste, and they can’t take in new nutrients.  Everything becomes sluggish.  Every detoxification process in the body including breathing, urinating, sweating, defecating require water.  If our body stagnates through lack of fluid then the toxins become stored in places in our body – away from major organs.

Our bodies are something like 70 percent water.  Babies are about 80 to 90 percent water and elderly people are only 50 to 60 percent water.

Benefits of Drinking WaterWater and Back Pain:  Clients presenting with back pain may be able to help themselves just by drinking more water.  Yes you read that correctly.

Water plays a massive role in the health of your back and spine.  Your back ache could be because of a lack of hydration.  How?  Between your vertebrae lie disks, the outer part is tough and designed to take25% of our weight, while the inner substance is primarily water and takes 75% of our weight.  All day long as we sit and stand gravity pushes us down, water is squeezed out of those disks.  When we go to bed the disks slowly rehydrate.  This system works fine so long as we do our part – supplying adequate water levels.  What happens when we don’t?  There isn’t enough fluid to fully rehydrate the inner disk, meaning that the whole disk becomes compromised.  The inner disk fails and the outer ring has to take more weight.  You then feel pain, there can be swelling.  If we ignore this and carry on more damage occurs, hernated disks and ruptures.  One of the benefits of drinking water is preventing needless back pain.

This shows that the simplest and most effective way to reduce your back pain is simply to increase your daily intake of water.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty, by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Dark coloured urine
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Poor concentration – brain fog
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Cramp
  • Backache

Water Consumption Calculator:

I have provided a link which takes you to an external site called h4initiative.com.  You will need your height in cms and your weight in kgs (so if you still think in imperial measurements like me then you might want to go to Google to convert your weight and height first and make a note of it before clicking on the calculator).  According to this I should be drinking 1.9 litres a day so I need to up my intake too.   CLICK HERE FOR CALCULATOR.

If you would like to read more, please take a look at this excellent blog by Health Ambition.

I hope this article gives a bit of insight into why I am always asking about your water intake!

Thanks for reading.

Sue

 

Back Pain in Milton Keynes? Try Bowen Therapy

Back Pain in Milton Keynes? Try Bowen TherapyHow many people on a daily basis suffer with back pain and don’t know where to turn for help? We have all reached for the pain killers in desperation and maybe visited the GP looking for a solution. Back pain can leave you feeling helpless, with restricted movement and inability to carry out everyday activities – something as simple as putting on your own socks becomes a nearly impossible task. No one likes taking drugs because of the side effects. How many people don’t consider alternative therapies because of the reputation of the ‘quack’ physician?

Quite often the reason for back pain is poor posture, as explained in my earlier blog ‘Sitting at a Computer All Day?’. Pain often takes time to appear and by the time it does we have already developed a bad habit. One of my personal bad habits is to sit on the sofa while watching TV and unconsciously sit with one of my legs folded underneath me. I then wondered why my pelvis was frequently out of alignment until a fellow therapist pointed this out to me.

Back Pain in Milton Keynes? Try Bowen TherapyThe most common reason for people seeking Bowen Treatment is back pain although most conditions can respond well to this complementary therapy. This is because it is a holistic treatment where the therapist uses a gentle but precise series of rolling type movements which can bring relief without the need for manipulation. Although every-body is unique the average number of treatments required is three.

Once you are feeling improvement it is important to be conscious about the way you are sitting and standing on a daily basis. Observe what habits you may have fallen into and check yourself to prevent further injury. If, like me, you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, yoga and Pilates are great ways to help you develop core strength to protect your back and increase overall flexibility.

At my clinic in Milton Keynes, free 15 minute consultations are available so that you can come and discuss Bowen treatment with me with no obligation and I can answer any questions you may have. Email Sue Jaycock, at info@choosewellbeing.co.uk to book your free consultation.  My clinic has plenty of free parking right outside and is easy to access.