Back Pain

Smoking makes back pain worse

A new study published in the medical journal Human Brain Mapping and shared by the Express has revealed that people who smoke are three times as likely to develop chronic back pain as those who don’t.

Although this isn’t the first study to suggest that smoking has an impact on your likelihood of developing back pain, it is the first time research has indicated that “smoking interferes with the brain circuit associated with pain, making smokers more prone to chronic back pain,” the newspaper explained.

However, it did note that this was an observational study and doesn’t conclusively prove that there’s a link between smoking and chronic back pain.

There are two main types of back pain that people present with – nonspecific where a direct cause can’t be identified, and mechanical, which means the pain is coming from the joints, bones or soft tissues surrounding the spine.

People can carry out a number of self care activities to help alleviate back pain. You may also want to book a tui na massage in Chester to see if this can provide some relief if you suffer from this kind of pain.

Last month, research revealed that almost one-fifth of Brits are suffering from back pain, showing just how widespread the problem is.

What’s more, it’s thought that this figure underestimates the scale of the problem because only people who were in pain at the time of the survey and who had been in pain for at least three months were counted as part of Public Health England’s figures.

Back Pain

What causes knee pain in Cyclists?

Cyclists can get all kinds of knocks and scrapes, but they can also suffer from the likes of knee pain when they’re riding.

An article for Pink Bike recently highlighted some of the top causes of knee pain in cyclists and offered some suggestions on how to improve it.

In many cases, knee pain is caused by misalignment elsewhere in the body, the news provider noted. The hips, glutes and groin muscles can all throw the knee out of its correct alignment if they’re over or underworking.

Another thing that can cause issues is using your hip flexors and lower back to support and control your pelvis. Instead, focus on using your abdominal and buttock muscles. To do that, you need to strengthen your core.

You should also think about your feet because they provide the base support for your knees, the news provider noted.

If you’re having these issues, aside from carrying out exercises to strengthen weak muscles, you could have Tui Na massage in Chester to correct your alignment if this is the issue.

An article for Journal Advocate recently pointed out that people should try non-surgical treatments before opting for surgery or taking medication to control chronic knee pain.

It noted that just 20 per cent of chronic knee pain is actually a problem with the knee, while in the rest of the cases reported pain is typically caused by other factors. Inflammation is cited as a big contributing factor to knee pain, but there can be many causes for this.

To find the most appropriate treatment plan for your body, it’s therefore essential to work out exactly what’s causing your knee pain so that you can address it in the most appropriate way.


Acupuncture & Arthritis: How It Can Help

Arthritis, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in your joints, is a common problem that over ten million people here in the UK suffer from. It can affect anyone of any age, with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis the two most common forms.

The symptoms of the condition will vary depending on the type in question, but if you have joint pain, stiffness or tenderness, inflammation in and around your joints, restricted movement, weakness and muscle wastage, or warm red skin over the affected area, you should perhaps go and visit your GP.

One possible way to treat arthritis is acupuncture, where pain is diminished by the release of tight and shortened muscles to their typical resting state using needles in various places on the body.

The theory behind the procedure is that everyone has a life energy known as qi (pronounced ‘chee’) that flows around the body along invisible channels (or meridians). When the flow of this energy finds itself out of balance or blocked, pain or illness is the result.

Interestingly, Liam Gallagher himself recently came out as a big supporter of the treatment, revealing that he has arthritis in his hips, which causes pain in his calves as well.

In an interview with Q Magazine, reported on by Radio X, the former Oasis frontman said: “This geezer is proper. Gets the needles and whacks them in. He sorts it out, but obviously it keeps coming back.”

If you are in serious pain and have tried other avenues with little success, it certainly couldn’t hurt to give acupuncture a try.

There is currently no cure for arthritis but there are treatments available that could help to slow it down, whether that’s surgery, medication or lifestyle changes. With osteoarthritis, one of the most important treatment methods is exercise and physical activity should include a series of different exercises in order to strengthen your muscles but also to improve your overall fitness levels.

Weight loss can also help ease symptoms because if you’re overweight or obese, you’ll be putting your joints under increased strain. Being more active and eating healthier food is the best way to start your weight loss journey, even if it is just one little step at a time.

It’s not just arthritis that acupuncture could potentially help with and if you’re experiencing chronic pain because of something like muscle pain, post-surgery pain, fibromyalgia, nausea from cancer treatments like chemotherapy or dental pain. It could also help with headaches and even be used to help you quit smoking!

A typical acupuncture session will see needles inserted into different parts of the body, staying in place for anything from a couple of minutes to an hour. You’ll probably feel a slight sense of discomfort at insertion but the needles are a lot thinner than those used for injections, so this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

For acupuncture in Cheshire, get in touch with us today.