Back Pain

Avoiding Back Pain when working from Home

With more and more of us spending time working from home, it’s important that you’re taking care of yourself while you do so. In addition to being sat at a desk perhaps for a longer than usual period, you may well find yourself not moving around as much. Back pain is something that many of us will suffer from at some point in our lives, but it can be caused or exacerbated by sitting in poor positions for long periods of the day. If you’re new to working from home, it’s important to take a few simple steps to look after your back.

Practical Tips

  1. An article for People Management offered some advice, including making sure that you set up your computer with the screen at eye height, and that you have a mouse, particularly if you’ll be using a laptop that’s raised off the desk or table to make the screen higher.
  2. A separate keyboard is also useful in this instance as it prevents tension developing in your shoulders, wrists and upper back.
  3. Setting up a chair with lumbar support is also a top tip, as is making sure you avoid the temptation to slouch on the sofa all day.
  4. You should also take regular breaks from your desk throughout the day and do regular exercise.

What else can help?

If you find that you’re still struggling with back pain, you may need help to correct your posture or spinal alignment. In this instance, a Tui Na massage could help to get you back on track. 

An article for Shape recently pointed out that working in front of a computer all day can be really bad for your posture. But, it added that there are things to do that can prevent your posture from worsening as a result.

These include regularly moving around and getting up from your desk throughout the day and using ergonomically designed desk chairs at work. 

Back Pain

Link between persistent Back Pain and Headaches identified

Your body is linked together in interesting ways

As anyone who suffers from persistent back pain or persistent headaches will tell you, they can be debilitating. Now, new research has found that the two are often linked.

Researchers at the University of Warwick revealed that people with persistent back pain or persistent headaches are twice as likely to suffer from both conditions, compared to people who don’t suffer from either headaches or back pain. They conducted a systematic review of 14 studies that included a total of 460,195 patients.

They also found that there is a stronger association between the two conditions among people who suffer from migraines.

As a result of the findings, the team has suggested that a joined up approach should be taken to the treatment of both conditions, and they are recommending that further research is carried out to uncover the most effective treatment option that can help alleviate both conditions.

This could provide relief for thousands of people. Persistent low back pain is defined as pain that is experienced day after day. It affects around one in five people.

People diagnosed with chronic headache disorders will experience headaches most days for at least three months. This affects approximately one in 30 people. According to the researchers, around one in 100 people in the UK have both, equating to over half a million people.

Professor Martin Underwood, from Warwick Medical School, said that the research indicates the way in which these conditions are approached may need to change because their research suggests there could be a common factor causing both kinds of pain in some people.

“It suggests the possibility of an underpinning biological relationship, at least in some people with headache and back pain, that could also be a target for treatment,” he explained.

The story continues…

Without more research, however, there is currently no answer to what that link might be. Professor Underwood suggested it might be related to how people react to the pain, or it could be associated with how the brain interprets pain signals in some individuals.

He also noted that there are treatments for chronic headaches, whereas persistent back pain is often treated using exercise and manual therapy, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy and psychological support in some cases.

“The researchers suggest that those types of behavioural support systems may also help people living with chronic headaches,” he added.

Chinese Medicine techniques can help.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, persistent back pain or both, and have tried a number of traditional options without much effect, you could explore Tui Na massage.

This is a technique used in Chinese medicine, often in conjunction with acupuncture, that’s used to treat pain, structural misalignment, sports injuries and orthopaedic problems, among other issues.

It is also used to treat things like numbness, dizziness, stress, anxiety, muscle spasms and many other issues. It doesn’t treat the symptoms, but instead focuses on the causes of those symptoms.

Anyone who suffers from back pain and also smokes may want to try to kick the habit after research published earlier this year revealed that smoking makes people more likely to develop chronic back pain.

There are many things you can do to look after your overall health. If you visit a Chinese medicine practitioner they will provide advice about various lifestyle changes you can make to improve your condition, as well as giving you appropriate treatments, like Tui Na massage. Get in touch today, we’ll get you feeling better.

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.

Back Pain

Almost one-fifth of Brits suffer Back Pain

Statistics from Public Health England by Imperial College London has found that, on average, 17 per cent of the population in England are suffering from back pain.

The data came from PHE’s Health Survey, and only those who were in pain at the time of the survey and who had been in pain for at least three months, were counted in the figures. This means it is likely to underestimate the scale of the problem, given that it’s possible to treat a bout of acute back pain within three months.

Charity Versus Arthritis commissioned Imperial College London to carry out the analysis.

A spokesperson for the organisation commented: “Back pain can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, affecting their independence, mobility and ability to stay in work.”

They added that while things like painkillers and physiotherapy can help people to manage their back pain, more investment is needed for “treatments and better pain management techniques”.

If you’ve tried traditional physiotherapy but are still struggling with your back pain, you could explore tui na massage instead. This treatment combines soft tissue massage and acupressure, and the main focus of the treatment is to detect, reduce and correct muscular imbalances and misalignments that cause pain.

Around 80 per cent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives and it’s the leading cause of disability in the UK.

The Express recently reported on a new study by Anglia Ruskin University, which found that people who suffer from back pain are more than twice as likely as those who don’t have back pain to experience common mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and stress.

If you’d like to try tui na massage in Chester, get in touch with us today.

Acupuncture Back Pain

Acupuncture Helps Improve Back Pain, Sports Injuries and Menopausal Symptoms

Our bodies are a miracle. A living, breathing organism that is capable of the most incredible feats and accomplishments throughout our lives. However, as wonderful as the human body is, it is prone to the occasional… well, failure.

Our joints, muscles, and tendons are arguably the weakest parts of our body. As the body parts that take the most strain and bear the most weight, they are the most likely to suffer problems. All of us have some knowledge of the pain of a sprained ankle, a bad back, and various other aches and pains that accompany us throughout life.

As we age, the risk of these problems becomes even more notable— and especially for women, who also have to contend with the hormonal issues caused by the menopause. While we may get wiser as we get older, there’s no doubt advancing years tend to bring forth higher levels of discomfort. Even members of the younger generation are more than aware of the potential for bodily aches and pains thanks to injuries sustained while playing sports.

When our bodies ache or we’re struggling with the impact of hormonal changes, most of us will turn to conventional medicine for a solution. Unfortunately, that solution tends to involve the use of painkillers— a solution that can actually be worse than the problem we’re initially seeking help for. Not only are painkillers addictive and potentially damaging when taken over long periods of time, there’s also no guarantee they will remove the pain for injuries— and they will do next to nothing when combating menopausal symptoms.

Thankfully, there is a solution

There is a form of treatment that has been shown to consistently benefit this wide range of ailments: acupuncture. From back pain to common symptoms of the menopause, acupuncture is able to offer relief that is:

  • Comprehensive
  • Progressive
  • Free from side effects
  • Inherently relaxing
  • Carries numerous other benefits for overall well-being as well as improving the state of the target area

Acupuncture may be something of a new treatment to those of us in the West — and it suffers from a large degree of scepticism as a result of this — but the technique is actually at least 8,000 years old. Acupuncture has been theorised to encourage the body to heal itself, by stimulating the products of the body’s natural painkillers — known as endorphins — and stimulating areas of the brain that can produce positive effects on mental and physical ailments.

Trying acupuncture

If you suffer from back pain, have sustained a sports injury, or have menopausal symptoms, then acupuncture could be the solution you have been looking for. While the idea of needles being inserted into your skin might sound daunting, rest assured that…

The needles are very thin; in fact, they’re so thin that you’re unlikely to even feel them entering your skin
Most people find that undergoing acupuncture is completely painless

So try not to worry!

An acupuncture appointment is similar to a typical health consultation in many ways. You will be asked for your medical history, as well as details on the ailment that you are specifically trying to treat. You will then be led to the main treatment area; your therapist will discuss everything they are doing as they do it. Most acupuncture sessions last at least 30 minutes, though an hour is more common.

Can acupuncture really help with back pain, sports injuries, and menopausal symptoms?

It is impossible to answer this question with 100 per cent certainty; nothing in life is guaranteed except for death and taxes, after all! However, acupuncture has a glowing record and a huge number of converts to the practice. If you are struggling to maintain your well-being due to pain or menopausal issues, then acupuncture could be a vital tool in helping you cope and — eventually — recover.

What else can acupuncture help with?

Acupuncture is a holistic treatment; as well as focusing on the specific concern, it also seeks to redress the balance of your body in the hopes of promoting enhanced well-being. It is, therefore, possible to use acupuncture to seek relief from a wide variety of conditions, including — but not limited to — the following:

  • Mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety
  • Chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Digestive conditions, such as colitis and irritable bowel syndrome
  • More complex and wide-ranging conditions, such as insomnia and infertility…
  • … and much more.

So if you are struggling to find an effective treatment for a health or pain condition, acupuncture might well be the answer you have been seeking.

Back Pain

A quizzical way to relieve back pain

One of the simplest ways to relieve back pain is to take your shoes and socks off, then go and walk on rough terrain, and different surfaces for 20 mins a day.

Yes, it can be that simple, if not slightly perplexing.

Go and walk on grass, stones, basically anything that isn’t totally comfortable. The best part of this is anyone can do it and its FREE! But I hear you cry I don’t have 20 minutes to spare. Well suck it up and spare the time, we all make choices and remember pain is a powerful motivator, and will sooner or later win.

So why is walking barefoot so powerful? Anyone ever thought how things like reflexology can help with pain? It’s simple really it’s just in terms of neurology and feedback systems. Information comes into the brain gets sent back out for movement. Feet are very important and have literally loads of nerve endings, and they are as important as your eyes, nose, ears and hands. They all help you navigate the world you are in and enable you to live safely in the world.

If you lack the ability to sense the world you are in, you become vulnerable.

The lower back and sacral nerves feed and stimulate the foot. These nerves that stimulate the foot also stimulate deep core muscles in the back and pelvic area (hence the feedback system mentioned earlier). 

You need these muscles to prevent injury and recover from one. The small muscles in your back are sections that relate to the soles of your feet. The stabilising muscles of the lower back are designed to receive lots of information from the feet. (Just on a side note people look at me strangely when I swing kettlebells in bare feet, this is the reason folks).

Wearing shoes, in many ways, deprives the senses in your feet and lower back. It starves them of vital neural feedback information. Walking on rough terrain challenges the deep core muscles in the lower back to activate and work. In many ways, you can’t fully rehab the back until you look at the feet.

What’s the easiest way to rehab yourself, go outside in bare feet. Change the environment and your body is forced to adapt. Don’t just take my word for it… go out and do it for 20 minutes a day. You can also give your foot some sensory love with massage, reflexology and acupuncture.

The sensory feet back will also help activate your Bum (glutes). So if you have a pain in the ars* try this as well.

I always try my best to help people and offer free consultations at my Chester, Sandbach and St Asaph clinics. Call 0800 468 1008 or email me [email protected]