Back Pain Recommendations From Physio Matthew Squires

I’ve been a sufferer of back pain for over 20 years. Specialists believe I developed steoarthritis of the spine caused by a fall I had at the age of nine. At the time I didn’t get the right treatment and it progressively worsened over time.

By the time I was 20, the pain was servere and I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t remember a time when I wasn’t in pain. Since then, it’s affected my mental and physical health. My ability to work, concentrate and experience some simple things in life were completely diminished.

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I know that I’m not alone when it comes to experiencing back pain. It’s estimated that 70-90 per cent of the Australian population will experience musculoskeletal pain at some point in their lives. The cause is largely attributed to people spending copious amounts of time in a sitting position at work and at home in front of a screen.

While most experience “simple” back pain others will be effected by neural pain (sciatica), structural pain (scoliosis) and chronic back pain, much like what I have. Physiotherapist Matthew Squires highly recommends anyone experiencing back pain to have it assessed prior to therapy. Ideally within the first two weeks of experiencing pain. In hindsight, I wish I’d knew about this fact.

Apparently a rapid response will enable the brain to help heal the body and will prevent a more serious condition developing long-term. Trust me, if you have been experiencing pain go to a GP as soon as possible! They’ll get an examination done to see exactly what’s going on and make a referral to a physio to help relieve the pain.

In the meantime there are back pain preventatives for people who find themselves sitting for long periods of time. Office workers and people with sedentary employment are especially at risk. There’s been recent studies which state prolonged sitting can actually decrease your lifespan, so the aim is to get up and move.

Squires’ tips to reduce and prevent back pain:

  1. Keep a glass of water on your desk instead of a large bottle. This is to encourage you to get up to refill it regularly. Plus, as you keep drinking the water, you will also need to get up to void it.
  2. Every hour of sitting should be compensated with 5 minutes of exercise. Don’t save it up and do it all in one hit. Break it up as you go. Get up and go for a walk and do some stretching.
  3. Additionally do some spinal twists, hip flexor stretches and rotate your neck and shoulders whilst sitting.
  4. Speak to employers about investing in ergonomic equipment to use in the office. This will also assist productivity so it should be a available to all office and sedentary staff.
  5. Lastly, schedule walking meetings. They are now considered far more productive than traditional round table type meetings and will get you the added exercise you need.

If you’d like some more information on Matthew Squires recommendations or his Physio Gym specializing in women’s health, please check out http://physiogym.net.au/.

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Period Pain And How To Survive It

Period pain sometimes is an uncomfortable and sensitive topic for conversation, however it affects women’s health and wellbeing, therefore deserves increased attention. A British survey of 600 women conducted last year found that 10 percent were regularly bedridden by their period pains. Four out of 10 women claimed that the period pain stops them from concentrating on work and affects their career. A third of women added that the constant period pain makes them feel depressed, the rest insisted that period pains stopped them from socialising.

In general, pain is considered to be a normal symptom during the periods, however excessive period pain is called dysmenorrhoea and is considered to be abnormal. Dysmenorrhoea is a very subjective disorder as it varies greatly depending on the pain tolerance of a woman. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs to young women with no pelvic abnormality however the secondary dysmenorrhea, which is common among older woman arises as a result of an underlying condition and seriously affects the health wellbeing. Secondary dysmenorrhea might lead to endometriosis, which is treated with medications.

The symptoms of dysmenorrhea are:

  • Low back cramp-like pain
  • Pain in abdomen and inner thighs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Light headedness

Pain relieving medications are very popular among the patients with dysmenorrhea, although studies suggest that between 30-50 percent of the adult population use some form of complementary medicine including osteopathic treatments – a combination of traditional methods and modern scientific philosophies.

Osteopath Chris Reeves says:

“For cases of primary dysmenorrhea osteopathic treatments are very beneficial. An osteopath will make sure that there are no restrictions in the movement within the joints of the spine and pelvis, which can lead to period pain, release any tension from the muscles of the pelvis, which in turn will improve the blood and nerve supply to the organs. All parts of the body function together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this.”

“Nerve supply to the uterus is derived mainly from 3 different sections of the spine; the lower thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions. An osteopath can improve blood flow by ensuring good mechanics of the ribs, working through the lower abdomen to treat any connective tissue restriction of the uterus itself, such as tension in the ligaments supporting the uterus, and addressing any restrictions of the head and neck to better facilitate endocrine (hormonal) and autonomic nervous system function.”

Osteopaths can also help to prepare exercise and stretching programs, and provide advice on posture and stress management that often can be a reason for period pain.

To reduce the pain while being at home women can use other methods, though the relief might be temporary:

  • Regular exercise like gentle swimming, walking or cycling and attention to overall physical fitness may help to manage period pain.
  • Applying heat to your abdomen with a heat pad or hot water bottle can help to ease your pain.
  • Massage – light circular massage around your lower abdomen may help.
  • Relaxation techniques – you might want to try a relaxing activity, such as yoga or pilates, to help distract you from feelings of pain and discomfort.