This time of year, we see an increase in people coming to see us for new episodes of back pain. These often follow a similar sort of story- carrying heavy bags of Christmas shopping, twisting awkwardly bringing the decorations down from the attic, or falling off ladders putting up festive lights.
If you’re struggling with back pain at Christmas, there are a few simple things that you can do to help yourself recover from an acute episode of back pain.
Pearl barley can really make a soup into a meal, it’s filling, low fat and brilliantly good for you!
Add to that some fresh herbs along kale and you have a real powerhouse of nutrients.
Turmeric lattes (also known as Golden Milk) are the drink of the moment and can easily be created at home. It is a great way to kick the day off, or as a snack when you get hungry mid afternoon, but don’t want anything too heavy.
The turmeric used in this recipe is a great anti-inflammatory and teaming it up with black pepper helps absorption.
Feel free to tweak the quantities of each ingredient to suit your taste.
*jaggery is unrefined sugar which normally comes as a block, often found in Asian cookery. It is available in larger supermarkets and health food shops.
The World Health Organisation defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” So what’s this concept of “wellness” all about? Well, wellness is basically healthiness… It’s the active process of becoming more aware of your health and making positive changes towards leading a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The concept of “wellness” can often be a dirty word in healthcare circles, as it has long been associated with antiscientific or pseudoscientific ideas… But that depends on what wellness means to you. To us, wellness is health. It’s living a healthy and fulfilling life, and taking responsibility for your own health. We’re taking ownership of the word wellness and are going to strive to clean up its reputation!
As an evidence based clinic, we rely heavily on what research tells us is effective for managing conditions or symptoms, and as such the treatment protocols that we utilise can vary quite dramatically depending on what the latest high quality research says is effective. We don’t sell long treatment plans, and you shouldn’t buy into one either- it’s impossible to know that someone will need 12 treatments to get you better when they first start seeing you- instead, a short course of treatment should be proposed and that should definitely include a review appointment where you discuss your progress and determine if you should be discharged from care. We collect patient reported outcome measures to ensure that we do not over or under-treat our patients, and this provides us with an opportunity to identify how effective the treatment is that we’ve provided,
(P.S. We monitor how many treatments our patients receive on average- it’s just 5 appointments over a 3 month period!)
We promise you that as an ethical healthcare clinic we will never offer you ineffective, unnecessary treatment.
If you were lucky enough to be born in the UK, chances are you’ll have encountered the NHS once or twice. The NHS is a fantastic system for taking care of us, but it is overstretched, overburdened and not coping. When it was established in 1948, life expectancy for men was 66 years old, and for women, 71. Today those figures are 77.2 and 81.5. Over the past 60 years, the proportion of all deaths caused by cancer has risen, from 16.9 to 27 per cent. It took 50 years for the UK population to increase from 40 to 50
million between 1898 and 1948, but in just 24 years the population will increase by 10 million – and hit 70 million in 2029, according to the Office for National Statistics. Simply put, there’s more of us, we’re living longer, with more diseases and more complex health needs than ever before. Our poor NHS can’t cut it.
The NHS will always be there for us when we get sick- but how about we work a little harder to stop ourselves needing it in the first place?
More and more people are recognising a need to take responsibility for their own health and are striving to lead a healthier lifestyle. This can be through small steps, such as reducing your alcohol intake, not smoking, regularly exercising or you might take it a little further, with bespoke nutritional programmes, chiropractic care to optimise performance and move well, in addition to regular care to address the stresses and strains we put our body through on a daily basis.
Ahh, “holistic”. Another dirty word. Or is it? Philosophically, holism is described as “the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” From a medical perspective, it’s characterised by “the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.” Doesn’t sound so bad to me- as humans we do need to consider the person as a whole. Someone with back pain doesn’t just have back pain- they have a problem that’s preventing them from going to work (social issue), that’s causing them anxiety (psychological issue), that’s limiting their ability to walk (physical issue) and no doubt a whole host of other problems. So it would be churlish to only consider the physical issues- that’s probably not going to get them truly better, particularly for those with high anxiety levels as there’s a whole host of research that tells us they need more specific management to help with their back pain. We need to acknowledge their
needs as a whole. We need to ensure we address all these aspects in order for them to recovery.
We also need to consider the why behind their pain. For example, a smoker will report higher levels of pain perception than a non-smoker. That’s an environmental issue. So an holistic approach would aim to tackle the smoking also (not least for the hundreds of health benefits you see from being a non-smoker) and encourage you to take active steps towards leading a healthier lifestyle (there’s that wellness
definition popping up again!)
This is what we aim to provide for our patients- not just addressing the physical symptoms but ensuring that all your health needs are met.
So when we talk about taking an holistic approach to wellness, that suddenly doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, does it?
Kinesiotape is an elasticated cotton tape that can aid function and reduce pain in many injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.
Kinesiotape helps to stabilise joints whilst still allowing them to move through their normal range of motion, as well as providing gentle support to muscles and ligaments under strain, making it a helpful treatment modality for pregnant women. Low back and pelvic girdle pain is a common problem during pregnancy, as well as pain from the round ligaments (ligaments which surround your uterus in your pelvis)- this type of pain often feels like a sharp jab in your lower abdomen or groin. In pregnant women, taping is most commonly used across the lower belly for support, creating a sling or belt around her body to help evenly distribute the weight of a growing baby.
As your bump gets bigger, the lower back muscles have to work harder and harder to stabilise and support your lower back and pelvis. Kinesiotape can be used to support the back or abdomen (or indeed any other areas that are sore and achey!) and help to alleviate some of the postural aches and pains associated with a growing bump!
Interestingly, kinesiotape is also thought to help improve the flow of the lymphatic system, the system in our body responsible for transporting waste products, bacteria and cell debris out of our body. On the skin, the kinesiotape pulls the upper layers of skin, creating more space (known as interstitial space) between the dermis and the muscle. This space is thought to relieve pressure on the lymphatic system by allowing lymph flow and better lymphatic drainage, which helps promotes healing. Really helpful for mums prone to swollen ankles, as it can help to alleviate that swelling!
Did you like this blog? Then you love our “Back Pain during Pregnancy” ebook for only £2.50.