Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Ten tips for driving with back pain and sciatica symptoms

When I had severe back pain and sciatica symptoms I found driving to be the task that was the most difficult for me and was one of the things that still caused me to get radiating pain down my legs even when I was so much better. I need to drive for my job, for a social life and just to get things done so I tried to work out what might be the things that would help me to be able to drive with the least amount of stress on my back.

One of the main difficulties with the whole process of driving is that you are essentially sitting still in a fairly confined space for long stretches at a time with little or no back movement.

 People who drive for longer distances can be at risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), dehydration, swelling of the legs, stress and fatigue in the muscles. Often one foot is more active than the other as you accelerate etc and one hip can be pushed into an unnaturally higher position for long periods of time.

However there are things you can easily do to minimize the effects of prolonged driving.

1. Try out different driving time limits to suit you. I usually find an hour is long enough for me to drive without a break, but not too long ago I could only drive for 30 minutes at a time. Whatever your limits take regular breaks and get out of the car. Walk around, do any back pain relief stretches and just move around for about 10 -15 minutes. If you are stopping at a service station do not just go and sit in the café but move and walk around.

2. Do not carry your mobile phone or wallet in your back pocket. If you do it can create an abnormal sitting position tilting one hip higher which may cause you to have more problems.

3. Do use a lumbar support cushion. If your car already has a lumbar support which is adjustable that is good but if not a lumbar support cushion will work as well to give extra support for your bad back.

4. Try using a heat pad (if OK for you ) to ease aches and pains of a bad back and sciatica symptoms when driving. You can get ones which last up to 8 hours and are very thin so will not show and will not cause you to be uncomfortable when sitting. They deliver a constant therapeutic heat which can be very beneficial to ease back pain and pinched sciatic nerve symptoms. Some cars may have heated seats which may do a similar job.

5. If it is a longer journey if possible try to share the driving. Sitting for long periods of time is difficult for many people with back pain and sciatica symptoms so you will still benefit from regular breaks, but being a passenger is a little less stressful on your back and you may be able to move around a bit more in the seat while traveling.

6. Do your back care stretches before you start the journey, anytime you can during the journey ,in breaks and after the journey.

7. Drink plenty of water during the journey; it is easy to get dehydrated which is not good for you or your back.

8. Try to maintain a good driving posture; this is easier if you are taking regular breaks.

9. After the journey has ended, get a warm bath or shower for about 20 minutes to relax you and your muscles.

10. If possible and if it is OK for you a relaxing massage may be beneficial.

So to summarize….
  • Have short periods of driving
  • Get out of the car often for breaks and walk around
  • Stretch
  • Remove wallet or mobile phone
  • Use a lumbar support for your back
  • Use a heat pad to warm the muscles in your back
  • If possible share driving.
  • Do your back care stretches before driving, every time you take a break and after driving.
  • Warm bath or shower after driving.
  • Massage
For more information on Driving with Sciatic and Back Pain please click here

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Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-


7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

The Prayer of St Francis.


One of my all time favourites....what a beautiful way to live life.

THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS



Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,


that where there is hatred, I may bring love;


that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;


that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;


that where there is error, I may bring truth;


that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;


that where there is despair, I may bring hope;


that where there are shadows, I may bring light;


that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.


Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;


to understand, than to be understood;


to love, than to be loved.


For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.


It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.


It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Back Pain and Your Love Life

Hi there,

If you or your partner has back pain or sciatica symptoms you may know that sex can be one of the first things to be affected. It can also be really difficult to discuss with anyone else, even your doctor, sometimes even with each other.

I was pleased to read this article below which is written in a straightforward manner and which i found very helpful and i hope you do too. I would also add that it is even more important at this time to communicate your feelings for each other and to try to be as understanding as possible.



“Sex and Back Pain”
By Jerry Corners, MD

Back pain and sex don’t go together very well and if you or your partner are among the 35 million people who have back pain, you know that back pain can disrupt your relationship. Sex is an important part of the intimacy between couples, and attitudes about sex, about rejection and about our self-image when we don’t feel up to a sexual encounter can haunt a couple for a long time.

Sex is supposed to be pleasurable for both of you and the fear of hurting yourself or your partner inhibits the spontaneous joy that you probably felt before your back pain developed. But what can you do about it? Most couples in which one or the other is restricted by back pain will eventually get around to realizing that back pain
does not automatically mean no more sex. What it does mean is that you will need to make some accommodations to the pain and or the fear of it. It also means you will need to talk about sex in a slightly different way than you are used to.

Let’s back up for a second and begin with a very strong suggestion. Because pain has both a psychological component and a physical component, getting a sound diagnosis is critical to putting your mind at rest about what is wrong and secondly having a sound diagnosis will also give you guidelines for your physical limitations.

Secondly, after you have the diagnosis, involve the doctor or
physical therapist in a frank discussion about dos and don’ts.
Maybe that’s an uncomfortable subject for you, but these days we are talking more openly about sex and you should tap into the doctor’s experience here. In a perfect world the doctor would open the discussion for you, but if they don’t you may have to initiate it. Ideally your partner should be present because he or she will have his or her own questions and concerns.

Starting off right
To start sex off right, start off with a massage, or ice down the
painful area. A warm shower together might help too. That way the muscles are relaxed.

Positions
Here are some sexual positions that can help you enjoy a pain-free experience.

For males:
1. Lay on a firm surface and use pillows to support your knees and head. You might like to try placing a small rolled towel under your lower back.

2. Try a side-by-side position.

3. Place a pillow under your lower back while your partner straddles you on top. You can also sit in a sturdy chair instead of lying down.

For females:
1. Try missionary position with the legs bent toward the chest.

2. Sit on the edge of a chair and have your kneel between your legs for entry.

3. Rear entry may also be more comfortable for women with back pain.Try it kneeling on the bed or lying on your belly with a pillow under her chest.

4. Sit on your partner's lap as he sits in a chair.

Remember, the health of your back is dependent on many dynamic factors.

Your symptoms may change over time so you may need to work with your health care provider from time to time as you go through the many stages of recovery. A word of caution is in order at this point. It is pretty common to begin feeling better and then overdo it and have your back pain symptoms flair up. We call this, the whoopee effect and it can happen to anyone. Just remember that as you improve gradually, so should your activity level also increase gradually.

As I mentioned earlier pain has two parts. There is the physical part.

This is the actual stimulation of the nerve, like a painful tooth or a herniated disc pressing on the nerve. 

 And then there is the subjective or the psychological part. This is how it feels to you and includes, among other things, such attitudes as fear that it will get worse or last forever, what will it means to be chronically disabled, and what you believe your partner thinks about it as well as how you are coping with your condition.

So, at the top of your agenda there needs to be a frank discussion of your pain limitations and expectations about sex. It is a mistake to believe that your partner understands what it feels like. 

 It is your responsibility to communicate those limitations as clearly as possible;it is their responsibility to listen and try to understand. Pain, after all, is invisible and subjective. That means your pain is unique to you.

We have heard people liken back pain to everything from a hot poker going down one or both legs to a chronic aching sensation localized to the lumbar area. It doesn’t matter what words you use, just try to explain the pain, what causes it (position, certain movements, or whatever), and what feels good or is what is comfortable for you.

Is it obvious that if it hurts, don’t do it is generally good advice but some positions and techniques hurt more than others? It may require some gentle experimentation to find out what works but as in most sex advice, “gentle” is the best place to start.

In terms of maximizing yours and your partner’s sexual pleasure, it is very important to stress that all you really need is your imagination and the willingness to experiment to open up new areas of intimacy. But it all begins with willingness to try. And given that, you just may find that the lemon of back pain can be turned into the lemonade of new
sources of mutual pleasure.


If you liked this post do consider joining our Facebook Page Sciatica Solutions.




Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-


7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Back Pain Quotes


I have been looking for quotes that may apply to us when dealing with back pain and sciatica or give some inspiration when you are suffering. See what you think :}

"You just cant beat the person who never gives up" Babe Ruth

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" John Wooden

"I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits rock bottom" George Patton

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When you 're going through hell, keep going" Albert Einstein 


  If you liked this post do consider joining our Facebook Page Sciatica Solutions.



Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-


7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Back Pain and Bodybuilding.

Hi Guys,

Bringing you an article today on "Bodybuilding sins". Now then let me be up front with you here, i am not a bodybuilder and have no intentions to be. However one of my pals is very into bodybuilding and he said many bodybuilders experience back aches and pain, sciaitca and disc problems so when i saw this article i asked if i could use it here if it might be of use to anyone. Although i have been known to frequent a gym, these guys understand bodybuilding much better than i do!

“Bodybuilding Sins” That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts by Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS and Steve Hefferon, CMT

Part I of II

It’s one thing for someone who sits at a computer all day and never
exercises to have back pain, but for a bodybuilder, someone who
spends hours and hours each week pouring everything they’ve got into building muscle, it should be criminal!

The reason we say this is because, if you are going to spend so much time, money, and energy trying to build the “perfect body”, you have to make sure that you not only look good, but also feel good…

We’ve identified what we call “Bodybuilding Sins” that lead to back pain, sciatic pain, and other injuries… read em and take action now if you are serious about bodybuilding and are fed up with your back pain.

Because there is so much information to share with you, we’ve broken it down into a series of 5 articles, each covering a different
component of how back pain affects bodybuilders.

Here’s a breakdown of the articles to look for:

1. Article #1 - Choosing The WRONG Exercises (below)
2. Article #2 - Training Variations for Pain Relief and Maximum
Results
3. Article #3 - Targeted Stretching
4. Article #4 - Targeted Exercises
5. Article #5 - Rest, Recovery, and Injury Prevention

Article #1 - Choosing the WRONG Exercises

Get ready, this is gonna hurt! The exercises most bodybuilders
focus on the most, are the ones that cause the most problems…
hopefully, you’re different J

But before we share with you what those exercise are, let’s
talk real quickly about what bodybuilding is…

The goal of bodybuilding isn’t to get as big as you can, or at
least to us it isn’t and shouldn’t be, but to build a balanced
body that is as strong as possible in every way. For example,
while being freakishly big may get people’s attention, it
serves you no purpose at all…

while on the other hand, what if you were not only big, but
also extremely strong and powerful, lightning fast, flexible,
and agile enough to kick ass if needed?

So many bodybuilders build massive amounts of muscle yet are
so unbelievably weak and inflexible… for example, we know a
guy who can bench press over 350 lbs but can’t do a measly
50 push-ups!

The point is, the exercises you choose and how you perform
them not only determine how big, strong, and flexible you are,
but also affect how your body functions and whether or not you
suffer from aches, pains, and injuries like back pain and
sciatic pain.

Ok, here they are… the exercises that create the most
problems and are most likely to lead to back pain:

1. Bench Press

2. Leg Extension

So, any of your favorites on this list?

While there are others, these are the two that cause the most
damage.

There are several reasons why these exercises made our list of
the “worst bodybuilding exercises”. First, both of them target
areas that already tend to get worked a lot in everyday life
and often times are overdeveloped…

and by focusing so much on these exercises you end up creating
muscle imbalances, or worsening existing muscle imbalances,
which pull your bones and joints out of their normal position…

and this leads to uneven pressure and wear and tear on your
muscle, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints and will sooner
or later lead a break down or injury.

For example, chronic overuse of the bench press, coupled with
little or no exercises targeting the upper back, leads to an
overdevelopment of the chest and a lack of strength and
development in the upper back…

This all too common combination leads to what we call “Turtle
Back”. You know what we’re talking about, when the shoulders
are pulled so far forward, lats are as wide as barn, and from
behind, their back looks like a giant sea turtle shell!

This “Turtle Back” posture can create neck, upper back, and
shoulder pain and injuries faster than you can pop an Advil!

Plus, how many times during your day are you forced to lie on
your back and push up a bar loaded with weights? There are so
many better exercises for chest development that not only
stimulate more muscle, but also build more usable strength.

Now let’s talk about the fabulous thigh builder, the leg
extension…

Not only does it place an unbelievable amount of strain on the
knee joint, but it also will quickly overdevelop the quads,
which are already getting far more work than their counterpart,
the hamstrings.

An imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings, which is
also extremely common in bodybuilders, is a key contributor to
back pain. This imbalance is easily identifiable by what people
often call “Bubble Butt” or “Ghetto Booty”.

So hopefully you can see how important it is to choose your
exercises wisely. We strongly recommend you cut out these
exercises, or at least cut back on using them and add in targeted
exercises for the opposing muscle groups and targeted stretches
for those tight, overdeveloped muscles.

The key to eliminating back pain, or any other ache, pain or injury for that matter, is to bring your body closer to balance…

What good is muscle if you can’t use it? How many more workouts
are you going to miss because of back, neck, or shoulder pain?
How much bigger and stronger could you be if back pain and other
injuries weren’t ruining your training?

Just imagine how bad things will be 10, 20, or 30 years from now
if you don’t make changes to your training now… but don’t take
our word for it, ask some of the older bodybuilders who are
paying the price now... you can spot them easily at the gym
because they limp around trying to find something they CAN do.

If you are interested in learning more about a way to get rid of the back pain and sciatica try LOSE THE BACK PAIN for great back pain and sciatica relief exercises, back pain information, support and expertise to help you get rid of the back pain and sciatica.


If you liked this post do consider joining our Facebook Page Sciatica Solutions.




Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-

7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Guide to Shopping with Back Pain.

The Easy Guide to Shopping with Back Pain and Sciatica symptoms: Ten Hints and Tips.

If you have back pain and sciatica symptoms shopping can be a real pain. Here are ten top shopping tips I have utilized to help make your weekly grocery shop and other shopping trips a more bearable or pleasant experience for you and your back.

· Go shopping at quieter times when it is not so busy especially if you are concerned about busy shopping malls, congested public transport, people or trolleys bumping into your back or people who may inadvertently push you. Plan ahead so that you are not rushing around putting yourself under stress.

· If you find it difficult to reach products high up or low down on the shelves ask a store assistant for some help to get those items. If it is very difficult for you ask for an assistant to go round the shop with you. Depending on the store you may need to ask them in advance, check with the store you use.

· Get a trolley rather than a basket. With a trolley there is no weight for you to lift. When shopping in a supermarket/superstore you will, if you are like me, invariably buy more than you thought you needed and end up with a heavy and awkward to carry basket which is not good for you. If you find it difficult to reach down into the deep trolleys get a trolley that is shallow.

· At checkout accept help with packing or ask them for assistance and tell them you need to have bags packed lightly so you are able to lift them in to your car and out of the car when you get home.

· Only lift one bag at a time and place them near the front of the boot (or trunk) of your car. Otherwise lay them on the back seats of your car or passenger side so you have easy access to them. You do not want to be having to lean deep into the car to drag the bags out.

· If you can take a friend, partner or family member with you when you go shopping that would ease the physical demands on you. Alternatively you may feel comfortable with delegating the task of the weekly grocery shop to another family member.

· If you are planning a trip shopping for clothes or other goods do take regular breaks and rest stops. If you are intending buying a lot and think you will find it difficult to carry your purchases around with you ask if the store will keep them safe for you to pick up later in the day. Take a lumbar support pillow with you so that any seating will be made more comfortable for your back. If it helps you use heat pads on your back. You can get some that are very discreet and give around 8 hours of therapeutic warming heat. Don’t push yourself to do too much shopping in one day.

· Keep drinking good quality water if you are out all day, it is easy to get dehydrated when you are concentrating on shopping. Carrying a small bottle of water is a handy way to take frequent sips throughout the day without constantly looking for cafes. Also take opportunities to do some of your back pain relief stretches when you can.

· When you get home have a warm bath or shower, do your back pain relief stretches and then get some rest.

· Whether your back pain or sciatica is at a stage where you cannot tolerate the physical demands of shopping, or whether you would just find it easier, on line supermarket shopping is offered by many major stores and is a great tool to do all your food shopping at once without you having to lift at all and get purchases delivered to your door. When I found it difficult to get out to the shops and especially when walking was difficult for me but I could tolerate sitting for short periods of time, I discovered there are also many internet sites where you can purchase clothes, beauty, household goods, really most things you could want. So if you love to shop and find that is difficult for you at the moment you don’t need to miss out.

If you are interested in learning more about a way to get rid of the back pain and sciatic pain; for great back pain and sciatica relief exercises, back pain information, support and expertise to help you get rid of the back pain and sciatica, try Lose the back pain system.



If you liked this post do consider joining our Facebook Page Sciatica Solutions.



Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-

7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Serenity and Back Pain...


I love this short poem which hangs on my wall at work and here by my computer. It has helped me through a few things...
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference

Friday, 1 June 2007

Taking care of my back while decorating

Hi guys,

Well i have had a busy few days. We decided to decorate the house! Well glossing mainly and although not my favourite thing to do it was good to be getting on with it. Now this is the first time i have done any painting since i was diagnosed with my back issues. My normal style of painting is to get ready then keep going until the job is done. However thats not going to work for me anymore so slight change of plan...

In order not to upset my back i first did my exercises then made sure i did not sit or stand in the same position for too long so i varied the tasks in hand. I did not lift any heavy pots of paint but decanted them in to a tray which was lightweight and easy to carry around. That way i could stand and hold the tray or rest it in a surface while i was working, thus minimising the bending and lifting i needed to do.

I did not do anything that i knew would overstress my back and if it felt tired i rested from that task. My first rule of all is to get used to and tune in to what your back is telling you .

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, my coach Steve Hefferon from The Healthy Back Institute would tell me.

I took a break every 30 mins, this was frustrating but i felt i was better doing this. In the breaks i walked around and stretched a bit and made the tea!!! (my husband just said he made all the tea :}, ah well guess we both did !!). Lots of tea drinking during the painting :}

After we finished i went immediately for a warm bath and had a nice soak for about 20 mins. Then did my Lose The Back Pain stretches again. I was a bit achey generally (clearly i need to get fitter!) but i was fine.

If you had told me when i was in the throes of awful back pain and burning, numbing sciatica down both legs day and night, that i would have been decorating anytime in the future i would have not believed you. Life was pretty grim back then. I dont take anything i can do for granted anymore and even am grateful for the fact i can paint my home!

Take care and wishing you well :} If you liked this post do consider joining our Facebook Page Sciatica Solutions.



Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-

7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
Follow Jasmine Ann Raintree's board Back And Sciatic Pain Strategies. on Pinterest.