NB: This is a blog of our personal opinions, and is provided as a brief overview of things we think you might find interesting.

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  • Meningitis is a serious condition that occurs when the meninges - protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord - become infected and inflamed. Early symptoms can be similar to the flu. However, having a stiff neck in addition to flu-like symptoms could be a key clue that meningitis is the problem and should be checked by a doctor.

    Meningitis can start suddenly, or develop more gradually; early symptoms often include one or more of fever, headache or neck stiffness.

    FEVER. Running a fever is a normal part of the immune system’s defence against infections. A fever with meningitis will usually (but not always) be above 39 degrees.

    HEADACHE. A headache caused by meningitis is typically described as severe and unrelenting. It does not subside by taking an aspirin / paracetamol.

    NECK STIFFNESS. This most commonly manifests as extreme stiffness of the muscles that extend the skull on the neck; called nuchal rigidity; and can be very limiting in neck flexion especially.

    RASH. This is typically blotchy and red or purple; it is unchanged by rolling a glass over the rash.                                           

    As time goes on, other symptoms can develop, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or noises or blurred vision; amongst other less common symptoms.


    It should be noted that bacterial and viral meningitis are both contagious, so they are more likely to be contracted and spread in areas where people live in close quarters, such as college dorms or military barracks.

    If you have any reason to suspect meningitis; call the NHS on 111; or speak to your GP directly; if rapidly progressing, go straight to A&E.


    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Please note - no treatments offered at Back In Action can help treat meningitis.


    You can find out more here:






    Meningitis Statistics UK

    Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis

    Information on Meningitis

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    AKA adhesive capsulitis.


    Frozen shoulder is a chronic shoulder condition typically lasting 1.5-2 years; but can be triple that. It is characterised by both pain and restricted movement. The cause is often unknown, though it is related to immobility of the shoulder (eg after keeping your arm in a sling), previous injury to the shoulder, and to diabetes. The process is one of inflammation and contraction of the shoulder capsule, often with some scar formation within the joint itself.

    Classically, frozen shoulder goes through three phases

    Freezing/painful phase: gradual onset of shoulder pain at rest with sharp pain at extremes of motion, and pain at night with sleep interruption which may last anywhere from 3-9 months.

    Frozen/stiffening phase: Pain starts to subside, progressive loss of glenohumeral motion in capsular pattern. Pain is apparent only at extremes of movement. This phase may occur at around 4-6 months and can last for about 12 months.

    Thawing/resolving phase: Spontaneous, progressive improvement in functional range of motion which can last anywhere from 1 to 4 years.

    Conservative management of frozen shoulder does not really offer a cure, or reduce the duration; but attempts to reduce the severity of the symptoms – both pain and freezing; and is based around mobilisation, massage, stretching and strengthening.

    Medical management of frozen shoulder is based around steroid injection to reduce inflammation, or manipulation under anaesthetic to break down scar tissue.


    You can find out more here:




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    This coming week is Migraine Awareness Week here in the UK, so let’s take a look at migraine headaches.


    A migraine is a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head typically aggravated by physical exertion, and lasting 6-72 hours; they can occur several times in per week, or once every few years. Many people also have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound; these symptoms may appear before the headache, alongside it; or even without any head pain at all. A migraine is not “just” a severe headache.

    Migraines classically affect 20% of women and 7% of men; usually beginning in early adulthood.


    Migraines usually have a specific trigger, and the key to long-term management is to identify the trigger, and avoiding or mitigating these wherever possible; which is often easier said than done. Medication can also help significantly (usually the triptan group); but prevention is still preferable to cure. Migraines can be extremely delibitating whilst being suffered; though most people tend to find that both the severity and frequency reduces as they age; possibly as a result of identifying and avoiding their individual triggers.

    As with tension and cervicogenic headaches, there is a large overlap with other headache types, so the incidence rate is probably higher than stated here.


    You can find out more here:





    Common triggers for migraine headaches

    Migraine symptoms and stages

    Common types of headache

    Read more ›
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