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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  • We all want to find out more about any medical conditions we may suffer, but the information out there is almost always confusing, and always conflicting. Here’s a basic guide to filtering through the information to get what you need.
     
    The first point shouldn’t really need to be said, but please, remember that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and that spending an hour or so on google does not provide you with a better qualification than your medic/therapist’s degree and experience. However, you probably are an expert in your own body and how it feels.
    Use you medic/therapist as a first port of call for information, they should be happy to explain to you the basics of what is going on, and may provide you with, or point you in the direction of more information.
     
    Secondly there are various website, some specialising in 1 condition, some being more generalised. I will include a list of those that we like and trust at the end of this post.
     
    Now, how can you tell if the information you are reading is trustworthy? This is the big one; and essentially boils down to having a good bulls*** filter. Firstly, be suspicious of any site that is trying to sell you things; they may be more interested in your money than your health. Does the information ring true – does the information remain roughly the same across multiple independent sites? Or do they all disagree with each other on the broad strokes, let alone the details. The next thing is how it reads – does it appear to be written by and for professionals, or by and for laymen. The final thing to look at is the references – does it have any? Are they mostly written by the same person? Does there appear to be a good spread for the root source of information? Do those references look reputable (something like the British Journal of Sports Medicine looks (and is) legitimate, something hosted on Blogspot less so).
     
    These are some of the sites I trust, and often point patients to for further information:
    www.nhs.uk/pages/home
    www.physio-pedia.com/home
    www.physioadvisor.com.au
    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net
    Research
    Dr Google
    Dr Siri
    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.
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    The biceps muscle sits at the front of the arm, connecting your shoulder to your elbow, and predominantly flexes the arm when used. At the elbow it has just the one tendon; but at the shoulder it has 2, a short head which attaches to the upper humerus; and a long head that reaches up to the top of the shoulder blade.

    Injury can occur is the biceps is asked to work too hard too quickly – such as catching a heavy weight; with the long head being the most vulnerable part; alternatively, they can rupture after a long-standing degenerative process. A rupture of this tendon is rare in young athletes but more common in older ones. It is also possible to damage the tendon close to the elbow; or the belly of the muscle itself, though these are much less common. Tears are graded as I (mild) II (partial tear) or III (rupture).

     

    Symptoms include a sudden sharp pain at the front of the upper arm. There may be pain and swelling over the front of the shoulder joint. Contracting the biceps muscle against resistance is likely to be painful, certainly in the first couple of days and in particular for the long head of the biceps, lifting straight up forwards up above the head against resistance is likely to be painful.

     

    If anyone suspects this injury they should apply the POLICE protocol for acute injury care and see a sports injury specialist, physiotherapist or doctor as soon as possible. A professional therapist will advise on treatment and rehabilitation typically based around ice, massage and gradual return to strengthening. For complete ruptures, or competitive athletes, surgery may be required to repair the tendon.

     

    You can find out more here:

    www.physio-pedia.com/Rupture_Long_Head_Biceps

    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/shoulder/biceps-rupture

    Biceps Anatomy

    Rupture of Biceps Long Head

    Exercises to Rehab Biceps Tendon Injury

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Let’s take a look at patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
    AKA runners’ knee.

    PFPS is pain that originates between the kneecap and thighbone. The pain is felt at the front of the knee, either under or around the edges of the kneecap; it is typically more noticeable going up stairs or walking or jogging uphill. The root of patellofemoral pain can vary and may be difficult to identify.

    Potential causes include a sudden increase in training, or simple overuse for a period of time. Muscle imbalance that can cause the patella to aberrant gliding within its groove (patella tracking); injury elsewhere in the kinematic chain; so a sprained ankle, or a lower back problem, left for too long, may develop into knee problems. Simple body weight, especially if matched with an increase in training load, such as taking up jogging in an attempt to reduce weight. Women are more prone to PFPS than men, especially as related to patella tracking, probably due to wider hips, and consequent knee alignment, especially if coupled with a narrower stride width.

    You can find out more here:
    www.physio-pedia.com/Patellofemoral_Pain_Syndrome
    www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/runners-knee#1

    Forces Effecting the Patella

    Kinesiology Taping for PFPS

    Exercises for PFPS

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Cervicogenic headaches are headaches caused by structures in the neck, typically the muscles and the facet joints of the spine; they have a habit of developing chronicity. Given the strong link between stress, the muscles of the neck, and headaches; many tension headaches are simultaneously cervicogenic. There is even a cervicogenic link with migraines; with approximately 40% of migraine sufferers having neck pain as a trigger for their migraines; and 80% listing stress; there is also a strong overlap between cervicogenic, tension and migraine types of headache; with misdiagnosis between all 3. The incidence rate for cervicogenic headaches is estimated around 15%-20%, but is almost certainly higher due to misdiagnosis.

     

    Presentation of cervicogenic headaches can vary wildly, depending on what structure in the neck is causing the pain. The most common presentation is probably a tight, squeezing type of pain in at the base of the skull and in the forehead. Onset is often gradual, and related to a provocative activity, such as slumping in front of a computer; using a tablet or mobile; or stressful driving conditions; with headache often coming on soon after, or the following morning.

     

    You can find out more here:
    www.chiro-trust.org/headaches/cervicogenic-headaches

    www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/cervicogenic-headache-facts_#1

    Headaches

    Cervicogenic Headache Pain Pattern

    Pain Generators in Cervicogenic Headaches

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Symptoms of SI syndrome consist of pain at the base of the spine which is located usually on one side, with pain then being referred down the back of the leg, rarely going below the knee. Pain is typically a pinching or stabbing in the lower back with a background dull ache, whilst the leg pain is usually just the ache. The SI joint itself allows for movement of the pelvis as we walk, and enlarges to allow the passage of a baby during birth.

    Essentially, the human body is still better evolved (in some aspects) for walking around on 4 legs, rather than 2. Our animal companions use the back of the pelvis as a suspension bridge, with the triangular sacrum hanging from big strong ligaments from the pillars of the ilia, allowing for more mobility than we humans experience here. In humans, we then walk upright instead, with those ligaments now trying to pinch the sacrum between the ilia, with the joint line being more-or-less vertical. This means that when our foot meets the floor, and force that comes up the leg, the knee needs to flex and provide shock absorption. If that doesn’t happen (eg the ground is further away than you expected, and you land with the knee straight) then the force travels straight into the pelvis, and puts a sheering force through the SI joint – which it is poor at dealing with. The joint is therefore susceptible to spraining types of injury when dealing with forces travelling through it unevenly; whether that’s walking, running or jumping; or lifting or carrying with the weight all on one side.

     

    You can find out more here:
    www.physio-pedia.com/Sacroiliac_joint_syndrome

    www.webmd.com/back-pain/si-joint-back-pain#1

    Location of the Sacroiliac Joint

    SI Joint pain referral pattern

    Cause of SI Syndrome

    At Back In Action we also offer free consultations. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    0Cervical radiculopathy is a disease process marked by nerve compression, typically from herniated disc material or arthritic bone spurs in the neck. Cervical radiculopathy symptoms typically include pain, weakness, or numbness in the areas served by the affected nerve. Pain can be felt in one area only, like the shoulder, or progress along the entire arm and into the hand and fingers - in the same way that knocking your “funny bone” causes symptoms at the site, and further along the length of the ulnar nerve.

     

    The type of pain also can vary, with some patients describing a dull, general pain. However, others describe the pain as severe burning, sharp, or knife-like. Patients may feel pins-and-needles tingling, which can also be accompanied by numbness. Experiencing numbness or weakness in the hand can also affect the ability to grip or lift objects, as well as to perform other daily tasks such as writing, typing, or getting dressed.

     

    Certain neck movements, such as bending the neck back, side to side, or rotating it, may increase the pain. Some patients report that pain decreases when they place a hand behind their head; the movement may be relieving the pressure and traction on the nerve root, which in turn lessens their symptoms.

    Cervical radiculopathy is not the only condition that can present like this; with other nerve entrapment sites such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or thoracic outlet syndrome potentially sounding very similar when summarised.

     

    You can find out more here:
    www.physio-pedia.com/Cervical_Radiculopathy

    www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/neck-pain#1

    Radicular Pain

    Cervical Disc Herniation

    Neck MRI Scan

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Let’s take a look at tennis elbow / golfers’ elbow.

     

    Epicondylitis is the name given to inflammation of the tendons, and where they join to the bones at the epicondyles (the bumps either side of the humerus), at the elbow. These are named by which epicondyle is effected, lateral (AKA tennis elbow) or medial (AKA golfers’ elbow). Damage is caused by contractual overloads which create microtearing and tendinous degeneration, instead of repair. Almost any repetitive / habitual one-sided movement can be the cause, whether a sport, or an occupation or hobby.

                                                

    Epicondylitis often develops over a long period of time, and its symptoms can also appear gradually. It is also common for symptoms to wax and wane over time, with flare-ups occurring during periods of increased activity. While its common symptoms are a gradual buildup of pain and stiffness, it is also possible for symptoms to be non-specific, with the only indications of the condition showing up as a drop in athletic or work performance. Common symptoms would include pain, stiffness, or a burning sensation that gradually worsens over time; typically in or just below the elbow of the dominant arm; which can often radiate further down the arm to the wrist or hand. The most useful interventions for these conditions are ice massage, which can be done at home, or the use of specific splints, or taping strategies, which can also be done at home. I would not recommend treatment from a therapist until your condition has failed to respond to the above.

     

    You can find out more here:

    Lateral Epicondylitis:

    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/elbow-forearm/tennis-elbow-lateral-epicondylitis

    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/elbow-pain/tennis-elbow

    Medial Epicondylitis:

    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/elbow-forearm/golfers-elbow-medial-epicondylitis

    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/elbow-pain/golfers-elbow

    Epicondylitis

    Anatomy of Epicondylitis

    Ice Massage

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Next week is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week, so let’s take a look at rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

     

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systematic autoimmune inflammatory disease and results in persistent inflammation of synovial tissue especially of the wrists, hands and feet. Individuals with RA are 8 times more likely to have functional disability compared with adults in the general population from the same community. The structures around the joint can also be affected, like the tendon sheath, the bursa and tendons. This pathology causes pain, stiffness in the morning and after periods of inactivity, joint swelling, weakness, fatigue and restricted joint mobility leading to reduced function. Without treatment RA can lead to irreversible damage, namely deformity and finally provoke considerable physical functional loss or even permanent disability. Thus, RA causes dramatic interference with quality of life if early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are not obtained.

    NB: Whilst massage may be of some benefit, chiropractic manipulation cannot be performed in actively inflamed joints. Exercise (preferably under the guidance of a physiotherapist) is the best form of treatment to complement orthodox medical care; with hydrotherapy being particularly useful. There is no therapy that can completely heal RA. But there are treatments that achieve pain relief and the slowdown of the activity of RA to prevent disability and increase functional capacity.

     

    You can find out more here:

    www.nras.org.uk/ra-awareness-week

    www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis

    www.nhs.uk/conditions/Rheumatoid-arthritis/Pages/Introduction

    Effects of RA on a Joint

    Top 10 things NOT to say to someone living with CHRONIC PAIN

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    This coming week is Aromatherapy Awareness Week, so what actually is aromatherapy?

     

    Aromatherapy is usually applied through the form of massage, but can also be administered in a number of other ways (such as inhalation, compress, home remedies like creams and lotions) depending on your individual case and needs.

     

    An aromatherapy massage has the advantage of being tailored to suit the individual’s needs as everyone is different. Therefore, your therapist will recommend a custom blend just for you.

    Your therapist may recommend some home care such as specially blended essential oils to use in a bath or as an inhalation, or a handmade aromatherapy cream. These are tailored to the client’s individual needs and therefore part of the treatment.

     

    The benefits of using essential oils are as varied as the oils themselves. Also, one of the advantages of aromatherapy is that it can be tailored to address your specific needs.

    Essential oils can be useful for people of all ages to optimise well-being. The oils can have a relaxing, soothing, comforting or even uplifting nature when blended correctly by a registered aromatherapist. Some essential oils are warming, stimulating and reviving and paired with massage, they can therefore support a healthy body.

    People nowadays are becoming more health conscious and therefore choose more natural alternatives when it comes to treating ailments.

     

    With exam season upon us – how about a relaxing session to reset the mind, and de-stress the shoulders?

     

    You can find out more here:

    www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/treatments-therapies/complementary-alternative-therapies/aromatherapy

    www.ifaroma.org/us/press-and-media-office/aromatherapy-awareness-week

    www.aromatherapycouncil.org.uk/treatments

    Aromatherapy Massage

    Aromatherapy Bath

    Essential Oils

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    T4 syndrome, or more accurately “upper thoracic syndrome”, is a rare and perhaps under-recognized clinical entity.
    The most common cause of T4 syndrome is overuse injury and it usually seen in patients who perform excessive amounts of bending, lifting and twisting movements seen in sports such as gymnastics and pole dancing. T4 syndrome however can also occur due to impact or pressure to the spine causing damage to happen suddenly. This condition is also common in patients who have a poor posture over a period of time for example sitting at your office chair without effective back support.
    When a patient sustains T4 syndrome sprain they will begin to feel pain and often sensory symptoms such as pins and needles or numbness in their arm, often both of them. Patients are also likely to feel a pain in the back and often the neck which becomes more apparent over time as activity is resumed and the back is put under more strain. In the case of sudden impact, the pain may come on suddenly at the point of injury.
    Patients are also likely to feel pain and stiffness in the area even after activity is halted which will become more apparent first thing in the morning. In more severe cases, individuals may also feel pain in the rib cage, chest, shoulder blade or even into the legs. This syndrome is 3 times more common in women than men; and is an excellent mimic of conditions such as thoracic outlet syndrome, and various neuropathies.
     
    You can find out more here:
    www.physio-pedia.com/T4_Syndrome
    www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/upper-back-chest/t4-syndrome
    T4 Syndrome
    Pain Pattern in T4 Syndrome
    Wall Angels for T4 Syndrome
    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.
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    Neck pain is common, but not normal. Causes include trauma, poor posture, muscle strain, bone abnormalities, and more, the vast majority are not serious. Diagnosing neck pain may require X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging tests, though often imaging may show abnormalities that aren’t causing any pain. Consequently, imaging is only recommended for pain that doesn’t recover in a timely fashion, is unresponsive to conservative care, or in the presence of red flag signs, symptoms or history (such as trauma, history of cancer, nightsweats etc).

    Stretching, strengthening and other similar forms of exercise are often helpful, whilst encouraging normal movement of the head and neck is almost always essential. Neck braces, or devices that restrict movement are ONLY necessary when there’s a suspicion of fracture. Other treatments may include chiropractic, pain relievers, massage, muscle relaxants, and other forms of treatment. As a rule of thumb, if the pain hasn’t (mostly) cleared up after a week, it may be time to seek further help. Neck pain that is left for longer than a month has a worse prognosis, the longer it’s left for. Equally if your neck pain is associated with pain, numbness or pins and needles into the arms or legs, this may be a more serious mechanical condition, and require treatment earlier; whilst if it’s associated with difficulty swallowing or breathing, you should get checked over by your GP.

    #NeckPain #CrickedNeck #Chiropractor #Massage #Tewkesbury

    You can find out more here:
    www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/neck-pain
    www.chiro-trust.org/neck-pain/where-neck-pain-comes-from

    Anatomy of the Neck and Shoulder

    Text Neck

    Exercises for Neck Pain

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

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    Today is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day; so let’s take a look at cauda equina syndrome (CES).

    Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis where the bundle of nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord become compressed. Typically this compression is from a disc prolapse, but can be caused by other conditions, such as trauma, arthritis or other bone disease.

    This causes a range of problems, including saddle anaesthesia (numbness in the skin around the anus and undercarriage); loss of control or sensation for the bowel or bladder or dysfunction or loss of sensation for the sexual organs.

    These more serious symptoms may present alongside more typical pain, numbness or pins and needles into the legs; with CES particularly liking causing symptoms into both legs at the same time. Depending on the cause, these problems can come on suddenly, or gradually; and may plateau or continue to progress.

    If left untreated, these symptoms may rarely become critical, or permanent; but we have no reliable way of telling if that is going to be the case. Consequently suspicion of CES requires emergency hospital admission and scans; and will often be operated on as a matter of some urgency.

     

    You can find out more here:

    www.spinal.co.uk

    www.physio-pedia.com/Cauda_Equina_Syndrome

    www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/cauda-equina-syndrome-overview#1

    Symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome

    Cauda Equina Syndrome seen on MRI

    At Back In Action we also offer free chats. This will take about 10-15 minutes where we can talk in general terms about your condition, and see if we can point you in the right direction for treatment. Whether that is with ourselves, someone else, or on your own at home. Call today to schedule your no obligation free chat.

    NB: If you have a valid suspicion of Cauda Equina Syndrome - don't waste time coming to see us, please, go straight to A&E

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