Tag: back pain

Back pain, Sciatica and Disc Prolapse

Chronic back pain and Sciatica due to disc issues are frighteningly common. I see patients in a great deal of pain, unable to get comfortable or sleep, in some cases unable to work. Sufferers will sometimes opt for cortisone injections which can work for a limited time, spinal surgery and of course physiotherapy. Many people I see are on high doses of NSAIDS and opioids as other alternatives haven’t worked for them.

 

When Jacquie first came to see me with back pain, pins and needles in her legs and sciatica, she had decided against surgery. She was extremely motivated to keep her weight down, work with a PT to exercise safely and commit to regular treatments of Acupuncture and TuiNa medical massage. This has undoubtedly played a big part in her recovery.

 

She responded very well to electro-acupuncture and TuiNa, coming every week for treatment. Jacquie is now pretty much pain free and her general wellbeing much improved. She was also sleeping badly and this has now been resolved. 

 

Acupuncture is known for reducing pain. In the US there is evidence that it is helping in the fight against opiod addiction. TuiNa is a highly effective remedial massage that complements acupuncture and relieves muscle pain and tension.

 

In addition, Jacqui also sees Kung, Peachy’s Thai oil masseuse, to manage general muscle tightness, improve blood flow and aid relaxation.

 

Jacqui’s story

After suffering severe back pain I was diagnosed with a burst disc and slipped disc in L4/L5 region. I was medically treated with an epidural hydrocortisone treatment. The consultant said I also needed to have physio and non-impact exercise as part of my rehab. After a few months of weight loss and exercise I still had residual pins and needles in my legs, dull ache in my buttocks and lower back, and generally was not sleeping well.

 

The pins and needles have completely gone. I went back to see the consultant who was hugely impressed with my speed of recovery. Since the initial diagnosis I have also been suffering from a taut IT band which has now been resolved through acupuncture

 

The acupuncture has been a godsend in speeding up the recovery process for the back problems I had. Rita is fantastic and the set up is friendly, informal, clean and peaceful.

 

Jacquieline O’Donnell, Highgate

 

 

 

Migraine and Back Pain in Pregnancy

Ella came for treatment when she was 12 weeks pregnant. She had always suffered from severe migraines but they had become more frequent and intense since becoming pregnant. She had chronic neck, back and rib pain and was also experiencing the kind of symptoms usually associated with pregnancy such as gut issues, leg cramps and heartburn.

Ella has a busy job as a nanny, with regularly long hours. Her sleep was affected due to the chronic pain, and she was really struggling to function. The constant pain meant her muscles tightened in response which only increased the pain she was in. It was a vicious circle.

Treating pregnant women while completely safe, does require appropriate training to ensure the points that are used aren’t contraindicated. Consequently there are some limitations on what treatment protocols can be used.

Acupuncture and TuiNa remedial massage were the most appropriate techniques and her migraines almost immediately decreased significantly. Reducing her general emotional and physical tension meant that day to day life became much more manageable.

 

Ella’s story

I have suffered from chronic pain, headaches and migraines for over 15 years and have tried everything under the sun. I needed something to help me as it worsened significantly through pregnancy and I was finding it very difficult to work. I did try acupuncture a few years back in Australia but did not find I had good results. 

I found Peachy on Google and Rita’s response time was great and she fitted me in on short notice.

Rita has treated me for pregnancy symptoms such as indigestion, leg cramps, and constipation. Furthermore I had 15 plus years back pain, neck, headache and migraine.

It’s made such a significant difference!! I had my first consistent relief from migraines ever!  I think Tuina combined with Acupuncture is so beneficial to me as I hold a great deal of tension.

Rita is lovely and warm and the clinic is comfortable and clean and it’s easy to park – I would absolutely recommend her! She is very good and listens well, I have noticed incredible differences in my health and pain.  I am incredibly grateful for all her assistance and her advice.

 

Ella Hayes, Highgate

Fit over 40 – Men and Sports Injuries

Something changed for me at 40 that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Finally the light bulb moment occurred and I realised I needed to change the way I related to my body. After not thinking much at all about it, I needed to give it a bit more respect and time to recover from life’s small (or large) knocks.

 

As we age our bodies grow and mature but this slows to its peak at between 25-30 years old and in hindsight the thing that I couldn’t put my finger on was a change in my physicality. At around 40 our bones start to lose mass quicker than we can build it which means that we are more susceptible to stress and fractures. Muscles lose mass too especially if you work in an office and don’t move much. Smaller weaker muscles are more likely to injure as the larger muscles take priority of the circulating blood. Cartilage and tendons become drier and are prone to wear and tear. Ligaments are less elastic and this sort of connective tissue becomes less flexible. All this points to the fact that things are slowly…. drying out.

 

So the most frequent injuries once you hit 40 are tennis elbow, stress fractures, lower back problem, sciatica, rotator cuff, hamstring tears, ACL, meniscus tears and knee problems, plantar fasciitis etc. The possibilities are endless! Working at a desk, overtraining, poor posture and age are what drive these injuries. I’ve had a few of them

 

And we see them at the Peachy Clinic all the time. Some are relatively easy to fix, others if they’ve been allowed to become chronic take more time, there are conditions that we can support while you’re going the medical route, or improve the quality of life for those living with multiple or complex conditions. You don’t need to live with it.

 

How does Chinese Medicine help? Acupuncture is seen to stimulate points close to nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. The stimulation increases blood flow, while at the same time triggering the activity of the body’s natural painkillers. TuiNa is a dynamic remedial massage ideal for musculo-skeletal injuries. It is also useful in reducing stress, encouraging relaxation, and deepening sleep. Chinese medicine has quite a toolbox and your practitioner may include fire cupping and guasha. These oriental therapies increase blood flow, move lymph and reduce pain, tightness and inflammation. Athletes, tennis players and Olympians are increasingly turning to these therapies to keep them injury free.

 

• The key is to remember that you need to pace or alter your exercise regime and recognise that the older you are, the more susceptible you are to injuries.

• Keep on top of small injuries before they escalate into larger ones by seeking remedial treatments. We often see someone who started with a bit of lower back pain, who later develops sciatica or knee problems because they’ve not addressed it early enough.

• Remember you’ll take longer to recover, so don’t go straight back to running 10k after an Achilles injury.

• Drink lots of water

• Get regular maintenance treatments, say every month or six weeks to iron out any issues and keep you well.

 

My go to is obviously acupuncture, TuiNa medical massage and cupping. I am regularly treated with Chinese medicine and I treat people with it. It’s a wonderfully diverse and effective holistic health system – particularly for musculo-skeletal issues.

 

I’m keen to get men thinking more about their health. Look at alternative ways of staying healthy and keeping injuries to a minimum. Whether you’re a regular gym goer or a marathon runner, work hunched over a computer, or would like to start a maintenance programme to stay well, then I’m always happy to chat about how acupuncture can help.

 

Andy Levy BSc Hons, MBAcC, LicTuiNa, MRTCM

Andy is Associate Acupuncturist at Peachy Acupuncture

Looking After Number One – Men And Their Health

 

The first time I realised that I wasn’t invincible was when, doing seasonal work on a farm, I slipped a disc lifting heavy machinery. I was 21 and ended up flat on my back for 6 weeks.  After that, I started paying attention.

 

Most men of my age aren’t really focused on their health until it slaps them in the face and that being said there is still a reticence among men to see their doctor or a therapist. Why is that? Well it’s quite hard for men to talk about things like their bodily functions or their mental health and although the male stereotype is changing, we’re still not big on sharing. Thankfully there is more help available for younger men. They are more aware of their diet and keeping their bodies healthy. Education and social media has undoubtedly played a big part in that.

 

Men’s Health Forum report that men are less likely than women to acknowledge illness or to seek help when sick. Health is often socially constructed as a feminine concern. It seems that men tend to use the health service when a certain threshold of ill health has been passed. Additionally, there is a tendency to play things down and attribute signs to growing old.  ‘Being a man’ about things can have negative outcomes in that symptoms and feelings are often left or not even reported.  This means that during that time, and long before that threshold is reached, something positive could have been done.

 

According to Men’s Health Forum, the top five health issues facing men are:

 

1. Diabetes

1 in 10 men have diabetes with men 40% more likely to die prematurely of the disease than women.

 

90% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, due to lifestyle factors and diet. It’s estimated that an additional 1 million people in UK don’t know that they are living with Type 2 diabetes.

 

A change in diet, exercise and quitting smoking are the key to prevention. And lifestyle changes can actually reverse diabetes.

 

2. Loneliness

1 in 8 men across the UK have no close friends, according to a survey funded by the Movember foundation*. This amounts to 2.5 million British men with no friends to turn to for support during a crisis.

 

It’s a shocking statistic and one that relates back to the fact that men tend not to share their problems or develop supportive networks of friends. This can have a big impact on men’s mental health and overall wellbeing, especially if their romantic relationships break down.

 

3. Prostate Cancer

Earlier this year and for the first time in the UK, prostate cancer hit the headlines as the number of men dying from prostate cancer overtook the number of women dying from breast cancer

 

One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and a total of 4 in 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed late making it more difficult to treat.

 

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of male death in the UK, with 119,000 men having a heart attack each year, compared to 69,000 women. Risk factors for heart disease include: smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol or having diabetes.

 

5. Suicide

A massive 75% of suicide victims in the UK are male, with suicide the single biggest killer of men under 45 however it’s not just young men who are at risk.

 

Stress is one of those things that if left unchecked can be the cause of and a precursor to so many health issues. Our modern world naturally propels us into a fight-or-flight existence and we are constantly battling with the result of it – stress. You could argue ‘well everyone gets stressed’ but the long-term consequences of chronic stress are significant:

 

  • damages your immune system and heart

  • increases your chances of serious health problems

  • reduces life-expectancy

  • damages your sex life

 

Just as stopping smoking, drinking less, doing exercise and watching your weight are important factors in keeping you healthy, using alternative medicine also supports and helps to reduce stress. Taking a holistic view of your health means not waiting till you’re on your knees before getting help. Whether you’re in your 20’s or 60’s, being proactive in looking after your health now means you’re less likely to pay for it later.

 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging more about men and their health from a holistic perspective. Watch this space…

 

Andy Levy BSc Hons, MBAcC, LicTuiNa, MRTCM

Andy is Associate Acupuncturist at Peachy Acupuncture

 

  • Movember Foundation

 

 

 

 

Recovering From Chronic Migraines

Jacqui had suffered from Chronic Fatigue since the age of 11 and migraines. She came for treatment when she’d had daily debilitating migraines for three months.

Her neck, shoulders and back were incredibly tight due to being in constant pain and this in turn exacerbated her migraines.

Jacqui wasn’t able to work, had stopped going out much or seeing friends and felt very low about her situation. She was incredibly sensitive to light and just waking up would trigger a migraine. Her longstanding Chronic Fatigue meant she had little energy for anything.

Since her initial treatment, she just comes for monthly top ups to keep her migraine free.

 

Jacqui’s story: 

I saw Rita weekly for a few months. Prior to seeing her I was having daily debilitating migraines in which I felt like I could not function let alone work. 

Rita made me feel very comfortable from the start. She was warm, friendly, personable, professional, I was confident in her ability. The Clinic was clean and well presented.

She treated me with acupuncture, tuina massage and cupping.

I can now go weeks and not have a migraine, and I can work and socialize without having to worry about cancelling everything due to my headaches. I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue and Rita’s treatments gave me more energy allowing me to be more productive.

Rita has freed me from my prison of migraines and given me a new lease on life.

I’d definitely recommend Rita

 

Definitely