Nourishing your relationship
on all of these levels
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Take a break: procrastination found to bolster productivity
While the act of procrastination is viewed by many as something highly unacceptable, a trait of the lazy and easily-bored in society, research shows that it may actually lead to increased productivity.
Professor and procrastination expert Piers Steel, Ph.D, gathered 24 participants and divided them in two groups in an effort to assess whether delaying tasks helped or hindered their completion.
News, lead articles, and stories covering a wide range of heatlh matters.
to help yourself
Back Pain Costs.
Mind your Back
©David Passmore 2019
Imag - Grays Anatomy
Vitamin C has a patchy history as a cancer therapy, but researchers at the University of Iowa believe that is because it has often been used in a way that guarantees failure.
Most vitamin C therapies involve taking the substance orally. However, UI scientists have shown that giving vitamin C (also known as ascorbate) intravenously—thus bypassing normal gut metabolism and excretion pathways—creates blood levels that are 100 to 500 times higher than levels seen with oral ingestion. It is this super-high concentration in the blood that is crucial to vitamin C’s ability to attack cancer cells.
People with shoulder pain who expect physiotherapy to help them are likely to have a better recovery than those who expect only minimal or no improvement, according to our latest study. We also found that people are likely to have a better recovery if they are confident they will be able to continue doing things that are important to them, such as socialising, hobbies and work.
Shoulder pain affects people of all ages and can become persistent. Injury and overuse are common causes of shoulder pain, but sometimes the cause is unclear. It can disturb sleep, interfere with work, leisure and everyday activities like washing and dressing. Exercise, prescribed by physiotherapists, is an effective treatment for shoulder pain, but not everyonebenefits from physiotherapy.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and the University of Hertfordshire in the south-east of England, together with local physiotherapists, wanted to find out more about the characteristics of people who benefit from physiotherapy compared with those who continue to experience persistent pain and disability.
Knowing the outcome is important for people with shoulder pain as it helps them decide whether or not to pursue a course of physiotherapy.
Our study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, included 1,030 peopleattending physiotherapy for musculoskeletal shoulder pain in 11 NHS trusts across the east of England. We collected information on 71 patient characteristics, such as age, lifestyle and medical history, and clinical examination findings before and during the patients’ first physiotherapy appointment.
A total of 811 people provided information on their shoulder pain and function six months later.
Not everyone benefits from exercise to ease shoulder pain.
What surprised us was that patients who had said they expected to “completely recover” as a result of physiotherapy did even better than patients who expected to “much improve”.
The most important predictor of outcome was the person’s pain and disability at the first appointment. Higher levels of pain and disability were associated with higher levels six months later. And lower baseline levels were associated lower levels six months later. But this relationship often changed for people who had high “pain self-efficacy”, that is, confidence in the ability to carry on doing most things, despite having shoulder pain.
Another surprise finding was that people with high baseline pain and disability, but with high levels of pain self-efficacy did as well as, and sometimes better than, people with low baseline pain and disability and low pain self-efficacy.
First study of its kind
This is the first study to investigate patient expectations of the outcome of physiotherapy for shoulder pain. Earlier research shows that high patient expectation of recovery predicts a better outcome following physiotherapy for back pain and neck pain, and a better outcome following orthopaedic surgery.
On a similar note, this is the first study to show that higher pain self-efficacy predicts a better outcome in non-surgically managed shoulder pain. Previous research has shown that self-efficacy predicts a better outcome for a range of other health conditions. Also, people with higher self-efficacy are more likely to do the home-exercise programme suggested by their physiotherapist.
If you have shoulder pain, there are several ways to increase your pain self-efficacy. Work with your physiotherapist to understand and manage your symptoms. Practice your exercises together and ask your physiotherapist for feedback, including how to adjust your exercises to make them harder or easier. Finally, make sure you discuss what you want with your physiotherapy and the activities that are important to you.
Medicine is undergoing an existential crisis today. Its core value proposition – to help and not hurt -- is failing to manifest. Patients are suffering. Doctors are suffering.
The only exuberant party on the battlefield against disease is the pharmaceutical industry. An industry whose annual casualties far exceed the death total from our two decade long involvement in the Vietnam war.
The entire system is on the precipice of a collapse, if not for economic reasons alone, then certainly for ethical and intellectual ones.
The irony is that the system has become so ineffective and dangerous that avoiding medical treatment (excluding perhaps emergency care) has become one of if not the best healthcare strategy you can implement to protect your health and well-being.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the realm of cancer.
If medicine makes it through the birth process of its own existential crises, these principles will invoke an entirely new medical model where the placebo effect is not to be "controlled for," but liberated and expanded by educating the patient to the fact that they can and do heal themselves, mainly by avoiding medical treatment and doing the right amount of nothing.
Adapted from A Mind of Your Own: How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan, MD
The book is worth a good read in its own right and it comes from a highly respected source.
A SILENT TRAGEDY IS HAPPENING in modern health care in America, but it is rarely discussed. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—prescription pills. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in four women over the age of 40. Millions more are tempted to try them to end distress, irritability, and emotional “offness”—an exhausting inner agitation that seems impossible to shake.
Down load the pdf below - its free.
Go to the FREE Podcast page and learn how to do Conscious Breathing and Meditation Made Simple - both of which help with depression.
And everybody knows soomebody that regualarly suffers from it.
Over 31 million days are lost from back pain every year.
The annual direct and indirect cost to the UK economy is £12.2 billion.
Just think what the NHS could do with all that cash!
Yet, nobody seems to care that much.
Back pain has recently been toppled as THE No 1 excuse for taking a sickie, simply because it so difficult to disprove.
Can you tell a back-acher from a back faker?
Having got away with it once, they will keep on doing it, as an individuals' history of back pain is the history of back pain recurrence, often in exactly the same place.
A sickie note for life.
It has been replaced by Stress - the No 1 cause of low back pain - because stress causes muscular tension, which leads to back pain.
Bosses don't like you taking time off for stress as they feel you ought to be able to handle stress - but if it leads to back pain - hey - you're onto a winner.
When was the last time you went to see your psychologist for back pain?
It is also the leading medical condition - if thats what you can call it - for cartooonists, who have a field day at the expense of back painers or back fakers, in almost every country around the world.
Normal Hadler writes in his research paper Socio-Economics of Back Pain - "Regional back pain intrudes into the life of healthy working age people for no particular reason. It is painful, noxious and trying. Regardless of the degree to which it hurts or overwhelms, regional back pain is normal. It is an obligate, frequent, intermittent and remittent predicament of life. It is no more abnormal than cold symptoms, headache, heartache, heartburn, and many other common conditions. Regional back pain has, however, come to hold a special place in the fabric of morbidity; it supports an attributional narrative. No one can blithely describe a headache as ‘I injured my head’. Neither would it be sensible to denote angina as stair-climber’s chest. However, everyone is comfortable with the narrative beginning, ‘I injured my back...’ Every physician is inclined to query what the patient was doing when the back pain started, and every sufferer is comfortable searching for an external cause for the pain".
Hitting the nail on the head - I think thats called - brilliant!
Chris Smyth of The Times reports that millions of patients with back pain are being given pointless drugs, surgery and injections, with a third prescribed dangerous opioids, experts say.
Doctors prefer to offer useless and often harmful treatments rather than tell patients there is nothing to be done except stay active, an international group of scientists has found.
Exercise and psychological therapy are the only things that work for most cases of chronic back pain but too many people wrongly believe the myth that rest is best for the condition, they add.
Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability, with up to nine million estimated to suffer from it in Britain and half a billion worldwide, but a series in The Lancet says that it is routinely badly treated.
NHS guidelines recommend mainly exercise and therapy but Martin Underwood of the University of Warwick, one of the series’ authors, says they are often ignored. “In this country it affects a huge number of people,” he said. “It’s something that we’re not very well equipped to deal with. Patients understandably look for solutions and a cure but the reality is we don’t have a cure. We don’t understand what causes the vast majority of back pain.”
Steroid injections are increasing, as are scans that often lead to surgery, a fifth of which actually makes the problem worse, Professor Underwood said. “The evidence underpinning these invasive treatments is very weak indeed. And they have harms.”
He pointed to studies showing that a third of British patients with back pain are given opioids such as tramadol, codeine and morphine but said: “If anything the evidence is that [opioids] can end up making your pain worse.”
Past studies have found that pills like paracetamol and ibuprofen barely help with back pain. Psychological techniques to help cope with pain can stop it leading to permanent disability, however. “Your belief system and psychological state are important predictors of whether you’re going to end up disabled.
It’s a difficult message to get across,” Professor Underwood said
Apart, that is, from being the worlds leading cause of disability and is treated badly, (according to the experts).
We should not underestimate the effect that gravity may have on the spine.
Perhaps, the most noticeable effect of gravity on the body is compression of the spine. ... The downward force of gravity causes the discs to lose moisture throughout the day, resulting in a daily height loss of up to 1/2" - 3/4".
The moisture returns to the disc overnight, but not 100% - but it probably explains why our backs can sometimes feel a little better after a good nights sleep.
The illustration(below) has been redrawn from the classic work of Alf Nachemson (Nachemson A: The Load on Lumbar Disks in Different Positions of the Body, Clin. Orthop., 45:107-122, 1966).
In shows loading (in kilograms) recorded from intradiscal pressure transducers inserted into the L3 disc space of volunteers.
Not many realize that there is more loading in the sitting, rather than the standing position.
Even when recumbent there remains some loading on the spine
More on Alf Nachemson's work to come.