Tag Archives: Back Pain Treatment

Patient’s Own Stem Cells to Treat Back Pain

stem cells back painThere is a lot of controversy about the use of embrionic stem cells to treat a miriad of diseases, but now patients are being treated with their own stem cells and a recent case invlolves a Dallas man having been treated for back pain.

As reported on WFAA.com (WFAA-TV), Neurosurgeon Rob Dickerman of Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas has carried out a procedure on firefighter Chris Youngman that takes cells from the hip and uses them to grow more bone tissue in place of degenerated discs in the spine.

Now Chris can work out again and return to work, thanks to the pioneering treatment.

Traditional spine surgery to treat backpain has an extremely poor success rate and has often left patients in a worse condition than before, but this type of surgery claims to be much more effective, and a lot less evasive.

Though I still think surgery should be a last resort, for people in manual jobs who don’t respond to any other treatments, this could be suitable for them.

What do you think?



Top 10 Ways To Prevent Back Pain When Sitting

Top 10 back pain tips when sittingSome employers are waking up to the fact that their employees need to be kept comfortable while working, in order to reduce the number of sickness days due to chronic pain; most notably Back Pain.

The Oman Observer reports that staff at Omantel are being asked “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” as part of a new campaign to reduce the number of back pain incidents and promote better posture so that they look after their backs and stay healthy.
The Omantel Human Resources Unit know that encouraging people to sit properly with the correct posture was vital in acheiving better health and safety standards at work.

Employees are also being given individual questionnaires that help them judge if their backs are healthy and give them practical advice on what to do to make sure their backs stay pain free and injury free. See the full story Here.

More companies need to follow suit. It’s fine to provide them with ergonomic chairs, but many people don’t sit correctly in them, or make the biggest mistake of all; they stay in the same position for too long.

It’s essential to change position regularly, and to stretch and exercise while sitting down for long periods of time. You can achieve this by doing the following exercises; all of which can be done while sitting:

  • Shoulder rolls
  • Shoulders up (for two seconds at a time)
  • Head rolls
  • Arm Stretches
  • Elbow rolls (similar to the funky chicken, but circular)
  • Buttock clenches
  • Thigh clenches
  • Back stretch (arms back, arch the back and face the ceiling – ONLY for a few seconds)
  • Hand stretches (spread the finger out, together with regular making of fists – NO punching people!!)
  • Abdominal clenches  (while rolling your back forward for a few seconds – chin on chest)

posture at workDo these every 20 minutes if possible. No fewer than every 60 minutes. You might want to TELL people beforehand, so they understand what you are doing! In fact why not do a presentation on this for everyone to use?

Some companies don’t even supply their staff with ergonomic chairs, which is a FALSE economy, when they end up losing their staff to back problems.

My personal favorite ergonomic chair is the Kinnarps PLUS 6000 series, and it MUST have arm rests. See one Here. They come in hundreds of different colors and fabrics. And they’re very solid and durable. I have had mine since 2003 and it’s still going strong.

But the best advice to reduce back pain when sitting is to move about when on your breaks. So many people just continue to sit at their desks and look at their emails, or browse the internet. Get up and go for a walk, even if only for five minutes, and it will make all the difference to your back.




Does Acupuncture Work For Your Back Pain?

acupuncture for back painMy ex neighbor had acupuncture every two weeks for over ten years, and claimed it relieved her arthritis right up until her death at age 77.

I peronally tried acupuncture myself about 12 years ago, and although it was relaxing and didn’t hurt at all, it did not relieve my back pain. I thought I had given it a good chance to work, by going three times, but I can’t say it made a difference.

But everyone is different and many thousands of people swear by it. I can certainly understand the option to want to heal yourself naturally, rather than use medication.

The needles used release endorphins, the body’s own pain killers, and how many of these endorphins are released will vary from person to person.

Another elderly lady who recommends acupuncture is 80 year old Texan, Roberta Land, who has been showcased at TylerPaper.com. See Coshandra Dillard’s article; Acupuncture: Precise Points, Body Balance for more information.

Photo by ~ggvic~

Callanetics for Chronic Back Pain

Callanetics for back painI have been doing my Beginner’s Callanetics for years, which is an hour long video of special intensive exercises devised by Callan Pinckney. I would not recommend them without a warm-up beforehand. Just do the Mom-Dancing for a week or two before doing any Callanetics.

Callan Pinckney is somewhat of a miracle lady. She was a disabled child with curvature of the spine, but that didn’t stop her completely banishing her disability, traveling the world and becoming a fitness instructor with top selling books and videos.

But again, everyone who complains that Callanetics doesn’t work for bad backs, has overdone it the first or first few times. It is so easy to overdo it in the beginning. And it’s basic psychology. It takes so much mental effort just to get started, that once we have started, we tend to think “Well I’m up now – might as well carry on.”


And please start with the beginners DVD. Sounds obvious, but some people I know have thought the beginner ones are only for the first few weeks, and attempted the advanced ones before they were ready. I still use the Beginner one after many years I still have the VHS in fact! But also now the DVD. And I missed out the exercises I couldn’t do for several months.

Also, don’t make the mistake of doing Callanetics more than twice a week. I did them every day for nine days to begin with (especially after I saw those photos showing how much the butt had tightened after only 19 hours of exercise!), soldiering on through the pain, but Callan Pinkney herself says only 2 – 3 times a week is needed for optimum improvement. She was right. I ended in up in too much pain and then wouldn’t do them again for several weeks. Totally stupid.

But used correctly Callanetics is a fantastic set of exercises. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to touch my toes with ease if it wasn’t for Callanetics. The perfect tool to have in your arsenal against pain.

Gentle “Mom-Dancing” to Relieve Back Pain

mom-dancingYeah, the Mom-Dancing thing. You know the type; the sort you see every female at a wedding do (apart from the bride). Just gently bobbing up and down, moving your feet only tiny steps in front of you, alternately. Doing that for just three minutes to a suitable song on the radio every morning significantly reduced my pain after only a few days. (Some men dance like that too, but Dad-Dancing is often entirely different, as Dad’s sometimes like to show off!)

After a week or so I added the same method in the evening, and now twice a day is the minimum I do the mom-dancing (on an average day). I also do it in the afternoon before the dog’s teatime walk, but only if working on the PC has left me feeling a bit stiff.

But, and this is very important – the first time you attempt it, just do it for 60 seconds, especially if you have not done any exercise for a while. Sometimes when chronic pain sufferers do any kind of exercise after rarely doing any at all, they think “Oh great – this doesn’t hurt!” For example, if you are surprised to find you are not in pain, and dancing seems easy, you might be tempted to dance to a few songs, especially if those golden oldies come on; the ones you used to pogo to in the 80s, yeah I know. Don’t do that.

Don’t be fooled!

Your back is plotting its revenge. It will make you pay a little later, or the next day. And then what’s going to happen? You’re never going to do any kind of dancing or exercise again, for fear of being in more pain than you already are.

So ease it in gently. Only a minute the first time, then two, then three, but just leave it at that. Just one song every morning, that’s all. You could just do a week of dancing only one minute a day to begin with. Nothing wrong with that. At least you will have started.

And it can’t be just any song either. Try to stick to around 100 beats per minute. Faster than that will be too strenuous. I have been doing this chronic-pain trick for five years and even now I still stick to around 100 beats per minute, which is a lot of pop songs.

“Well, how am I supposed to know what 100 bpm sounds like?” I hear you cry.


Just think of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen, the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” or better still; “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.

And if the song on the radio is about the same tempo, then you’re on the right track (s’cuse the pun).

So how does it work, then?

By warming the body up in a low-impact and fun way. And hopefully it will distract you from the pain you are used to, enough to get into a routine of doing this every day. Then you will begin to see improvements. Don’t underestimate this super little trick. It works best when used in conjunction with other tricks too, but is probably the best way to start off.

Stick around for tons more great pain-beating strategies to make an even bigger difference.

And do let me know how you get on!

Image by David Boyle on Flickr