Don’t Let Back Pain Disrupt Your Sleep

Girl stretching on mat

Picture by: Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Let Back Pain Disrupt Your Sleep

After a long day and an aching back, nothing sounds better than falling into bed and drifting off to sleep. Unfortunately, if you are a back pain sufferer, sleep might not provide the sweet relief you are looking for. The pain continues, you can’t get comfortable, and it ends up being a painful night of tossing and turning. While there isn’t a cure for your back pain, there are a few ways to take some of the pressure off so that you can escape to dreamland.

Strengthen Your Core

When pain is involved, exercise is likely the last thing you want to do, but strengthening your core could help alleviate some of that pain. According to physical therapist Sean Kinsman, “When the muscles that surround and help stabilize the spine aren’t strong enough to properly function, other structures have to pick up the slack,” which results in stress on your back and the resulting pain. A strong core can take the pressure off and give you some relief. There are several easy exercises you can perform from the comfort of home such as the bird dog, dead bug, or seated hip switches. You might also try some gentle stretching before bed as well to loosen up tight muscles and relax both your mind and body.

Eat Right for Healthy Joints

Have you ever stopped and truly thought about how important food is to your overall health? The food you put in your body has a direct impact on every system in your body, including bone and joint health. Some foods in particular rise above the others as far as their ability to promote healthy joints. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale help your bones absorb calcium. Broccoli even takes its superpowers a step further with sulforaphane, a bio-active compound that can help prevent joint pain. Other super foods to add to your diet include ginger, bone broth, and fruits that are rich in vitamin C such as pineapples, strawberries, and mangoes.

Change Your Sleep Position

We all have that one sleep position in which we feel the most comfortable, but there are a few changes you can make to reduce pain. Side sleepers should keep knees bent, put a pillow between their legs to align their spine, and switch sides periodically. If you are a back sleeper, put a pillow under your knees and a rolled-up towel under the small of your back to mimic your back’s natural curve. Sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended due to its lack of support, but if you must, put a pillow under your abdomen and try going without the head pillow to avoid straining your neck.

Shop for a New Mattress and Pillow

Both your mattress and your pillow could be exacerbating your pain rather than relieving it. The proper mattress for ultimate spinal support will be the perfect firmness (medium-firm), which can be achieved with memory foam, latex foam, or an innerspring. All options conform to your body’s natural shape, so it comes down to a matter of comfort, preference, and budget. When you shop around for a new mattress, make sure you try it out on each side as well as your back, and ask about the return policy.

You might also consider investing in a new pillow that helps align your spine, support your head and neck, and reduce pressure points. Back and stomach sleepers will benefit from a thin pillow with a little lift at the bottom to support the head. Side sleeps should opt for a firm pillow with a gusset to add thickness. No matter what you choose, don’t let your purchases go to waste by getting out of bed the wrong way and twisting your back. Instead of popping out of bed and risking even more pain, roll on your side and push yourself up.

Millions of people have back pain, and as one of them, you know the effects it has on your sleep. Don’t lie there in pain. Instead of just reading the above tips, put them into action today!

by,

Cheryl Conklin

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MS PAIN AND ICING DOWN THE SPINAL COLUMN

MS PAIN AND ICING DOWN THE SPINAL COLUMN

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

 I need to start by saying that I am not advocating that anyone do what I did and, in fact, still do. I’m only telling you my story of what I did quite frequently especially early on in my first initial attacks. And yes, it did and still does, help quite a bit if my pain becomes too intense.

     My first major attack was downright brutal. My legs locked up to the point where I was walking like I was standing on stilts. And my feet burned made even worse by the

hundreds of needle like pricks that I felt with every step I took. But the worst pain was in my sciatic nerves running up and down both my right and left legs. And it didn’t take long for this nearly intolerable pain to move up into my lower back making every bend and twist an agonizing experience.

     And it wasn’t long after these first symptoms that my MS moved into my hands causing my fingers to curl up to the point where I could barely get my hand to open. And finally came the flashing in my eyes and the dizzy spells that more than once sent me to my knees on the floor.

     And these were just the physical symptoms. I also had to deal with the fear of being attacked by something that even my doctor was totally perplexed about. Oh, and did I mention that I was between jobs and had absolutely no insurance at the time?

     In the beginning my doctor put me on 800 mg of Ibuprofen every six hours. And I’m sure the fact that did absolutely nothing won’t come as a surprise to any of you who also have multiple sclerosis. And since I didn’t have insurance and couldn’t really afford to see a neurologist right away I was left with only one solution that I felt might bring some relief. I went to a hardware store and purchased several of the blue icy packs that you freeze and put into coolers to keep food and drinks cold when traveling or going camping. 

     As soon as they were frozen I started laying on them with one or two of them positioned along my lower back for literally hours at a time. And thankfully it started to relieve my pain almost immediately. And then after a few days I noticed that both my legs and my hands began to loosen up to the point where I could stand and walk almost normally again and stretch my fingers to their fullest extension.

     I kept this up for weeks as the attack slowly subsided overall. At one point I had my spinal column so cold I could feel my nervous system rattle inside my body. This was a very strange experience because I could feel my nerves buzzing inside my brain.

     Fortunately after my initial attack I have never had one that severe again but I still used ice for years after this whenever I had an exacerbation with intense pain. And every time I did it my pain subsided to a point where it was at least tolerable. And I still do this though not anywhere near as much as I used too.

     The surprising thing about this over all of these years, is that none of my neurologists have ever said not to do this, though they’ve never really said that it was a great idea either. The two things that I will add here is that it’s cheap and it’s drug free which you can’t say about most other MS treatments on the market!

By Bill Walker

 

REQUEST FOR SPECIAL PET STORIES

I’m requesting stories from any and all of you who have ever had a pet die and than return in any way to let you know that they survived death and came back to ease your fears about their crossing. I think I’m going to write a book about pets surviving death as I have had like at least three of my pets return after death to comfort me after their transition.

What I would like for you to do is to first write the experience you had out in long hand and put it down for a day, or a little while, and then type it out and send it to me at the email address below. If and when I write the book I will certainly let everyone know especially if their story made it into the book. This is kind of a nonscientific study that I am undertaking so I would love to hear from you all if you’ve got a story to tell. The reason for having you write it out twice is that usually after you write something once and wait a little bit your mind starts to recall the experience and you often remember more than you did in your first draft. And I want the stories to be as in-depth as they possibly can be.

Please send your stories to: wc.walker@yahoo.com

Thank you in advance. And please ask around family and friends to see if they have stories to contribute. Please put, Pets surviving Death, in the subject box!

MS Pain, Inflammation, and Non-Alcoholic Beer

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

MS Inflammation and Non-Alcoholic Beer

The 2018 Olympics are now just about over and it appears that Germany will come in second or third with the total medal count at these winter games. In the overall scheme of things that isn’t all that surprising. However, one reason that the German trainers are attributing this too is kind of a surprise.

     We all know that Germany is considered the beer capital of the world. But it appears that it is not just the work ethic of the German Olympic team that is helping them on to victory. German trainers and the teams Olympic Doctors are also attributing the team’s success to non-alcoholic beer.

     It should come as a no brainer that drinking regular alcoholic beer isn’t the best way to train for the Olympics so trainers a few years back started letting their athletes drink non-alcoholic beer while training instead of forcing them to be completely beer free.

     Over a short period of time the trainers and doctors began to notice that their athletes were recovering from injuries in a far shorter period of time than they had previously. And of course this made everyone wonder why?

     Through a process of elimination they began to suspect that maybe it had something to do with the non-alcoholic beer that these Olympians were now drinking so they decided to study it. And low and behold they discovered that the reason these athletes were recovering so quickly was because non-alcoholic beer has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body. Which naturally accelerated the body’s ability to heal after most injuries.

     In the article I read they did not specify what exactly it was in non-alcoholic beer that was responsible, nor did this article say whether regular beer also has this same effect. But really, who cares.

     So don’t feel bad if you have the urge to go grab a six pack of non-alcoholic beer and let lose.

     This one’s for you multiple sclerosis!    

Bill Walker   

MS and Stem Cell Particles

A picture of me.

Bill Walker                                                                   

This is a reprint from a recent study:

Dr. Metcalfe, who is based at Cambridge University in England, is currently looking for funding to further develop her theory that using a stem cell particle called a LIF would switch off the body’s auto-immune cells and help repair the brain.

In addition to being able to switch off the body’s autoimmune response, LIF also protects the brain and spinal cord — the areas affected by multiple sclerosis — and aids in repairing tissue, including brain tissue.

The research has not been smooth sailing. Metcalfe has found that LIF cannot survive outside the cell for more than 20 minutes before being broken down by the body, making it difficult to use as a therapy. However, she has found that nanoparticles could be the answer to the problem, as they can be used to help deliver the LIF therapy. By using antibodies with the nanoparticles, the therapy can be directed to certain areas of the brain — helping to repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis.

Metcalfe is now looking for research funding and hopes that one of the big pharmaceutical companies will step in. She hopes to begin clinical trials of the therapy by 2020.

MS and Gut Bacteria

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

This is a reprint from a recent study.

A study has found that microbes in your gut may influence the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). It could be a key step towards specific treatment, and help solve what causes MS.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, two different teams conducted separate research and made the same findings. One was from the University of California, San Francisco, and the other from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

The first team investigated the gut microbiomes of 71 MS patients and 71 control subjects. They identified specific species of bacteria that were more common in the former than the latter. Next, they exposed these bacteria to human immune cells, and found that two species triggered cells to become pro-inflammatory. One found at lower levels triggered immune responses.

In tests on mice, they found that these bacteria had a similar effect. Replacing mice microbiomes with those from an MS patient caused the mice to lose immune-regulatory cells and develop neurodegeneration, a pathway to MS.

The second study came to a similar conclusion, finding that microbiome transplants could increase symptoms in mice.

“Two different groups, using two separate cohorts of patients and controls, and two distinct mouse models of the disease, saw very similar results,” Egle Cekanaviciute said in a statement, who was involved in both studies. “This is very promising evidence that we’re on the right track.”

MS affects about 2.5 million people across the globe, and is known as an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder. It can lead to loss of vision, weakness, and even paralysis. It’s caused by the immune system attacking the insulation around nerve cells, called myelin, but scientists have been at a loss to explain why this occurs.

These latest studies could provide an answer. While the microbiome probably isn’t the only trigger, it could play a role. This could lead to some new treatments in the future to help tackle MS.

“The microbiome is very malleable,” said Sergio Baranzini, also involved in both studies. “You could relatively easily change it in an adult who has MS or is susceptible – something you cannot do with their genetics. This is not a magical approach, but it is hopeful.”

MS and Reducing Summer Car Heat

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

We all know that summer heat and humidity are absolutely brutal on people with multiple sclerosis. And escaping it is almost impossible to do. But one area where everyone, ms or not dreads is getting into a car that has been sunbathing for a few hours and the internal temperature is usually somewhere in the 120 degree range.

There is a somewhat easy choice to reduce some of that direct sunlight. You’ve probably already seen them and perhaps laughed at some of the more goofy ones. If you’ve ever wondered if those car screens in the front window, and occasionally in the back as well, work? They do, and are very effective in keeping your car from becoming a roaster oven.

You can buy these screens at Walmart and other similar stores. And also keep your windows cracked open just enough to let any heat that may build up to escape. You can also invest in solar powered window fans that run off the power of the sun while your not in the car keeping the air moving so the heat moves out any cracked windows.

Try to stay cool and have a great summer everybody!

Bill Walker

Do you know a literary agent or book publisher that would be willing to read my book? If so please email me and let me know. 

MS a Child with Cancer and a Kitten

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

The power of having a pet, in this case a kitten, can change people’s lives forever. The following true short story was published in Parade Magazine a few weeks ago. And though it is not about multiple sclerosis it is nothing but pure love, so I decided to share it here. It brings hope that any disease can be cured!

 

ONE LAST WISH

 

Robin and Mark Myers, of Suwanne, GA., are grateful for the rescue that came into their family’s life when their 12-year-old daughter, Kylie, was battling cancer.

     “Cancer stole a lot from Kylie, but she was determined it wouldn’t steal her joy,” says Robin. When the family got the news that Kylie was dying. She looked up with a weak smile and a twinkle in her eye, asking her dad, “Now can I finally have a kitten?” Sharing their story on what would have been Kylie’s 15th birthday, Robin recalls, “We would’ve said yes to anything.”

     A friend swung by the local shelter and rushed to Kylie’s bedside with a kitten. Kylie named her Liza and the kitten curled up in the crook of her arm. “Liza just stayed there and didn’t leave her side at all in the few days until we lost Kylie,” Robin recalls through tears. “The last thing Kylie said was, ‘I want you to help find a cure for childhood cancer, and please take care of my kitty.’

     “But it’s Liza, who takes care of me, “says Robin. “When I cry, Liza comes running. She has an uncanny understanding. She rescued our family and keeps Kylie’s spirit alive.” (Visit Parade Magazines website for a video. Sorry, many sites that I publish on will not permit links.)

    

     (The FDA just approved a way to enhance the body’s own immune system to attack, Lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, which has been effective in curing 85% of the patients that have received this new breakthrough treatment. It is hoped that this treatment can one day soon be developed for use in all types of cancers for both humans and pets as well. Making cancer a disease of the past!)

 

Please support your local shelter and adopt whenever you can. And always get your pets spay or neutered.

Bill Walker