Apr 18

Britain’s Pain Hotspots Revealed


When you suffer from joint, back or neck pain, then everyday tasks can be a real problem – meaning installing an easy access shower could make a huge difference to your day to day life. You may have examined all the reasons why you suffer such pain, but have you ever considered that your location could be a contributing factor?

Research by the British Chiropractic Association has found a real regional divide in the ways that people suffer with neck or back pain, with the results varying as much as 17 per cent from region to region.

So who has got it worst? Well, seemingly it’s those who live in Northern Ireland. According to the study, 57 per cent of people there complain about neck and back pain, compared to just 40 per cent in the lowest scoring area, which is the south east of England.

Catherine Quinn, the president of the British Chiropractic Association, said that the UK has seen a 12 per cent rise in complaints of back pain year on year: “This suggests the occurrence of back and neck pain has increased over the past year, and it appears we should all be following the lead of the south-east where they seem to be managing it best.”

Londoners are most likely to take preventative measures when it comes to ensuring back pain doesn’t get any worse, while those in the Midlands are most likely to develop pain at an early age.

The research was commissioned to mark this year’s National Chiropractic week.

Oct 31

Long-Term Use Of Paracetamol ‘Worries Doctors’


If you suffer from chronic joint pain, then daily life might be helped by installing an easy access shower or bath. Arthritis in one of the most common aliments in old age, and many of those who suffer from it use over the counter painkillers to ease the discomfort, although some studies have shown that regularly taking these can do more harm than good.

One study showed that around 45 per cent of people use paracetamol to tackle pain, due to how cheap they are and easy to get hold of. It also revealed that taking these kinds of painkillers actually has no effect on improving any pain you’re experiencing, according to this article from The Express.

Doctors have shown concern in the results of long term usage of paracetamol, as it can prove to have toxic results on the body. A third of those who conducted the survey had been taking pain killers for over two months and around a fifth for over three months, though one of the most shocking results from the survey revealed how one participant had been taking them for approximately 29 years.

A consultant rheumatologist spoke to the Express about the concerns doctors have for using pain killers for joint pain: ‘Now the side effects of paracetamol are well documented it is imperative that we look at safer, long term alternatives for those living with joint pain.”

A separate national study carried out across the UK revealed how people who continued to take paracetamol had a 28 per cent increased chance in dying. This increased to a worrying figure of 50 per cent for those who took paracetamol and ibuprofen together.

Aug 21

Rain Not Linked To Arthritis Pain, Says Study


If your need for an easy access shower is due to joint pain, you may be interested in this new study which looks to dispel some myths surrounding conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

As the world has suffered from  this joint-wearing condition, we’ve assumed that wet and cold weather can cause flare ups, but according to new research that may not be true.

Interestingly, the research is not from a medical source, but is by search engine operators, who have correlated people’s searches for information about back and joint pain against the local weather at the time.

Instead of finding that cold weather was causing more pain, it found more Google searches took place when temperatures were hot. Yet this still might not be down to the temperature as such. The data showed that searches were actually down when weather was wet, as well as when heat reached uncomfortable levels.

Scott Telfer, a researcher in orthopaedics and sports medicine at the University of Washington, explained why this correlation might be present: “People are more active on nice days, so are more prone to have overuse and acute injuries from that. They then search online for relevant information.”

While the study looks to dispel the connection between bad weather and joint pain, all it really does is offer up a time when people suffer worse from these pains. It might seem obvious that the more stress you put on your body the worse it will be, but it does not necessarily rule out poor weather as a cause of pain flare-ups.

Jul 27

Should You Consider Bathroom Modifications For Visitors?


When you’re fit and healthy it can be easy not to notice things that can be difficult or even dangerous for older or less-mobile friends and family. The bathroom is a space that can cause particular difficulties and it’s been suggested that looking at this room from the perspective of guests, as well as residents, is a good idea.

Of course, it depends how often you expect to have people who might have reduced mobility visiting you, but introducing small modifications can make it a safer space for everyone.

This is according to Sharon Johnson, who wrote for the Mail Tribune about the merits of installing the likes of shower seats and grab rails before you actually need them.

She added: “Even if you do not personally embrace the need for in-home safety accommodations and improved safety modifications, you recognise the value for a visiting friend or relative.”

This could particularly be the case if you have elderly parents who come to visit regularly and who don’t live close by. If you regularly have guests who struggle with their mobility, you may even want to consider fitting an easy-access shower in your bathroom.

Last month, one builder highlighted the idea of considering modifications to your living space before you actually need them, noting that this can help spread the cost of such changes, as well as making your home safer and reducing the risk of you suffering a debilitating fall as you age.

The idea is to help people stay in their own homes for longer, allowing them to live independent lives, he added.

Jan 30

Call For More Dementia Funding


Former prime minister David Cameron has called on the British government to allocate more funds to fighting dementia.

Speaking in his new role as president of charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, Mr Cameron said that the amount allocated for dementia should not be so far behind that set aside to tackle cancer and strokes.

He added that both these illnesses “deserve their funding”, but stressed that more needs to be done to tackle dementia in the UK.

“Dementia steals people’s lives, turns their relationships upside down, destroys their hopes and dreams. We owe it to them, their families and their carers to find a solution,” Mr Cameron stated.

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, 850,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia, and there are 700,000 of their loved ones acting as informal carers for them. The number of informal carers is expected to rise to 1.3 million by 2050.

People who are looking after relatives suffering from dementia may find making some modifications to their home can be useful. Installing an easy access shower, for example, is a small change but one that could make it easier to provide care and make the bathroom safer.

David Cameron made tackling dementia a personal priority during his time in Downing Street. He hosted the G8 dementia summit, and while he was still in office he launched a challenge on dementia 2020.

The aim of this scheme was to make the UK the best country in the world in terms of dementia care and support, as well as making it the best place to conduct research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.