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Back Chat -- Do injections work and does faith reduce pain
December 01, 2008

Welcome to Back Chat, my newsletter that will keep you up to date about any important happenings in the world of lower back pain. I am a physiotherapist and so I need to know what the latest thinking is about back pain. I regularly read the newest back pain research and this e-zine will pass that information along to you. Better still, I will tell you what I really think about the latest trends and ideas.

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and let them know about it by passing it along. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe and you will get a free report about sciatica. The Lower Back Pain Toolkit Newsletter

1.12.2008 - Winter - Contents

Hitting the headlines - Does having faith reduce pain?

New Articles - Back pain injections, do they work and do they help reduce the amount of low back surgery?

Top Tips - Avoiding prolonged poor posture is crucial, these simple suggestions may help.

Coming Soon - A few things to keep an eye out for.

Hitting the headlines

Does Faith Reduce Pain Symptoms?

A recent study made it into the papers with startling headlines such as 'Faith in God eases pain' and various other similar claims. The stories are based on a study that used a newish technology called functional MRI. This is an MRI scanner that lets investigators see what is happening in the brain in real time during certain tests.

In this trial they looked at the pain responses by believers and non-believers when shown a picture of the Virgin Mary. The results look interesting on the surface but things may not be all they seem.. Faith and pain

New Articles

Back Pain Injections - do they work?

A couple of really interesting research papers have crossed my path recently and they both involve back pain injections. One of the studies looks at whether we can be sure that back pain injections help at all. The other looks at the rates of injections and surgery in the USA and finds that if you live in Palm Springs you are 18 times more likely to get a spinal injection then if you live in Honolulu! Interesting. Find out more ....

Do epidural injections reduce the need for surgery? Do back pain injections work anyway?

Top Tips

Small posture changes can make a big difference

One of the easiest and most effective ways to manage simple lower back pain is to make sure you are avoiding prolonged postures. Any sustained posture can give you back pain, so if you are sitting all day you are just as at risk then someone who is lifting all day. Its not so much what you do but how long you do it for.

Here are some simple tips to help you manage your posture:

  1. Regularly change your position set a beeper or alarm to remind you to move.
  2. Try a lumbar roll if you sit for long periods - this is a small roll you can place between your belt line and back to stop yourself sagging. See the link below for some ideas on making a home made one.
  3. If you sit make sure you are using a chair that is right for you.
  4. If you have to stand for long periods try putting one foot up on a small box or bag.
  5. Choose the right mattress help for that can be found at the link below.
  6. If you have to lift use the correct lifting techniques.

Postural advice and more can be found on the posture section of the web site.

Posture Hub Page

Coming Soon

The web site has been a bit quiet lately as I have been focusing my energies trying to get my book on back pain written. I have written the first draft and am starting the task of editing it into shape. It is a slow job though!

I wish I was one of those people wealthy enough to rent a beach house somewhere warm and write all day in Hollywood style. Unfortunately I'm not - I am in the cold, wintry UK!

But I am really pleased with how far I have got to date. I feel very excited that this book will make a difference to those of you with simple back pain. I have devised a new model which I hope will make understanding and dealing with your back problem less complicated.Keep watching this space for more news.


In the UK we have a national organisation called the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE). NICE makes decisions on the best treatment for all sorts of things, taking into account both the cost and how well a treatment works. It is an important organisation that decides what care can/should be offered.

This month NICE have released their draft guidance on back pain management. The document contains no real shocks and helpfully reinforces the need to keep people with back pain active. There are one or two small surprises though. When the final document is published I will let you know.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think!

Best wishes


All information is provided as general information to supplement and not replace a consultation with your health care provider. Always seek advice from a physician or other qualified health provider with your particular problem. By reading this you agree to accept the terms and conditions of the web site. Terms and Conditions

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