Category Archives: Uncategorized

School chair petition

This is a short post about an important petition to request a change to a technical specification that is used in the design of school chairs – ever wondered why children sit on their legs or tip their chairs forward? They have better postural awareness than many adults!

Designers and manufacturers of chairs for educational institutions across 33 European countries. which work to the Standard’s guidelines, will continue to create school chairs with seats that slope backward.

The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique talk about how these backward sloping chairs are detrimental to our children’s posture, see this link: STAT. Richard Brennan also discusses this problem in his recent book ‘Back in Balance.

Children spend many hours sitting at school desks and doing homework – we should be providing them with the equipment that is designed in the best way to keep them healthy, not set them up for problems in the future.

Please take a look at the petition by pressing on the following link, thank you.

Petition for school chair design




Checklist’s used in British hospitals and around the world

I saw a fascinating Horizon program on the BBC2 last night. Dr Kevin Fong presented the concept of how checklists were now being utilised in British hospitals and elsewhere to reduce errors, sometimes fatal ones by around 30%. Such a simple idea but so effective. He also showed how lessons learnt from people working under pressure in other fields could be utilised in medicine.

I haven’t posted recently because sometimes its useful to pause and reflect. I am still busy with all things ‘backs and necks’ however and this program reminded me of the checklist I proposed for GP’s when seeing patients being troubled by back and neck issues. Could the same percentage benefit be seen in back care within the NHS if our GP’s used a checklist based around the ideas in ‘Teaching Doctors?’ ?That would be something very exciting to find out!

Check out my new ‘blogroll’!

General Practitioner Services

(Photo credit: the justified sinner)

I’ve discovered where to put all the useful links to other websites on this blog! Check them out under ‘blogroll’ on the side each page. They include links to NHS trials on back pain, NICE guidelines for back pain (information given to our GP’s to advise them on how to treat us), STAT and Sarah Key website. More to come!

Natural anti-inflammatories..?

Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) is commonly used along-side pain relief medication and muscle relaxants to help with back and neck problems. For years I have longed for a natural anti-inflammatory. By that I mean a natural alternative to Ibuprofen (commonly called Advil in the US),  Voltaren (diclofenac) or Naproxen which are used for their anti-inflammatory properties. These medications over many years have caused stomach problems (common side effect) and I needed another option to deal with inflammation which didn’t have these side effects.

Pill tablet

Pill tablet (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

A good friend of mine who is a therapist and understands essential oils recommended I look into Plai oil. It’s used commonly in Thailand for massage and thought to have a cooling anti-inflammatory effect. I researched it myself and felt comfortable using it, both neat (on a small area of the body) and in a carrier oil. (I recommend you do your own research and look into what carrier oils work best for you). I am pleased to say it helps. Its exciting to have at last found something which I can use safely instead of the other medications.

For those in similar circumstances with stomach problems from use of NSAID’s I have found after a couple of years using Omeprazole medication I have managed to heal my stomach and am now medication free. I will use plai oil or ibuprofen gel occasionally as needed. There were many days previously when I felt I would never recover from the stomach problems I had. I couldn’t eat spicy or very savoury food. Alcohol was not really possible unless it was a small amount of something like a very sweet wine and so my diet was fairly bland. However things did improve with time. I am now back to a normal diet and manage any pain with the oil or gel as described above.

As always, do your own research and see what works best for you. Its pretty satisfying and dare I say empowering!!!

(Sarah does not have a medical background so it is emphasised that her blog is the result of her experiences and listening to others only. Before doing any of the suggestions contained in her blog, check with your doctor if you have any concerns on how they may affect you)

Moving forward on heels!

I never thought this day would come! Not in my wildest dreams…..I look at other women and wonder how they do it? How on earth do they manage?

I’m talking of course about wearing a pair of high heels!! If you have ever had bad back pain you know what I mean when I say the thought of wearing a pair of high heels is just a step too far! (This post as you may have gathered is aimed primarily at women but men’s heels can also be a fashion!)

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Its been years…..and years! However this weekend saw a celebration and having found a nice outfit, only heels would do. Remarkably a vaguely comfortable pair was found and I put my best foot forward. Not only walking around, but a couple of hours dancing was a necessity! Any thoughts of ‘how on earth am I going to manage’ were strongly pushed away. I told myself I know how to get myself out of difficulty so I’m fine. (The meds were also to hand if things went too wrong!).

Apart from my feet being ‘broken’… was all fine. My usual routine of back care did the job and the ache in my feet is on the way out. Amazed, yes, delighted, absolutely! It’s the little things which mean so much!