“When I first went to The Amber Centre I had a problem with my back, but thankfully after a few visits to you and taking your nutrition I am in great health again Thank God! I appreciate all you have done for me. Many thanks and God Bless you always.”
“After months of agonising back pain and attending my doctor up to 3 times a week for medication I was put on for sciatica, I attended The Amber Centre. Alma did the allergy test and explained that the pain I was in was from my hip bone being out of place. This was put back in place along with a bone in my neck and I got relief immediately. I was given courses of drops over the period of a few months and haven’t looked back since. Medical professionals were suggesting an operation as medication wasn’t working. Thankfully I didn’t need to have this.”
Ann – Co. Kildare
“In the year 2000, after a serious illness, my recovery was very slow. I heard about The Amber Centre and Alma and decided to try the holistic approach. I am so glad I did. I had muscle, back and sinus problems but now I feel great! I go on a regular basis and I find talking to Alma a great help.
Thank you Alma.”
Teresa Barry – Co. Westmeath
“I first attended Alma’s clinic many years ago with back and digestive problems. I personally benefited greatly from the treatment I received. I would like to thank Alma for her treatment, support and interesting chats during those years.”
Nuala McDonnell – Co. Westmeath
What is Back Pain?
Most back pain goes away within a week or two; fewer than 20 percent of people continue to have pain after six weeks. However, strained ligaments, severe muscle strains, and herniated discs can take up to three months to heal. In a small number of cases, back pain becomes chronic and can continue for several years. Keep in mind, though, that while most pain does not persist day in and day out for months, once you’ve “put your back out”, it’s likely to happen again.
• Muscles and Ligaments: The most common source of pain is a strained muscle or ligament. Either can result from underconditioning (playing two hours of tennis after being inactive for several months); overexertion (doing a lot of heavy lifting); or forcing your back into a position it’s not designed for (twisting to reach something in the back seat of your car, or doing a lot of bending, sitting – or standing still). Poor posture, weak muscles, having your centre of balance shifted by pregnancy, excess weight around the middle, and high-heeled shoes can also contribute to muscle and ligament strain.
• Discs: In some cases, back pain occurs when a disc gets squashed and presses on a nerve. Imagine that you have a small water balloon sandwiched between your hands. Your hands are two vertebrae; the balloon, which keeps your vertebrae from banging into and rubbing against each other, is a disc. Now press down a little on one side of the balloon. That’s what happens when you bend your back. Notice how the balloon expands on the other side. After years of constant pressure – or one swift, ill-advised move – the disc can bulge out from between your vertebrae or even rupture. That’s a herniated disc. Keep in mind, however, that recent studies show that herniated discs are relatively common but, surprisingly, rarely cause pain.
• Bones: Arthritis can cause back pain if the joints in your spine become inflamed. Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) causes bones to weaken, which can lead to painful fractures or compression. Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, puts pressure on the spinal cord housed inside, resulting in pain.
• Psychological Stress: Many experts have observed that stress can aggravate back pain and slow recovery. In many cases, it may actually be the primary cause of the pain.
• Chronic Pain: The latest theory on chronic pain (unexplained pain that lasts for more than three months) is that the body’s pain mechanism has simply gone haywire. Think of your brain as a compact disc player and pain as a compact disc. Normally it takes a physical injury to push the “play” button. But in chronic pain patients something goes awry: the “play” button is activated by an unknown source (possibly the memory of a particular pain or psychological factors such as stress), and it’s stuck on auto-repeat!
• In a word, exercise. Walking, cycling, and swimming are all safe, aerobic activities that will build up general fitness.
• Stretching helps keep your muscles and ligaments flexible, and strengthening exercises for your back and abdominal muscles will help you resist strains and keep your vertebrae comfortably aligned.
• Practice good posture; don’t slouch. Don’t sit or stand still for too long. If you have a desk job or are taking a long car or plane trip, shift your posture from time to time and take stretching breaks.
• Make sure your work surface (whether it’s a desk or kitchen counter) is at a comfortable height, so you don’t have to bend.
• When sitting, choose chairs with good lower-back support, or put a pillow or rolled-up towel behind the small of your back. Rest yor feet flat on the floor; if the chair is too high, get a footrest.
• When standing, prop one foot up on a box or low stool.
• When lifting something, squat down to pick it up…instead of bending over – then hold it close to your body and lift with your legs rather than your back. Bend your hips and knees and avoid bending your back when lifting loads. Never bend over and twist at the same time.
• When lying down, lie either on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with knees bent and a pillow between them.
• Avoid high-heeled shoes.