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back pain

Tens of thousands of Irish people are facing their romantic and sex lives being damaged by chronic pain, a study revealed yesterday.

1.65 million sufferers nationwide live with acute and persistent discomfort in Ireland, which takes a toll on work, sleep, leisure and relationships.

35 percent of study participants claimed that the persistent pain had deeply affected their sex lives, with 17 percent saying their pain had a huge impact on their physical relationships.

Chronic pain is defined by health experts and doctors as over 12 weeks of consistent pain, with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists saying three-out-of-four sufferers can't live regular lives

Among those with chronic pain, almost half reported that their ability to sleep had been damaged. 

Dr Brona Fullen of the UCD School of Public Health said:

“Living with persistent pain is not easy. Not only does it impact on on physical well-being but also your mental health. Emotions such as worry, stress, anxiety, low mood, fear and anger can develop.”

The survey interviewed 1,000 people, with 434 reporting that they had suffered chronic pain at one part in their lives.

75 percent said that it had a negative impact on their social activities and exercise. 70 percent of sufferers admitted that it damaged their ability to take part in family life and playing with their children.

Chronic pain is costing the taxpayer billions each year, according to the ISCP. This Sunday marks World Physiotherapy Day, with the 2019 theme being chronic pain.

The normal tissue healing frame is three-to-six months, and most chronic pain conditions have no apparent biological value. The causes and cures of female pain disorders are especially under-researched.

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According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, at least 200 million women worldwide have endometriosis. That's one in every ten people with uteruses (including me).

The disorder is classified as an estrogen-dependent chronic inflammatory disease that affects women starting at reproductive age. Because it's a female pain disorder, the cause is entirely unknown.

Tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, causing painful lesions and numerous highly disruptive symptoms. From pelvic pain, nausea, brain fog and fatigue to lower back pain and chronic abdominal pain; it literally won't leave you alone.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Even worse, it takes the average person nine years to get diagnosed with endometriosis. Even with diagnosis, there's no cure for the condition so you're fairly stuck for options.

Many women choose birth control pills or an IUD to try and reduce the symptoms, but even with excision and ablation surgery, the disorder will keep on regenerating. 

Surgical removal of the lesions and hormonal contraception can help, but you're never free from it's grip. Some women have horrific symptoms but very few lesions, making it even harder to understand.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Noemie Elhadad, a professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University, decided to study data sets on the disease, discovering a shocking dearth of information.

Speaking to HuffPost, she said; 

"It’s frustrating because there’s really not a whole lot of solutions out there. Treatments are available, but we don’t know who yet who will respond in which way to what treatments. There’s still a whole lot of experimentation required and it’s really a burden on the patient.”

Elhadad’s own frustration with endometriosis coupled as well as her research on the intersection of technology and medicine spurred her to look further into the matter.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“There’s not tonne of documentation in medical claims about how many surgeries women experience for endometriosis and what type of surgery is done for them, for example. It felt like we were missing actual relevant data to study better the disease.”

That need for data led Elhadad to create Phendo, an app which allows sufferers to track their endometriosis symptoms, treatments and pain-management strategies.

“I want to change the mental model of the way the disease is diagnosed,” states Elhadad. Herself and other researchers asked patients directly to share their experiences to build a catalogue of symptoms.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Phendo has over 6,000 participants globally who engage and track their symptoms on the app, creating helpful data for scientists and medical researchers. 

It's also a means to educate women so they can adequately advocate for themselves at the doctor's office, which can be an intimidating place.

“There’s a lot of evidence by now of gender biases in healthcare where women in general are not being heard when they talk about their symptoms,” said Elhadad.

The app “can show in a very nearly mathematical way, a graph of this is how your pain has been in the past few months, it feels like an accurate description and something that feels so objective about who they are and hopefully a way to get heard.”

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It's time to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in the employment calendar; National Sickie Day. *Tosses confetti*

We figured it's time to do some healthy digging and find out what gems people were using to call in sick to work, and we also desired to know the dumbest excuses too. Natural curiosity gets the better of us…

Employment Law Experts (ELAS) are saying that the estimated number of employees calling in sick in 2017 on National Sickie Day was… wait for it…350,000 WORKERS. Wow.

Why is the first week of February just too unbearable for everyone to face their jobs? A combination of factors are predicted, such as the first weekend after Dry January and the first post-Christmas pay-day.

mean girls wink GIF by T. Kyle

ELAS have also predicted that National Sickie Day will cost the British economy around £45 million (€51.3 million), due to hours lost, wages and overtime. Good God, that's a LOT of wasted labour.

According to a survey by AXA PPP, using the flu excuse seemed to be satisfactory for four out of 10 bosses. However, eight percent of managers weren't convinced by a single one of the nine 'best excuses' listed below…

The number one excuse for ringing in sick (according to the boss) was the flu, with back pain coming in second, and injury caused by accident in third place.

Stress, elective surgery, depression, anxiety, common cold and migraine finished up the top nine, with 'none of the above' in 10th place, meaning there were some other crackers outside of the top 10 that we just NEED to hear.

According to ELAS, the absolute WORST excuses in 2016 for missing work were:

“My only pair of work trousers is in the wash”, “It’s my dog’s birthday and I need to arrange a party for him”, “The dog ate my shoes”, “I got arrested”, “I lost my PPE”, and of course; “I stayed out partying last night and haven’t had any sleep”.

Classic. Other contenders were; “My friend is on annual leave so I can’t get a lift”, “I have no way to get to work” and “My wife earns more than me so I have to look after the kids”

Ah lads, you've got to do better than that. A bit of creativity would go a long way with that lot…

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Don't get us wrong, we love our skinny jeans.

We love our skinny jeans, our parka jackets, and our cross body bags; but apparently, they're all impacting our health.

According to a British health professional, our clothing choices are leading to back and neck pain, as well as other movement problems.

 

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Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association told The Telegraph: "I am always surprised at how many of my patients are unaware that their clothing and accessories can affect their back health and their posture, and equally how many decide their outfit-choice outweighs their pain.

"Some of the most popular items of clothing can have a hidden health impact.

"While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items like skinny jeans can also wreak havoc – they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies.

 

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As well as our jeans, some new trends from this season are also causing us to strain our bodies which can impact our posture.

"Trends such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewellery can also create problems.

"Large hoods can mean you strain your neck in order to see, and asymmetric hemlines, especially if tight-fitting, can restrict your movement and cause you to walk differently.

"Oversized sleeves can cause you to hold your arms in a different or unusual way, so once again your body will be compensating for your fashion choices."

 

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Thankfully, Tim added that he's "certainly not saying stop wearing your favourite clothes altogether, like most things in life, moderation is best and there are easy ways you can reduce the impact on your posture and overall health."

Praise be to baby Jesus, we thought we were going to have to do a major wardrobe clear-out.

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Most of us shudder at the thought of having to give up our favourite pair of heels.

The perfect pair of skyscrapers can make or break any outfit, but just how much of our health are we sacrificing for foot fashion?

Studies have shown that towering tootsies can take their toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet, while even altering your posture and gait.

Here’s how high heels affect different parts of your body and why it may be something you won’t stand for anymore.

Feet
The higher the heel, the bigger the impact. Normally, your feet act like weight-distributing shock absorbers, cushioning your skeleton from the intense, daily amount of pounding. However, one study found that four-inch stilettos can raise the amount of pressure on the front of the foot by 30 percent or more. Ouch!

Ankles and calves
Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, a movement that could restrict circulation in your lower limbs. If you’re a regular heel wearer, this could eventually spell spider veins.

Back
In order to strut around in heels, your spine needs to sway unnaturally, a process that stresses your lumbar erector spinae muscle and in time this could result in a weak and painful lower back.

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Experts estimate that more than 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.

While we’ll spend whole afternoons browsing for the bra that’ll bring out the Kelly Brook in us, we don’t pay as much attention to getting the right fit.

But wearing a badly fitted bra can actually make you ill, leading to headaches, neck pain, poor circulation and skin and even breathing problems. A badly fitted bra will also affect your posture in a bad way.

Your breasts change throughout your life, so be sure to get fitted for the correct bra every six months. The average woman changes bra sizes six times in her life, due to changes such as hormones, weight loss or gain, pregnancy or exercise.

With a perfect fitted bra, the breasts are supported from underneath and not from the shoulder straps. This way it will be almost no pressure on the shoulders.

Most lingerie departments have bra-fitting specialists who can measure you on request. A bra should lie firmly against the rib cage. 90 percent of a bra’s support comes from a firm band. A 10 percent loss or gain or in weight usually equals a change in one cup size. A bra should be level front to back across the bodice.

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