Autumnal Changes

It’s not just the seasons changing but we at About Backs & Bones are seeing the passage of time bringing positive changes too: We have several new therapists join us over the last year:

The first person you will meet is our extremely competent Melissa; receptionist and Practice admin assistant who welcome you to the clinic and arrange bookings as well as taking the strain behind the scenes.

As well as Paula and Andy we now have Joanne, a Registered Osteopath, who also performs cranial osteopathy and acupuncture. Also introducing Kasia, our Registered Physiotherapist; as well as treating sports injuries and postural or degenerative issues also has experience with the Nottingham Brain Injury Clinic treating neurological conditions.

Amanda, Jenny and Nina continue to provide excellent sports massage which as well as being used on its own to ease muscular pain, also combines very well with osteopathy or physiotherapy especially for those with ongoing sports, postural or occupational challenges.

Richard, a Nutritional Therapist is also part of our team: as well as aiming to improve your health and wellbeing through dietary changes, he can perform specific tests to identify nutritional deficiencies. You will definitely learn a lot and if you feel ‘under the weather’ and your GP has clarifed there is nothing seriously wrong then it is an excellent idea to help yourself through diet and lifestyle changes.

Similarly, but from a different approach we continue to enjoy having Diane, a Naturopathic Kinesiologist who helps work out pain and nutritional imbalances useing the kinesiology muscle testing with the principles of naturopathic treatment to promote good health.

A psychological approach is particularly valuable in times of change: Paul and Amy continue to provide a sensitive and caring counselling service and they do get busy, especially this time of year.

Change is good…it is how we progress and move on to strive to provide the best service possible…let us know how we are doing through the contact form in the website.

Many Thanks

Paula

 

So you feel awful but can’t get antibiotics -try an alternative..

Provided by Diane Harrower (researched from ‘NHS Choices’)

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

Thursday September 11 2014

“Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics,” reports The Independent.

The world desperately needs new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacteria developing resistance to drug treatment. A new study has found that 13 bacteria strains living in honeybees’ stomachs can reduce the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, in the laboratory.

The researchers examined antibiotic-resistant bacteria and yeast that can infect human wounds such as MRSA and some types of E. coli. They found each to be susceptible to some of the 13 honeybee lactic acid bacteria (LAB). These LAB were more effective if used together.

Honey to treat wounds and burns

Back in 2008, we coverednews that suggested honey might be useful for treating burns, but probably not wounds. It’s worth pointing out that the research involves presumably sterile wound dressings already impregnated with honey.

 

It’s best not to treat wounds with honey from the jar in your cupboard – not only due to the uncertain evidence we have, but also to avoid the risk of getting toast crumbs in your wound.

However, while the researchers found that the LAB could have more of an effect than existing antibiotics, they did not test whether this difference was likely to be due to chance, so few solid conclusions can be drawn from this research.

The researchers also found that each LAB produced different levels of toxic substances that may have been responsible for killing the bacteria.

Unfortunately, the researchers had previously found that the LAB are only present in fresh honey for a few weeks before they die, and are not present in shop-bought honey.

However, the researchers did find low levels of LAB-produced proteins and free fatty acids in shop-bought honey. They went on to suggest that these substances might be key to the long-held belief that even shop-bought honey has antibacterial properties, but that this warrants further research.

 

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Lund University and Sophiahemmet University in Sweden. It was funded by the Gyllenstierna Krapperup’s Foundation, Dr P Håkansson’s Foundation, Ekhaga Foundation and The Swedish Research Council Formas.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed International Wound Journal on an open-access basis, so it is free to read online.

The study was accurately reported by The Independent, which appears to have based some of its reporting on a press release from Lund University. This press release confusingly introduces details of separate research into the use of honey to successfully treat wounds in a small number of horses.

 

What kind of research was this?

This was a laboratory study looking at whether substances present in natural honey are effective against several types of bacteria that commonly infect wounds. Researchers want to develop new treatments because of the growing problem of bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. In this study, the researchers chose to focus on honey, as it has been used “for centuries … in folk medicine for upper respiratory tract infections and wounds”, but little is known about how it works.

Previous research has identified 40 strains of LAB that live in honeybees’ stomachs (stomach bacteria are commonly known as “gut flora”). 13 of these LAB strains have been found to be present in all species of honeybees and in freshly harvested honey on all continents – but not shop-bought honey.

Research has suggested that the 13 strains work together to protect the honeybee from harmful bacteria. This study set out to further investigate whether these LAB might be responsible for the antibacterial properties of honey. They did this by testing them in the laboratory setting on bacteria that can cause human wound infections.

 

What did the research involve?

The 13 LAB strains were cultivated and tested against 13 multi-drug resistant bacteria, and one type of yeast that had been grown in the laboratory from chronic human wounds.

The bacteria included MRSA and one type of E. coli. The researchers tested each LAB strain for its effect on each type of bacteria or yeast, and then all 13 LAB strains were tested together. They did this by placing a disc of material containing the LAB at a particular place in a gel-like substance called agar, and then placing bacteria or yeast onto the agar.

If the LAB had antibiotic properties, it would be able to stop the bacteria or yeast from growing near it. The researchers would be able to find the LABs with stronger antibiotic properties, by seeing which had the largest distance at which they could stop the bacteria or yeast growing.

The researchers compared the results with the effect of the antibiotic commonly used for each type of bacteria or yeast, such as vancomycin and chloramphenicol. They then analysed the type of substances that each LAB produced, in an attempt to understand how they killed the bacteria or yeast.

The researchers then looked for these substances in samples of different types of shop-bought honey, including Manuka, heather, raspberry and rapeseed honey, and a sample of fresh rapeseed honey that had been collected from a bee colony.

 

What were the basic results?

Each of the 13 LABs reduced the growth of some of the antibiotic-resistant wound bacteria. The LABs were more effective when used together. The LABs tended to stop bacteria and yeast growing over a larger area than the antibiotics, suggesting that they were having more of an effect. However, the researchers did not do statistical tests to see if these differences were greater than might be expected purely by chance.

The 13 LABs produced different levels of lactic acid, formic acid and acetic acid. Five of them also produced hydrogen peroxide. All of the LABs also produced at least one other toxic chemical, including benzene, toluene and octane. They also produced some proteins and free fatty acids. Low concentrations of nine proteins and free fatty acids produced by LABs were found in shop-bought honeys.

 

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers conclude that LAB living in honeybees “are responsible for many of the antibacterial and therapeutic properties of honey. This is one of the most important steps forward in the understanding of the clinical effects of honey in wound management”.

They go on to say that “this has implications not least in developing countries, where fresh honey is easily available, but also in western countries where antibiotic resistance is seriously increasing”.

 

Conclusion

This study suggests that 13 strains of LAB taken from honeybees’ stomachs are effective against a yeast and several bacteria that are often present in human wounds. Although the experiments suggested that the LABs could inhibit the bacteria more than some antibiotics, they did not show that this effect was large enough to be relatively certain it did not occur by chance. All of the tests were done in a laboratory environment, so it remains to be seen whether similar effects would be seen when treating real human wounds.

There were some aspects of the study that were not clear, including the antibiotic dose that was used and whether the dose used was optimal, or had already been used in the clinical setting where the species were collected. The authors also report that an antibiotic was used as a control for each bacteria and the yeast, but this is not clearly presented in the tables of the study, making it difficult to assess whether this is correct.

The study has shown that each LAB produces a different amount or type of potentially toxic substances. It is not clear how these substances interact to combat the infections, but it appears that they work more effectively in combination.

Low concentrations of some of the substances that could be killing the bacteria and yeast were found in shop-bought honey, but this study does not prove that they would have antibacterial effects. In addition, as the researchers point out, shop-bought honey does not contain any LABs.

Antibiotic resistance is a big problem that reduces our ability to combat infections. This means there is a lot of interest in finding new ways to combat bacteria. Whether this piece of research will contribute to that is currently unclear, but finding these new treatments will be crucial.

 

Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter. Join the Healthy Evidence forum.

Links to the headlines

Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics, scientists claim. The Independent, September 10 2014

Links to the science

Olofsson TC, Butler E, Markowicz P, et al. Lactic acid bacterial symbionts in honeybees – an unknown key to honey’s antimicrobial and therapeutic activities. International Wound Journal. Published online September 8 2014

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Is paracetamol good for back pain?

Is Paracetamol Good for Low Back Pain – Andy Young

 

A recent high quality study has demonstrated that paracetamol is no better than a placebo in treating acute episodes of low back pain. Not surprising  to many sufferers of low back pain, but, this partly contradicts the standard guidelines for the treatment of acute low back pain in use by GPs. Despite this strong evidence it is considered too early to start rewriting guidelines as further research is needed.

Medical protocols are based upon the best available evidence. However, the best available evidence is not necessarily of the best quality. This can often lead to much controversy and confusion. So what was the evidence supporting the use of paracetamol in the first place? Well apparently paracetamol had been previously demonstrated as effective in managing other painful conditions such as post-operative pain. So, it was presumed to be effective with low back pain too.

It should be noted that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen work by a different mechanism (compared to paracetamol) and are still considered to be an effective first line treatment for low back pain. However, NSAIDs can cause severe stomach irritation and should not be taken with certain medications. If you are in any doubt about the medication you are taking you should consult with your GP or pharmacist.

Exercise and physical therapy such as osteopathy or physiotherapy can also play a significant role in the treatment of low back pain.

For further information about paracetamol and low back pain follow the NHS link below.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/07July/Pages/Paracetamol-doesnt-work-for-lower-back-pain.aspx

 

 

Simple driving position adjustments to save your life

Results of the British Osteopathic Association Survey

15 MILLION DRIVERS AT RISK OF WHIPLASH DUE TO BAD SEATING POSITIONS

Drivers who fail to wear seatbelts correctly are at risk of injury according to the British Osteopathic Association (BOA). While most people are fully aware that wearing a seatbelt saves lives, the majority are not aware that the way they sit in a car plays a huge part in their personal safety.

The results of a survey by the BOA has found over one in ten drivers (13%) sit too far back for their seatbelt to offer effective protection in a frontal crash. To be effective, the belt should be sitting over the bones of the pelvis and not the stomach preventing internal injuries and in contact with the shoulder to prevent serious neck injury. Sitting too far from the belt can often lead to submarining – where the occupant slips under the belt which can cause catastrophic injuries.

Half (45%-15 million) of all UK drivers do not drive in a position where their head is close enough to the head restraint or they sit too far back for their seatbelt to be effective, so that in an accident, they would be at risk of sustaining a serious whiplash injury. Furthermore, only 6% of people adjust the head restraint regularly, despite the fact that most people travel in a variety of vehicles (as drivers, passengers and in taxis for example) and half of all drivers surveyed (51%) said they never adjusted their head rest at all.

Head restraints work by catching and supporting the head in the event of a rear end crash and so reduce the chance of permanent soft tissue damage. A correctly adjusted head restraint should be as close to the back of the head as possible and as high as the top of the occupant’s head, meaning head movement in relation to their body is reduced as the car and seat is punted forward when hit from behind. In addition the drivers’ seat should be at the correct distance so that a properly positioned seat belt is low across the hips and pelvis, with the shoulder belt firmly across the chest and collarbone.

Receiving a serious chest injury as a result of being hit by an airbag during an accident is also a very real possibility for one in seven drivers (14%) who admitted sitting too close to the steering wheel. Drivers with a gap of less than 12 inches between themselves and the steering wheel when driving are at risk of receiving the full force of an airbag deploying in a crash involving the front of the vehicle.

Airbags have to inflate very quickly (some at over 200 mph) in order to protect the head and chest of drivers and passengers in the event of a frontal crash. Therefore an airbag needs enough space in front of the steering wheel in order to inflate properly. People who are shorter than around 5’’ 2″ (1.57m) often sit too close to the steering wheel and may be injured by the inflating airbag. A safe distance is around 12 inches – the size of an A4 piece of paper placed lengthways.

Danny Williams, BOA Council Member, said: “While most of us are aware that seatbelts save lives, it’s fair to say that the majority of us don’t know that the way we sit in a vehicle also plays a huge part in our safety and wellbeing. “The position of the head restraint, how far or close we sit to the steering wheel and how long we spend sitting at the wheel without having a break are can cause long-lasting neck and back injuries.”

Matthew Avery, Crash Research Manager at Thatcham, said:

“Vehicle safety has moved on at a pace with numerous new technologies now available designed to help avoid or mitigate injury during a collision. Whilst many seats and head restraints perform well in protecting the occupant, this research goes to show that too many drivers are still subject to avoidable risks by not taking the time to adjust their head restraints correctly.”

 

 

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