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Sleeping Problems

#1 User is offline   Jack 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:52 AM

hi,
does anyone else have really bad sleeping problems with a back injury ?

I have a lower back injury for coming up 7 years now and cant sleep. Well I have great trouble getting to sleep at nights. I cant sleep unless I am dead tried. Meaning I can go to bed anytime between 6pm at night and 2 pm in the afternoon. I seem sore at nights, not unusal yelling in pain, but enough to stop me settling down at nights. Last night I went to sleep at 10am in the morning, after repeat attempts during the night to go to sleep. Not sure if its the colder temps or what ?

regards
Jack
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#2 User is offline   Gloria Mitchell 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:04 AM

View PostJack, on May 27 2009, 01:52 AM, said:

hi,
does anyone else have really bad sleeping problems with a back injury ?

I have a lower back injury for coming up 7 years now and cant sleep. Well I have great trouble getting to sleep at nights. I cant sleep unless I am dead tried. Meaning I can go to bed anytime between 6pm at night and 2 pm in the afternoon. I seem sore at nights, not unusal yelling in pain, but enough to stop me settling down at nights. Last night I went to sleep at 10am in the morning, after repeat attempts during the night to go to sleep. Not sure if its the colder temps or what ?

regards
Jack



Jack it would help you if you could access a good remedial massage therapist who would release all the spasmed and tensed muscles around the injury and the referred pain areas. I'm deadly serious here and I am so darned angry that dr's leave folk in pain like that and just push pills when a remedial massage therapist who had a lot of experience in the advanced therapies can help reduce the pain so effectively. This also gives the injury a better chance at healing once the pressure is taken off it.

Ask around, there are alternative healers around who do great things. What area are you in?
The pain is terrible, the lack of mobility is frustrating, you can be fatigued and lay there with eyes wide open pleading for some sleep. I understand this by experience.....fall to sleep and wake up in the middle of a scream cause you have moved and are stuck in incredible screaming pain. Trying to move yet afraid of moving.

The colder nights dont help....wrap up warm with an electric blanket on low helps. But easing all the screaming muscles helps the best.

Cases like this I wish I could be around for....I'm in Cairns in the Tropical North of Queensland.

cheers and empathy Gloria.
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#3 User is offline   Jack 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:02 AM

View PostGloria Mitchell, on May 27 2009, 02:04 AM, said:

Jack it would help you if you could access a good remedial massage therapist who would release all the spasmed and tensed muscles around the injury and the referred pain areas. I'm deadly serious here and I am so darned angry that dr's leave folk in pain like that and just push pills when a remedial massage therapist who had a lot of experience in the advanced therapies can help reduce the pain so effectively. This also gives the injury a better chance at healing once the pressure is taken off it.

Ask around, there are alternative healers around who do great things. What area are you in?
The pain is terrible, the lack of mobility is frustrating, you can be fatigued and lay there with eyes wide open pleading for some sleep. I understand this by experience.....fall to sleep and wake up in the middle of a scream cause you have moved and are stuck in incredible screaming pain. Trying to move yet afraid of moving.

The colder nights dont help....wrap up warm with an electric blanket on low helps. But easing all the screaming muscles helps the best.

Cases like this I wish I could be around for....I'm in Cairns in the Tropical North of Queensland.

cheers and empathy Gloria.


Hi Gloria,
thank you for your nice reply. Its a nightmare trying to get into proper sleep pattern when you cant sleep , no pun intended.

Yes, Massage is a great temporary form of pain relief. Try to get Wife to rub my back with extra strength Tiger Balm. Much better then the standard creams the Physio's use. Interestingly one Physio admitted Tiger Balm was best, but hard on the hands of the person rubbing it, hence they cant use it everyday day after day. My Wife complains about her hands after rubbing my back. Also she works long hours comes home cooks tea, then I finish her day nicely by moaning to her about my unhappiness with the Dinner she has cooked after her long day and the housework that needs doing. I do almost nothing around the house. Its a good day if I up and bout, and even rarer if I go outside. Truely suprised she hasnt gotten rid of me yet. So hard to get her to rub my back on a regular basess.

My Pain meds are not good. I on 4 times my starting dose, and they make me feel sick and lightheaded (not in a good way). They do reduce the pain but not completely, and not enough to let me sleep.

Normally I just stay awake, and its a matter until I am dead tried ( I mean really really tried after being awake too long ) then I hopefully can get some sleep. But of course running yourself everyday right to dead tried levels isnt good, and my sleep pattern is pretty wacky.

Moving to somewhere warm would be great.

kind regards
Jack
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#4 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:23 AM

Hi Jack,

Have you tried Amitriptyline?
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#5 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:26 AM

Amitriptyline is an antidepressant and not a treatment for pain or sleep.

If sleep deprivation is occurring because of pain then the source of the pain that needs to be treated such as surgery. While waiting for surgery it is appropriate to use pain control medication to whatever degree is necessary this may include up to opiate categories of medication. enduring pain will guarantee to create mental imbalance. You will see quite substantial mental imbalances evident on this site no doubt contributed to by pain.

To induce sleep a sleeping medication is required. Usually this takes the form of a hypnotic.
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#6 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:09 AM

hi there Jack,

Sleeping is a big problem for back injury persons. I can relate to you.

What kind of bed do you sleep on??
A too hard mattress is not helpful, neither is a soft one.
A wheat bag at your back helps.

You need to get those sleep patterns sorted too. Bed is for sleeping at night and a rest perhaps during the day.
You seem to be in a bad pattern with your sleep!

A great massage cream that really works, is wonderful for the hands and smells great too is E BALM. It is used by extreme sportsman Steve Gurney of Coast to Coast fame.
It contains Emu oil which is great for the hands and inflammation,essential oils of Arnica, rosemary, chamomile,clary sage, juniper and sweet birch oil. It is recomended to use 3x a day for 3 mins a time for the massage.
You can buy it in Health shops, or you can get it from EMUOLOGY P.O Box 1 Oxford, Canterbury.
Ph 0800 525292
Harry Rankin who owns the company also makes the products from lovely calendula and emu oil face creams to the emu oil pills etc.
the only drawback is that it is expensive but it lasts for a long time and works for me and others very well.
ACC will find Zostrix cream that is actually a capsicum based cream and others find this helpful.

About the ACC and its wonderful helps....?
Have you had a comprehensive needs assessment?
It could be that you need a special armchair with a lifting motor to enable you and aid in getting in and out of the chair. This could also be used for some sleeps during the day. They cost about $4k but if you are assessed as needing this help ACC can provide it. I know as I am familiar with the chair thru 2 friends whom ACC provided them a chair.
Your GP would need to write a note for you listing what was really helpful for you.
This would be shown to the OT assessor.

Also why do ACC not provide home help for you? Showering help as well?
MAybe your car is not useful for your bad back?
IT maybe too low and difficult to get in and out of?
Also the car seat, is it right? Do you need a wedge to sit on.?
ACC must look into your needs AS PART OF YOUR REHABILITATION
The car costs can be met by ACC up to approx $18K.

So these are all the many things you must think about and things that the CM must do for you BEFORE THE VOC REHAB stuff is carried out.
Your social needs must be met, it is part of the legislation.
IT ALSO MUST BE ON YOUR IRP!!

Regarding treatment for your pain, massage by a skilled therapist is essential- at least once a week if you can afford it.
Have you tried acupuncture?
A good Chinese trained acupuncturist is also essential.This can be covered by ACC for up to 16 treatments + and then negotiated with ACC for more or ,on your IRP for as long as they will do it!!
I have been receiving acupuncture for about 18yrs and it has been a lifesaver. I go regulary and it can also be part of your Social needs on IRP MAybe hard work to get it but I have.

In 2006,
I discovered Scenar therapy and I have put up a lengthy post here about it.
If you are in Akld, there are some good ones up there and I can send you a list of their names.I did some training in NZ with these people.
It would be marvellous for you to own a scenar device, the size of a cellphone and to use the pads on your back at night or bad times during the day But a scenar treatment will help and I guarantee that. After my first treatment I had no pain, and it was acute, for 4 days. When it came back it was 60% better.
I bought a device,it is costly, went to OZ and did training which is now available in NZ and that and acupuncture have cut my meds down by 99%. I now take no pain relief except for an occasional bad headache or if the pain is preventing me sleeping, but I usually get out my scenar and use it for 10 mins an d I can get back to sleep.
A scenar device can set you back by up to $1K, but what is money when you are in pain, AND how much have you paid for all the things you use, the pills you buy, to help you???

GOOGLE Scenar therapy and look up the website testimonials.
For more info, contact me as I am now an agent for the Enlightened therapy company and can put you in the direction of help. ( Tomo, I am NOT advertising)

So dont stay popping pills, not sleeping and feeling frustrated with life.
There is hope, there is life after a back injury and there is folk out there willing to help you.
Take care,
Sparrow
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#7 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:20 AM

Dr Tomo with his usual rugged info.
OPIATES are not necessary except after surgery for a short time and should never be used continually.Long term use causes addiction and we have a classic case here with our friend TOmo who never heeds any advice and pops pills every day.
Amytryptilene helps the seratonin from the brain to help the pain and is used by some specialists and is a common treatment.
Surgery for back pain can make it worse and popping sleeping medication leads to addiction.
As I have said, there is life without pills.
GO FOR IT

Jack, go to the library or Amazon books if you want to buy it, and get the book called
"I'VE GOT YOUR BACK" by Dr.Nathaniel Tindel The truth about spinal surgery straight from a surgeon
IT is published by New American Library

He does not reccommend any spine surgery for pain and never operates on anyone except for urgent injuries like a herniatied disc. It is a good info source written by a spine surgeon.
I got mine thru Amazon, cost about $28 but it was $$ well spent.
It may be in your local library
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#8 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:28 AM

Sparrow what on earth is wrong with addiction to opiates and sleeping pills?

When a person is suffering from a lifetime affect causing a lifetime of pain a lifetime of addiction is completely and utterly irrelevant!

I can understand people who are not suffering from very serious pain being conncerned about such minor and irrelevant issues such as addiction. after surgery the addiction is very easily treated with a ramp down of the medication or just cold turkey. Dealing with addiction is no where as serious as dealing with serious pain so addiction was there for irrelevant.
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#9 User is offline   Gloria Mitchell 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:50 PM

View PostSparrow, on May 27 2009, 12:20 PM, said:

Dr Tomo with his usual rugged info.
OPIATES are not necessary except after surgery for a short time and should never be used continually.Long term use causes addiction and we have a classic case here with our friend TOmo who never heeds any advice and pops pills every day.
Amytryptilene helps the seratonin from the brain to help the pain and is used by some specialists and is a common treatment.
Surgery for back pain can make it worse and popping sleeping medication leads to addiction.
As I have said, there is life without pills.
GO FOR IT

Jack, go to the library or Amazon books if you want to buy it, and get the book called
"I'VE GOT YOUR BACK" by Dr.Nathaniel Tindel The truth about spinal surgery straight from a surgeon
IT is published by New American Library

He does not reccommend any spine surgery for pain and never operates on anyone except for urgent injuries like a herniatied disc. It is a good info source written by a spine surgeon.
I got mine thru Amazon, cost about $28 but it was $$ well spent.
It may be in your local library


ACC does fund the book Practical and Positive ways of adapting to chronic pain, Manage your Painisbn978 0 7333 2088 0 written by Dr M Nicolas, Dr Allan Molloy, Physiotherapist Lois Tonkin and Nurse Lee Beeston.
My cm had ordered these for claimants and sent me one to see if it would help. It is a very useful handbook. Don't hesitate to ask the cm to either order for you or fund for you the "Ive Got Your Back by Dr N Tindel as well.

cheers Gloria

PS Amitriptiline is used as a muscle relaxant. Relaxing the muscles reduces the pain. Don't forget it will relax where it touchs and can cause reflux IMHExperience.
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#10 User is offline   Gloria Mitchell 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:54 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on May 27 2009, 12:28 PM, said:

Sparrow what on earth is wrong with addiction to opiates and sleeping pills?

When a person is suffering from a lifetime affect causing a lifetime of pain a lifetime of addiction is completely and utterly irrelevant!

I can understand people who are not suffering from very serious pain being conncerned about such minor and irrelevant issues such as addiction. after surgery the addiction is very easily treated with a ramp down of the medication or just cold turkey. Dealing with addiction is no where as serious as dealing with serious pain so addiction was there for irrelevant.



Addiction to narcotics and such is not that simple.

Gloria
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#11 User is offline   neddy 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:22 PM

View PostAlan Thomas, on May 27 2009, 11:28 AM, said:

Sparrow what on earth is wrong with addiction to opiates and sleeping pills?

When a person is suffering from a lifetime affect causing a lifetime of pain a lifetime of addiction is completely and utterly irrelevant!

I can understand people who are not suffering from very serious pain being conncerned about such minor and irrelevant issues such as addiction. after surgery the addiction is very easily treated with a ramp down of the medication or just cold turkey. Dealing with addiction is no where as serious as dealing with serious pain so addiction was there for irrelevant.

Sometimes your callousness outdoes you.

Have you ever lived with an opiate withdrawal, or worse still, have you had in-patient treatment for the withdrawal of opiates?

Surgery will not always cure or alleviate the problem, a surgeon's scalpel is not a magic wand.

What this person needs is good sound advice from a specialist.
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#12 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:35 PM

Gloria you are quite right that one of the side-effects of amitriptyline is that it acts as a muscle relaxant. This medication has been prescribed for many different reasons including erectile dysfunction prior to Viagra. In an able-bodied man this is unwonted and embarrassing. Amitriptyline however is primarily a mind altering drug acting on the serotonin reuptake receptors so as more serotonin remains in the system. Serotonin is used extensively by people who are in pain and as such simply gives the person a higher pain tolerance level.

Neddy every time I want to go to the shops I had to go through an opiate withdrawal so as I can be safe to drive. This creates tremendous psychological harm. This is for example from the maximum dose of tramadol. Through this window of opportunity I get about an hour or two where it is to some degree safe to drive prior to the shakes, vomiting and suchlike setting in by which time I tried to be back home and re-medicated backup to normal levels.

Whenever it is possible to correct the biological defect by surgery that option should be undertaken. In fact part of the ACC Act provides the ACC with the provision to withdraw funding of the person refuses surgery in the circumstances as it is not reasonable for the community to be paying someone to remain off work and in pain when surgery is viable. I would disagree with regards to your viewpoint of the scalpel being a magic wand in the right hands. Unfortunately surgeons in New Zealand do not receive sufficient funding to make it worth their while staying in this country with the result that we have quite a few incompetent surgeons who give surgery a bad name.

I agree with you that everybody should receive good advice from specialist. In the case of structural damage that specialist will invariably be a surgeon.
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#13 User is offline   winkie 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:55 PM

View PostNoDrsl, on May 27 2009, 04:17 PM, said:

Another important issue for Jack is cold, would it be worth requesting ACC assess for home heating assistance for helping to manage pain and the consequential loading of cold?

Dear Jack-I have read this post with interest, as currently have sleep issues due to pain. The electric blanket/hot water bottle, TENS machine, medication(narcotics), massage, pillow support, home heating I do the lot. Personally my recliner chair with pillows seems to help, it's 3 foot away from woodburner, and my hottie on the back (don't burn yourself), soft music playing and try (LOL) to relax. Hope you manage to get some rest soon - winkie
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#14 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:12 PM

View PostNoDrsl, on May 27 2009, 02:17 PM, said:

Another important issue for Jack is cold, would it be worth requesting ACC assess for home heating assistance for helping to manage pain and the consequential loading of cold?


The body will lower its temperature as an automated response to overwhelming pain. In other words if we increase our body temperature we will experience more pain. My injured hand will noticeably turning blue when I am experiencing too much pain.

Anybody who is lucky enough to have an injured and painful limb will achieve excellent pain reduction by simply elevating the injured portion above head height. This will effectively lower the blood pressure to the affected area and proportionately reduced the level of pain as it reduces the level of blood supply to those nerves.

An excellent pain remedy is BP medication which lowers the BP below normal. This will even turn the whole body skin slightly blue.
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#15 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:47 PM

WRONG Alan.... Amytriptyline in higher doses is an antidepresent. In low does - under 50mg nocturnally is used for sleep and chronic pain. This from a recent study......

Eighty-eight patients (44 amitriptyline, 44 placebo) completed the study. Eight (5 amitriptyline, 3 placebo) stopped treatment because of side effects (e.g., drowsiness, dryness of mouth) and 4 provided insufficient data. Compared to placebo, the patients taking amitriptyline showed significantly greater improvement in restful sleep (66 vs 20%; p < 0.001) and their disease activity scores [BASDAI amitriptyline 1.18 (23%) vs placeho ().52 (10%); p = 0.0241.

Conclusion. (1) In a 2 week study, low dose amitriptyline significantly improved sleep and was well tolerated; (2) as defined by BASDAI, there was a significant reduction in disease activity with amitriptyline; (3) compared to placebo, there was a nonsignificant trend toward improvement in function; and (4) in spite of improvement in pain, fatigue, and sleep with amitriptyline, stiffness was not increased.

I also concur with other who have said , heat, massage, relaxation, TENS all help..... I bought a spa about 9 years ago and to be honest it was the BEST money ever spent and half an hour before bedtime is great. I also use a variety of herbal formulas and the latest thing I am trying is Tart Cherry
http://www.cherryvite.co.nz/index.pasp

Some Benefits of Tart Cherries:

Nature's sleeping pill - helps prevent insomnia
Fight free radicals
Immune system booster
Help prevent cancer
Assist with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Anti-aging properties
Reduce & relieve stress, panic attacks, anxiety and migraines
Tart cherries are a potent antioxidant, packed with Melatonin
Natural pain relief from arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, and headaches
Natural anti-inflammatory agent
Help prevent cardio-vascular disease
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#16 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:11 PM

make sure you feet are warm. Not sure were I found out that

Perfect drug to make you sleep.

Lie down and get comfy as possible.

breath in deeply and count to 10

Breath out and count to 10

keep repeating and breath deeper each time.
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#17 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

Cherries Found to Be a Natural Sleep Aid

Thursday, January 01, 2009 by: Jo Hartley,

(NaturalNews) There is a tart cherry called Montmorency that contains a significant level of melatonin and hence is helpful as a natural sleep aid. The University Of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio recently discovered these properties in the tart cherry.

Melatonin was discovered in 1958 by a dermatologist named *** Lerner at Yale University.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced in the pineal gland located at the base of the brain. It triggers sleepiness during night hours. Melatonin production can be disrupted because of staying up at night utilizing artificial light. Melatonin has been found to decrease with age. This is why elderly people often have trouble sleeping or staying asleep at night. Stress can also cause melatonin levels to drop thus causing poor sleep and insomnia.

What Foods Contain Melatonin?

Melatonin is most plentiful in tart cherries, especially the Montmorency variety. Other foods including milk, peanuts, turkey, chicken and almonds contain tryptophan. Tryptophan raises brain serotonin which then can be converted to melatonin.

Bananas also contain melatonin but the level is not high enough to be effective for inducing sleep.

Side Effects of Melatonin

Taking melatonin supplements should be done carefully. A high level of melatonin in the blood can cause insomnia and nightmares instead of the desired peaceful rest. The maximum effective sleep-inducing dose is 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams.

The level of melatonin found in tart cherries provides a significant amount to positively induce sleep. Melatonin is sold in over-the-counter supplements, although these supplements often have a dosage of 2-3 milligrams and sometimes even higher. These levels are at least ten times the maximum effective dosage.

Best Melatonin for Sleep

Although melatonin is easily obtained as a supplement and can be purchased without a prescription, experts tell us that the greatest benefits of melatonin are achieved by consuming melatonin through food consumption.

An effective strategy for better sleep is to utilize nature. Cherries can be obtained in concentrate form and can be taken at the end of each day to improve the quality of resting time, to reset your biological clock and to encourage wakefulness during the day.

Other Benefits of Melatonin

Melatonin may also help delay the effects of aging. Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain recently revealed that melatonin neutralizes the oxidative and inflammation process caused by aging. This suggests that melatonin may slow the aging process. These researchers are suggesting that daily melatonin intake (especially for people from age 30 or 40) could potentially help delay some illnesses related to aging.
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#18 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

RE: Spa
Yes for years prior to buying one I always said - I soooooooo want one - Then after a particularly bad winter and increasing disability I simply went out and bought it. Couldn't afford it but couldn't NOT afford it....if you know what I mean.

Make sure that you buy one that has hydrojets AND is ready to step into 24/7. Many of the cheaper spas simply have nice bubbles and are only programmable for use a different times during the day. Hydrojets get into the muscles and goodness knows I have gotten in the spa a various times of the day, morning noon and night depending on when my need was not when it was 'ready for use'.
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#19 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:56 PM

Is not this part of Rehabilitation?
Can we get one from ACC
I know that ACC have bought a spa bath for someone.

Jack, was talking to physio today and she said if you enjoy the heat feeling from Tiger Balm, you can change to the ANTIFLAME massage cream, easily available from Health shops and physio clinics!
It is far easier on the hands.
For me, I like the E-Balm!
I also saw on a Chemist shop today tha tthey have REscue Remedy sleeping aid drops.
May be an idea for you as you will be especially stressed at this time and this may help relax you.!
good luck ;)
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#20 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 04:03 PM

Fairgo, where does one gwet Tart Cherries
I guess they are a different family to the well known NZ Dawson cherry. I am allergic to these but willing to try the Tart ones!
Thanks and hope all is well with you
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