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Joint mobilising series

This collection of movements is a multi-purpose series designed to:

  • warm up some of the major muscles of the body
  • warm up some of the major joints of the body
  • develop your physical awareness of some of the major muscles and joints in your body
  • help transition from the stresses and strains of the day towards a calming Yoga practice

It is also a very useful sequence to do if you are confined to bed, or the sofa, but are feeling achy and in need of doing something.

1. Shoulder mobilising sequence from this post

2. Leg stretch

Have your knees bent and feet on the floor/bed. Draw your right knee in towards your belly and hold the back of your right thigh with both hands. As you breathe in (inhale) straighten your leg as much as you can and as you breathe out (exhale) bend your knee back to the starting position.

Draw your left knee in towards your belly and hold the back of your  left thigh  with both hands. As you breathe in (inhale) straighten your leg as much as you can and as you breathe out (exhale) bend your knee back to the starting position.

Recommendation: repeat up to five times, building up to ten times.

Extension 1: Extend your leg, and hold the stretch for up to 10 breaths.

Extension 2: repeat the movement using both legs

Extension 3:extend both legs and hold the stretch for up to 10 breaths

3. Ankle twirls

Have your knees bent and feet on the floor/bed. Draw your right knee in towards your belly and hold the back of your right thigh with both hands. As you breathe in (inhale) straighten your leg as much as you can. Twirl your ankle around one way and then twirl your ankle around in the opposite direction. As you breathe out (exhale) bend your knee back to the starting position.

Have your knees bent and feet on the floor/bed. Draw your left knee in towards your belly and hold the back of your left thigh with both hands. As you breathe in (inhale) straighten your leg as much as you can. Twirl your ankle around one way and then twirl your ankle around in the opposite direction. As you breathe out (exhale) bend your knee back to the starting position.

Recommendation: repeat up to five times, building up to ten times.

4. Hip openers

Gently rest both hands on your right knee and move your knee in a circle by pulling it towards you. opening to the side, pushing it away from you and then taking your knee over your left hip.

Repeat with your left knee.

Recommendation: repeat up to five times, building up to ten times.

5. Reclining cobblers pose

Start with knees bent and feet on the bed / floor. when you are ready, drop your left knee out to the left side, and then drop your right knee out to the right.. Bring your soles together. If you want to you can place cushions underneath your thighs to help support your legs. You may wish to put your hands on your thighs to help increase the stretch. Just do what feels right.

Recommendation: hold for between 5 and 10 breaths.

3 gentle moves to alleviate discomfort from being in bed – mobilising your shoulders

This series of movements focusses on the shoulders. These movements can be done lying in bed or sitting up. See which position your prefer by trying them both. If you decide to practice these lying down in bed, scoot down the bed a little and make sure you have plenty of space above your head – you’ll need to freely be able to move your arms above your head.

 

Make sure your read the guidelines first.

1. Shoulder mobilising A

Start in the lying on your back, knees bent position with your arms by the side of your body, palms down. This is your neutral position.

a) Slowly bring your right arm up over your head as you breathe in.

b) As you breathe out, return your arm back to the neutral position.

c) Slowly bring your left arm up over your head as you breathe in.

d) As you breathe out, return your arm back to the neutral position.

Recommendation – repeat five times, building up to ten times on each side.

2. Shoulder mobilising B

Start in the lying on your back, knees bent position with your arms by the side of your body, palms down. This is your neutral position.

a) Slowly bring your both arms up over your head as you breathe in.

b) As you breathe out, return both arms back to the neutral position.

Recommendation – repeat five times, building up to ten times on each side.

3. Shoulder mobilising C

Start in the lying on your back, knees bent position with your arms by the side of your body, palms down. This is your neutral position.

a) Bring your right hand across to your left shoulder and try to pull your arm across as far as you can, feeling a stretch at the upper back.

b) Release and return to neutral

c) Bring your left hand across to your right shoulder and try to pull your arm across as far as you can, feeling a stretch at the upper back.

b) Release and return to neutral

Recommendation – repeat five times, building up to ten times on each side.

Round off the routine by stretching both hands up over your head and having a good stretch.

3 gentle moves to alleviate discomfort from being in bed – mobilising your neck

This series of movements is all about mobilising your neck muscles. These movements can be done lying in bed or sitting up. See which position your prefer by trying them both.If you decide to practice these lying down in bed, scoot down the bed a little and make sure you have plenty of space above your head. Remember to read the guidelines first!

1. Mobilising your neck A

Start by tucking your chin into your neck and then:

a) Roll your head towards your right shoulder

b) Roll your head back to centre

c) Roll your head towards your left shoulder

d) Roll your head back to centre

Recommendation: Repeat between 5 and 10 times to each side.

2. Mobilising your neck B

Start in a neutral position and then:

a) Drop your head to your left, as if you are trying to bring your left ear towards your left shoulder

b) Keeping your chin tucked in, roll your head to centre and then towards the right, finishing with your right ear towards your right shoulder

c) Keeping your chin tucked in, roll your head to centre and then towards the left, finishing with your left ear towards your left shoulder.

Recommendation: Repeat between 5 and 10 times to each side.

3. Mobilising your neck C

Start in a neutral position and then:

a) Keeping your chin level, turn your head to the left

b) Return to neutral

c) Keeping your chin level, turn your head to the right

d) Return to neutral

Recommendation: Repeat between 5 and 10 times to each side.

3 gentle moves to alleviate discomfort from being in bed – lower body

Sooner or later after surgery, the novelty of a morphine pump will wear off, and horror (@.@) you realise that the nursing staff will actually take it away from you so you will have to retire from your career as an opium eater. You aren’t quite ready to get out of bed let alone go for a walk, but you are starting to want to move about a bit. As you are weaned off pain relief, aches and pains related to being immobile and in bed will present themselves to you.

This sequence of movements is aimed at mobilising the lower body and back, and you should be able to do them whilst in bed.

This series of movements is fantastic to do at any time, at any point. I use them all the time as warm up or cool down before my Yoga practice and also if I have back ache, it’s an excellent first aid treatment for getting rid of aches and pains.

Check out the guidelines first!

1. Pelvic tilt

In addition to helping you to engage with your abdominal muscles, this practice has the added benefit of stretching your lower back as well as activating your abdominal muscles.

a) Start by lying on your back and if possible come to a position where your knees are bent and your feet are on the floor or the bed. Put your hands on your hips and begin by pressing the back of your waist into the bed. When you first start doing this, this might be as much as you can do, and that is absolutely fine.

b) To move on, as you press the back of your waist into the bed, try to draw your navel in towards your spine.

c) For the third stage try to tilt your pelvis towards you as your press the back of your waist into the bed.

d) Finally you press down through your feet in order to lift your hips slightly off the bed.

Recommendation – start with 5 repetitions and gradually build up to 30 repetitions

2. Hug knees to belly

This is a movement which complements the pelvic tilt very well. This stretches out the back of the body and can be very helpful in starting to restore your mobility. The action of bringing your knees up on to your belly helps you to get to know your insides again after your surgery.

a) Begin with your knees bent and feet on the floor / your bed. If you can, use your hands to draw your right knee towards your belly and hold this position for a few breaths and then release.

b) Keeping your knees bent and feet on the floor / your bed. If you can, use your hands to draw your left knee towards your belly and hold this position for a few breaths and then release. notice if this side feels different to the first side.

c) If you want to you could repeat this movement on each side, but this time pull your knee in closer to your belly. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and the back of your hips along with gentle pressure on your abdomen.

d) Once you have become familiar with the movement on each side, try bringing both knees on to your belly, one at a time. Hold for a few breaths and then release.

e) If you want to you could repeat this movement with both knees on your belly, but this time pull your knees in closer to your belly. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and the back of your hips along with gentle pressure on your abdomen.

Recommendation – start with 5 repetitions and gradually build up to 30 repetitions

3. Supine Twist

a) Come to knees bent and feet on the bed or the floor, if you are doing this on the floor. Have your knees and feet together. Use your folded towel and both hands to apply gently pressure on your abdomen. Very gently drop your left knee to the left until it is resting on the bed / floor. If your knee won’t go that far, then use a pillow to support the knee at whatever height is comfortable for you. Then drop your right knee to the left knee so that the right knee and ankle are resting on the left knee and ankle.

b) Rest here for a few breaths feeling the stretch along the right side of your body.

c) Come back to the starting position. Have your knees and feet together. Use your folded towel and both hands to apply gently pressure on your abdomen. Very gently drop your right knee to the right until it is resting on the bed / floor. If your knee won’t go that far, then use a pillow to support the knee at whatever height is comfortable for you. Then drop your left knee to the right knee so that the left knee and ankle are resting on the right knee and ankle.

d) Rest here for a few breaths feeling the stretch along the left side of your body.

Recommendation – start with 5 repetitions and gradually build up to 30 repetitions

Finish the sequence with a couple of repetitions or the pelvic tilt or the knees to chest.

20 Ways to relax when you are in pain

It is hard to relax when you are in pain. Crohn’s Disease isn’t content with just one type of pain, it has an entire reportoire of sensations to delight you with… Although there are painkillers available, both prescription and over-the-counter, these come with other effects in addition to painkilling such as constipation, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness. This means that sometimes people with Crohn’s prefer not to take the painkillers, but still want to relax. As some of you know I am a Yoga Teacher and so effective relaxation is something I am very interested in.

There are three types of realxation: Physical, emotional / spiritual and mental relaxation.

Physical relaxation includes things like massages, baths and naps.

Emotional / spiritual relaxation includes things such as informal social support from friends

Mental relaxation – includes activities and techniques that can help alleviate mental stress such as meditation

  1. Have a laugh – laughter is a great way to relieve stress. It doesn’t have to be hours of belly laughs, but having a session with things that you find hilarious  can help lift your mood, relax you and hopefully decrease the pain you are in. When you have the chance, have a think about what really tickles you and maybe make a note of it. (For me it would include Michael Mcintyre’s ‘Man Drawer‘ sketch; Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Life of Brian  and
  2. Go Swimming
  3. Take a Warm bath
  4. Have a relaxing massage
  5. Put your feet up with a good book
  6. Relax in bed with a hot water bottle and a movie
  7. Go for a walk and get some fresh air
  8. A nice cup of tea / coffee / hot chocolate and a short break
  9. Have a beauty treatment such as a facial or a pedicure
  10. Watch feel good or funny movies
  11. Carry out some breathing exercises
  12. Take some exercise
  13. Listen to music or an audio book
  14. Follow progressive neuromuscular release techniques
  15. Consciously relax your neck, jaw etc
  16. Spend time with family and friends
  17. Do something speical or thoughtful for someone else
  18. Devise, shop for and prepare a special meal
  19. Art

Ways in which Crohn’s Disease causes pain

If you have Crohn’s Disease you are familiar with pain. Not just a ‘pain’, but the whole repertoire of pain sensations that the human body can manufacture. Sometimes you might be treated to a solo rendition that can be quietened down with over the counter meds, but more often than not Crohn’s pulls out all the stops and decides to delight you with a symphony performance that inclues the equivalent of timpani drums and death metal guitars. You might think that the pain is limited to bowels (it is after all Inflammatory Bowel Disease) but oh no, if Crohn’s can drag in other parts of the body, it will!

There is:

  • Cramping of bowels – this ranges from ‘Oh that Jalfrezi was probably a little hot for me’ through to whole body spasms that are akin to extreme forms of food posioning
  • Aching of joints and muscles – some mornings it takes me about 10 minutes moving around and a warm shower to get going
  • Needling of nerves – this can occur if you suffer from abscesses related to crohn’s – the abscesses fill with fluid and press against nerves, sometimes feeling like the nerve is trapped against other organs or bones – the pain seems to transfer to them too.
  • Lemon juice in a cut type feeling – crohn’s causes ulceration and inflammation of the GI tract – and sometimes it really does feel like getting lemon juice in a cut, or eating crisps when you have a mouth ulcer.
  • Fainting – Sometimes the cramping and the needling can be so painful that I zone out for a second, feeling a littel faint – sometimes can faint slightly.
  • Battlezone feeling – sometimes it feels like my bowels, uterus, bladder and pretty much everything in my lower abdomen is engaged in some kind of battle, twisting and squirming around causing a difficult to define but wide ranging pain. If you have children, it is a little like the sensation of a baby moving inside you, but very painful.

As well as the pain, your body brings in some other bits and pieces:

  • Headaches – all sorts of reasons why these might occur, but one reason is that your body builds up so much tension when you are in pain = tension headache
  • Sickness – possibly as a reult of the cramping, causing your stomach to churn or just beacuse crohn’s affects you there as well.
  • Tiredness – can feel like a little fatigue through to utter exhaustion which causes you to fall asleep the moment you stop.

And how does this manifest itself externally? People with Crohn’s may:

  • Seem a little distracted when they are trying to get through a spasm of pain
  • Carry out self soothing behaviour, such as absent mindedly rubbing or holding sore spots on their belly
  • Look like they had a very indulgent and intoxicated evening the night before and have come straight from the party without bothering to sleep – sadly that probably isn’t the case!
  • Not want to eat or drink
  • Want to be left alone (because being in this much pain can reduce tolerance levels for other people)
  • Not want to be on their own (it can be scary being on your own and  in this much pain)
  • Look very flushed
  • Look very pale
  • Go quite a spectacular green colour

I’m interested in how you describe your aches and pains and how do they manifest themselves externally?

Please help card in French for people with IBD

Travelling abroad with an IBD, indeed any health problem, has a few additional complications on top of the standard hassle of not forgetting anything important, leaving on time and not losing your bank cards.

To help ease some of the stress I’ve developed a variation of the NACC’s ‘Can’t wait card’ for you to use when travelling abroad.  This card will help you communicate when you need to use public toilet facilities but don’t know where they are. If there are no public facilities nearby then the card also asks if  you can use private / staff facilities. The second side of the card is for those occasions when there is a public toilet, but you need to pay to use it – and you don’t have the right change.

Although many people speak English across the world, and there are phrase books that help you, my experience is that rushing to try to find a toilet is stressful and difficult to communicate. You are often misunderstood. These useful phrases often don’t appear in phrase books. In some rural areas the majority of people don’t speak English.

Please help card in French

I have had the following text translated into French and put it into a Credit card sized pdf that you can print out and laminate. You can keep it in your wallet/pocket for emergencies.

This is free to download but if you can afford to it would be great if you could donate to a charity which supports Crohn’s and Colitis .e.g. through my Just giving page.  If you can’t print this out and laminate it yourself please contact me as I can do this for you. I will charge a fee for materials, postage and a donation.

What the card says

SIDE 1:

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or hazardous to other people.

Please can you show me where the nearest toilets are that I can use?

If there are no public toilets nearby, may I use your staff facilities?

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

SIDE 2.

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or dangerous to other people.

I do not have the entrance fee required to use these toilets, and because of the pain I am in I do not have time to get the correct change.

Please will you let me use these toilets? I will come back and pay afterwards.

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

Directions

  1. Please make a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK through my ‘Just Giving’ page
  2. Print out the Please help card in French
  3. Cut out the two card shapes below
  4. Glue them together, so the text is showing on the outside
  5. Place in a laminating sleeve
  6. Laminate!
  7. Alternatively you could make two cards by not gluing them together and laminating them separately.

Acknowledgements

Grateful thanks to Irma Elizabeth, languages teacher, for her translation of the text into French for this card.

An if you have missed the embedded links here they are:

Just giving donation page for Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Please help card in French

Over the next couple of days I will be uploading a Frenchnew language versions of the card. Do you speak another language? Can you help this project? Contact me if you can!

Please help card in German for people with IBD

Travelling abroad with an IBD, indeed any health problem, has a few additional complications on top of the standard hassle of not forgetting anything important, leaving on time and not losing your bank cards.

To help ease some of the stress I’ve developed a variation of the NACC’s ‘Can’t wait card’ for you to use when travelling abroad.  This card will help you communicate when you need to use public toilet facilities but don’t know where they are. If there are no public facilities nearby then the card also asks if  you can use private / staff facilities. The second side of the card is for those occasions when there is a public toilet, but you need to pay to use it – and you don’t have the right change.

Although many people speak English across the world, and there are phrase books that help you, my experience is that rushing to try to find a toilet is stressful and difficult to communicate. You are often misunderstood. These useful phrases often don’t appear in phrase books. In some rural areas the majority of people don’t speak English.

Please help card in German

I have had the following text translated into German and put it into a Credit card sized pdf that you can print out and laminate. You can keep it in your wallet/pocket for emergencies.

This is free to download but if you can afford to it would be great if you could donate to a charity which supports Crohn’s and Colitis .e.g. through my Just giving page.  If you can’t print this out and laminate it yourself please contact me as I can do this for you. I will charge a fee for materials, postage and a donation.

What the card says

SIDE 1:

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or hazardous to other people.

Please can you show me where the nearest toilets are that I can use?

If there are no public toilets nearby, may I use your staff facilities?

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

SIDE 2.

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or dangerous to other people.

I do not have the entrance fee required to use these toilets, and because of the pain I am in I do not have time to get the correct change.

Please will you let me use these toilets? I will come back and pay afterwards.

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

Directions

  1. Please make a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK through my ‘Just Giving’ page
  2. Print out the Please help card in German
  3. Cut out the two card shapes below
  4. Glue them together, so the text is showing on the outside
  5. Place in a laminating sleeve
  6. Laminate!
  7. Alternatively you could make two cards by not gluing them together and laminating them separately.

Acknowledgements

Grateful thanks to Pauline Kussell, student from Germany currently residing with my friend Carla in Shrewsbury, for her translation of the text into German for this card.

An if you have missed the embedded links here they are:

Just giving donation page for Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Please help card in German

Over the next couple of days I will be uploading a French version of the card. Do you speak another language? Can you help this project? Contact me if you can!

Please help card in Spanish for people with IBD

Travelling abroad with an IBD, indeed any health problem, has a few additional complications on top of the standard hassle of not forgetting anything important, leaving on time and not losing your bank cards.

To help ease some of the stress I’ve developed a variation of the NACC’s ‘Can’t wait card’ for you to use when travelling abroad.  This card will help you communicate when you need to use public toilet facilities but don’t know where they are. If there are no public facilities nearby then the card also asks if  you can use private / staff facilities. The second side of the card is for those occasions when there is a public toilet, but you need to pay to use it – and you don’t have the right change.

Although many people speak English across the world, and there are phrase books that help you, my experience is that rushing to try to find a toilet is stressful and difficult to communicate. You are often misunderstood. These useful phrases often don’t appear in phrase books. In some rural areas the majority of people don’t speak English.

Please help card in Spanish

I have had the following text translated into Spanish and put it into a bank  card sized pdf that you can print out and laminate. You can keep it in your wallet/pocket for emergencies.

This is free to download but if you can afford to it would be great if you could donate to a charity which supports Crohn’s and Colitis .e.g. through my Just giving page.  If you can’t print this out and laminate it yourself please contact me as I can do this for you. I will charge a fee for materials, postage and a donation.

What the card says

SIDE 1:

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or hazardous to other people.

Please can you show me where the nearest toilets are that I can use?

If there are no public toilets nearby, may I use your staff facilities?

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

SIDE 2.

Culturally appropriate greeting

Please help!

I have a medical condition which means I need to use the toilet urgently.

This condition is not infectious or dangerous to other people.

I do not have the entrance fee required to use these toilets, and because of the pain I am in I do not have time to get the correct change.

Please will you let me use these toilets? I will come back and pay afterwards.

Culturally appropriate way of expressing thanks

Directions

  1. Please make a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK through my ‘Just Giving’ page
  2. Print out this document
  3. Cut out the two card shapes below
  4. Glue them together, so the text is showing on the outside
  5. Place in a laminating sleeve
  6. Laminate!
  7. Alternatively you could make two cards by not gluing them together and laminating them separately.

Acknowledgements

Grateful thanks to Irma Elizabeth, Spanish Teacher, for her translation of the text into Spanish for this card.

An if you have missed the embedded links here they are:

Just giving donation page for Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Please help card in Spanish

Over the next couple of days I will be uploading French and German versions of the card. Do you speak another language? Can you help this project?