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Sciatic Back Pain – Causes and Treatment

Sciatica refers to a chronic pain that is felt at the base of the spine, the hip and buttocks, the leg and in the foot.  When someone is suffering from severe sciatica, even a task like walking becomes difficult as the pain can be such that weight cannot be put onto the leg. These painful symptoms get their name from the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in the body. This nerve is as thick as a finger in parts, and travels from the base of the spine into the legs.

Those that suffer from sciatic nerve pain often find that it attacks in bouts. They may be pain free for several months, then experience a few days where the pain in considerable. Often those that experience sciatica will also experience lower back pain and upper back pain in the times when their sciatica is worse. Migraines and neck pain are also felt in severe cases.



There are differing potential causes of sciatica that have been identified by health practitioners. One identified cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. Between the vertebrae of the spine are discs which are made of soft, spongy tissue. Stress to the spine and back causes discs to bulge, placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Damage to discs can be caused by things including bad ergonomics, sports injuries or other lower back injury.

During pregnancy, many women experience lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain. Pressure on the sciatic nerve is one of the most common causes of this pregnancy back pain. As the pregnancy progresses, shifts and changes in the body mean that the pressure on the body is increased which can in turn lead to back pain.

 Other causes of sciatica can include:

Spondylolisthesis – a condition where vertebra in the lower part of the spine slip forward and onto a vertebra below
Nerve compression caused by accidents or injuries
Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the nerve
Poor posture or body use.

Treatments for sciatica can include lower back pain exercises and therapies to improve overall muscle function and integration to take pressure off the sciatic nerve. Surgery has also been used to address sciatic nerve pain caused by damaged discs.


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Ankylosing Spondylitis and Physiotherapy


Physio Treatment in Ankylosing Spondylitis
by Jonathan Blood Smyth

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritic disease or spondyloarthropathy, classified with reactive arthritis, bowel disease arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. The underlying relationships between these diseases are complex but they are connected by enthesitis (inflammation of the ligament/bone junctions) and by possession of the HLA B27 gene on white blood cells. The enthesitis process at the joint edges can cause fibrosis and then ossification of the area (bone formation).

AS is the commonest of the spondyloarthropathies and its occurrence varies with the occurrence of the HLA B27 gene in the population, AS being less common in the tropics and more common in northern European countries. 0.1 to 1.0% of people are affected but this varies with latitude and is more common in white people. About 1-2% of people with the HLA B27 gene actually develop AS but this becomes 15-20% likelihood if they have a first degree relative with the disease.

Three males to every one female is the ratio of patients with Ankylosing spondylitis, as female patients may have much less obvious symptoms and so be missed from the diagnosis. Young men are the commonest presenting group with most consulting a doctor before they are 40 and up to 20% before they are sixteen years old. 25 years is the average age that someone goes down with the symptoms and is uncommon to find a diagnosis of AS in a person over fifty. It is easily overlooked as it can look like mechanical back pain if care is not taken. On questioning how they are in the morning, a typical answer is very stiff.

Ankylosing spondylitis has similarities but distinct differences from the much more common low back pain:

Morning stiffness in the lumbar spine, lasting at least 30 minutes or longer  Exercise improves the back pain and stiffness  Rest worsens the pain and stiffness  Pain is usually worse in the second half of the night, after a time of rest  Peripheral joints are affected in 30 to 50% of patients  Tiredness is common  AS has systemic affects from its inflammatory nature which can include feeling unwell, fever and loss of weight.

Physiotherapy examination of the spine in an AS patient usually uncovers significantly reduced ranges of spinal movement from normal, with perhaps a reduced lumbar lordosis and an increased thoracic curve. Neck movements may also be limited in later stages and a reduction in chest expansion noted due to rib joint involvement. Peripheral symptoms occur in around a third of patients and the physio will palpate the tender areas, searching for evidence of enthesitis in the insertions of the Achilles tendon and plantar ligament of the foot. These are areas of high mechanical stress and commonly affected.

Postural analysis of the AS patient is the first thing a physiotherapist notes after the subjective examination, recording spinal abnormalities, flexed knees, rounded shoulders or poking head posture. The ranges of movement of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine are measured and a battery of standard measures taken which allows assessment of the disease progression. The hips or other peripheral joints may be affected and these need to be measured also, with the physio likely testing out sites where the enthesis is likely to be painful and inflamed. If the disease is active then the patient may also have joint effusions and may appear unwell, be sweating and not have slept well.

Physiotherapists will concentrate on treating the inflamed areas first such as the areas where the ligaments insert into the bone, using insoles, cold, ultrasound and stretching techniques. Routine spinal range of motion exercises are taught to patients with an emphasis on getting to end ranges, concentrating initially on the anti-gravity muscles such as thoracic and lumbar extensors. Neck rotation and retractions and thoracic rotations are also important functional movements not to lose. Patients should rest themselves in good postures such as prone or supine with only one pillow, to avoid accentuating the typical spinal deformities. Treatment for AS in a hydrotherapy pool is beneficial and soothing and patient education important so they keep up their programme.

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Earning Money By Taking Surveys Online

cervical stenosis

Whether you are a bored stay-at-home Mom or a struggling student, taking surveys for cash is a great way to make a few extra bucks when you have nothing but time on your hands. Sometimes a little extra cash is needed and your opinion as a consumer is valuable to companies. Unlike getting a part-time job, taking online surveys for money is a hassle-free option that fits around your schedule. You can take a survey at 3am or right after dinner, there is no timeline. You can spend any amount of time taking surveys: 15 minutes, 1 hour or 6 hours. You could take one survey in a month or 15 per day.

How Do I Take a Survey?

All you have to do is find a company that pays for your online time. You will receive a login screen name and a password. This will be used every time you want to take a survey. Personal information, such as your address will be asked. This is how most online companies pay their survey takers – by sending them a check in the mail. Sometimes, participants are paid through a PayPal account that transfers into an associated bank account.

Why Do Companies Pay For Your Opinions?

There are numerous sites on the Internet that offer money for surveys. Depending on the website, you may earn a specified amount of money for each survey or you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win money. With respect to the size and type of survey, a participant could be paid an average as low as 50 cents for a 3-question survey to as high as for an interactive survey. Sometimes a survey will accompany a product sample in the mail, while others are simply completed within 5-20 minutes on the computer. Sometimes, lucky survey takers happen upon rare online focus groups that pay well over a 0 for an hour of your time.

There are many different types of surveys an individual may participate in. The main kind of survey is one that asks a series of questions to get your personal opinion on a particular topic. The questions could deal with anything from your political views to how much money you make in a year. Usually, at the end of a survey, personal questions, such as age, yearly income, gender and race are asked so that companies can better identify their target audience.

Companies often test new products and product ideas before releasing them on the market. The feedback that businesses receive from survey takers allows them to tweak their creation before letting the rest of the public in on the idea. Companies will test potential packaging, product names, product descriptions and future advertisements on survey takers. Sometimes the information they gather is used to create an ad campaign, while other issues, such as what to call the product, are settled.

Businesses will also test the current appeal of a product or service already on the market. The information they receive can assist in future action and changes that need to be made. It allows companies to pinpoint what boosts or prevents the sale of a product or service. They may choose to reduce prices, add new flavors or discontinue a product altogether from the answers they receive. For survey takers, the thrill of participating in a survey for money is sometimes motivated by the allure of knowing what the latest items will be to hit the shelves.

Who Offers Surveys for Money?

As with everything on the Internet, there are legitimate, as well as false claims and survey-for-money is not immune. Sometimes it is best to locate a reputable company that is on the lookout for survey takers. Often, they will place an ad in the newspaper or online communities. There are also websites specifically created to attract and pay potential survey takers. A few to keep in mind include Greenfield Online, Buzzback, Survey Spot, Mindfield, Go-Zings and Harris Poll Online.

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Posted: Dec 09, 2009 |Comments: 0
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            Special education means specially designed instruction which meets the special education and related needs of an exceptional child. It is distinguished from regular educational programme for non-exceptional children by some unusual quality, something uncommon, noteworthy. It is something special – special materials, special training techniques, special equipment and special help and for special facilities may be required for special categories of children having special needs. For example,

Visually impaired children may require reading materials in large print or Braille. Hearing impaired children may require hearing aid, auditory training, lip reading, etc. Orthopaedically handicapped children may require wheel chairs, and removal of architectural barriers Mentally retarded children may need skill training.

Related service, such as special transportation, medical and psychological assessment, physical and occupational therapy and counseling may be required if special education is to be effective.



            Special education can be looked in terms of WHO, WHAT, WHERE and HOW? Special education meant for exceptional children whose special needs or abilities necessitate an individualized programme of education.


Who? An inter-disciplinary team of professionals-special educators, regular classroom teachers, psychologists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, specialist doctors bear the primary responsibility for helping exceptional children maximize their capabilities.

            What? Special education is sometimes differentiated from regular education by its curriculum, that is, by what is taught. For example, teaching self-help skills or training in reading and writing Braille is an important part of curriculum for severely handicapped children(the blind) in special education institutions which is not found in regular education, the school system dictates the curriculum, but in special education the child’s individual needs dictate the curriculum.

            Where? Special education can sometimes be identified by where it takes place. Whereas regular education is provided in the regular classroom, special education may be provided in special class, resource room, special school or in residential school.

            How? Special education can be differentiated from regular education by the method used by teachers. One special educator may use sign language to communicate with his students. Another special educator may use task analysis and skill training for mentally retarded children. Still another special educator may use multisensory approach and process training while teaching a learning disabled child.

            Exceptional children require special education which include three elements, and these are as follows:

ü  Trained professionals including teachers, educationists, psychologists, physiotherapists and others are required.

ü  Special curriculum is made for the children which suit different areas of exceptionality such as mental retardation, giftedness, deafness, blindness, orthopaedic handicap, cerebral palsy and social and emotional problems, and

ü  Some facilities including special building features, study materials and equipment are also collected for this purpose.


NCERT: ROLE IN TEACHER TRAINING:      The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) functions as the adviser to the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare. NCERT  has earlier a department of Special education within Teacher education and Special education cells in all its four Regional colleges of Education. It is pioneer in running six months key/resources Teacher training at its headquarters and multi-category training of teachers in the four Regional Institutes of Education. About 100 teachers are trained every year. The course structure includes comprehensive coverage for enabling the teachers to develop competency to handle major debilities.



            The Regional Institutes of Education also run B. Ed. and M. Ed. courses with specialization in one area of Special education until recently. At the centre, several in-service programmes also being run for Principals of DIET, Special education faculty of SCERT, PIED block supervision of various times.



The following skills are to be developed for preparing teachers for Special education.

v  Practical skills in observation of children both individually and in groups to help teachers sharpen their perception of variations in children’s learning and behaviour and develop their awareness of variation in children’s circumstances (home-school difficulties).

v  Appreciation of the educational needs of children with developed difficulties-physical, sensory, emotional behavioural or learning the needs of their parents, and the value of the contribution which parents can make to their children’s development.

v  Understanding of the practical steps necessary for meeting a child’s special needs and an ability to adopt the attitude must suit to dealing with particular difficulties and to appreciate the need for modification of the school or classroom organization for the curriculum of teaching techniques.

v  Appreciation of the special services available to children with special needs of their familiar and of the advisory services available to teachers. This might be developed by inviting professionals for the various services to visit the college so that through discussion, the students can learn about the work of teachers in relation to other professionals, the contributions which different specialist can make, the services to expect from them, and the kind of question to put to them.

v  Awareness of the range of career and professional opportunities in Special education and the availability of further qualification in special education.

According to the Secretary’s Commission On Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), a study commissioned by the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Labor, several core skills are essential for Special education teachers. These skills are divided into a Three-Part Foundation and Five Competencies.

            The Three-Part Foundation includes Basic skills of reading, writing, Mathematics, listening and speaking. For special education teachers Basic skills are extremely important. Another Foundational attribute is Personal qualities. This includes self-management, integrity, self-esteem, sociability and responsibility. This is similar to two variables – Social skills and interaction with others. The third foundation skill is Thinking skills. This includes creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, knowing how to learn and reasoning.



            The SCANS study also addressed five areas in which special education teachers need to demonstrate competence. Being able to work with a variety of Technologies was identified as one of the five SCANS competencies. More specifically, teachers need to have the knowledge to select and apply procedures, tools or equipment to work-related situations, as well as maintain and troubleshoot if the need arises. Having an knowledge of technology is considered important for persons in this occupation.                      <

The second competency listed in the SCANS study addresses handling Resources. Special education teachers need to be able to plan, organize, identify, and allocate resources such as time, money, materials/facilities and people.

            A third area of competence is System skills, knowledge and understanding of social, organization, and technical systems is becoming increasingly important for today’s teachers.

            The fourth competency is the ability to acquire, organize, interpret and communicate information. This attribute is a combination of information Input and Mental Processes.

            The last competency presented in the SCANS study is interpersonal ability.

Regular educators should inculcate the following skills and competencies in them:

Teaching Basic skills:

These include: a) Literacy skills (reading, arithmetic, writing, spelling, study skills,   


                        b) Life maintenance skills (health, safety),

                        c) Personal development skills (moral behaviour, basic life issues).

Class management:

            This includes developing skills in selecting appropriate techniques to manage individuals and group behaviour. It requires proficiency in techniques of behavioural analysis, group altering, guiding transitions, material arrangement and crisis intervention.

Professional Consultation and Communication:

            Mainstreaming makes in imperative that regular classroom teacher develops competence in ways to consult and communicate with these professionals. Teachers should know how to collect and report the type of information that will be most useful to the specialists.


            Teacher should know how to collect useful data for diagnosis and how to refer the child.

Individualized Teaching:

            Teacher needs to be adept at assessing a student’s individual needs and in designing instruction to meet theses needs. This does not mean that each child should be taught individually. It means permitting child to pursue a preferred mode of learning.

Interactional skills:

            Teacher should be able to interact successfully with the parents, siblings, children. He/she should be able to interact and collaborate with others in the school.

Orientation strategies for entry into mainstreaming:

            Teachers should be able to prepare special students as well as regular class for mainstreaming. This also includes preparing parents of all children for normalization. He/she should be able to develop positive attitudes towards mainstreaming.

Identification and Assessment of children:

            Teacher should be able to observe children in various settings without affecting their behaviour. Teacher should be able to identify children with special needs and assess their needs, use and interpret individual assessment measures.

Goal setting:

            Teacher should be able to establish appropriate goals for the exceptional child. The goals should be realistic, measurable and also give opportunity for optimum development of potentials of such children.

Adjusting curricula:

            Teacher should be able to adjust curricula to suit the ability, needs and interests of disabled children.

Use of Teaching Strategies:

            Teacher should be able to plan and implement a variety of instructional techniques.

Promoting Classroom Climate:

            Teacher should be able to promote acceptance of individual differences among all children. Teacher should be able to conduct class activities to encourage interaction among students.

Resource Managing:

            Teacher should be able to manage resources which can be used for instruction of disabled children.



Evaluation and Monitoring:

            Teacher should be able to assess the extent to which the needs of disabled children are met in the classroom evaluate the appropriateness of the resources for these children, modify his methods, materials to meet their needs.

            As the regular educator has to work as a member of the team, it is important that he appreciates the role of special educator also. Based on the tasks that the special educator is required to perform following skills should be inculcated by special educators.

Special educators should possess ability to

Observe child’s behaviour systematically. Assess present status and needs of special child. Develop individualized education programmes. Write report on basis, of data gathered. Interact with others to build up relationship and collaborate. Communicate results to other staff members and parents. Change attitudes and advocate for them. Carry out remedial work. Evaluate and monitor methods, materials and progress. Develop and administer therapeutic programmes. Solve problems and deal with different situations that may arise due to unique needs of special children.



In the modern era, a teacher has enumerable responsibilities as our society becomes very complex. Teacher has to play the several roles to develop special children. The most important qualities of teacher are sincerity, honesty and involvement in teaching. The knowledge of teaching, training and instruction can be effectively used by incorporating important Basic skills like learning strategies and speaking skill, Complex problem solving skills through idea generation, implementation planning and Social skills through instruction, service orientation and social perceptiveness in managing special children.

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Lecturer in Special Education

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