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Health Zone: What's up doc?: Questions and Answers.

Byline: Amy Anderson

Q

I WANT to become pregnant but am worried that I have a very small frame and narrow hips.

A

Midwife Sue Jacobs at the Royal College of Midwives writes: Difficulties relating to your small frame would usually centre around your baby's head "engaging" in your pelvis at around 38 weeks. Non-engagement may be due to the shape of the pelvis or the position of the baby, which can be overcome during labour.

Midwives will monitor your progress in labour to ensure a steady descent of the baby's head. If it makes no attempt to enter the pelvis and measurements suggest that it is too large, a caesarean section will be recommended. Discuss your concerns with a midwife.

Q

I have had discomfort for some time down one side of my body from my lower back down through my buttock, thigh and down my leg. Sometimes I don't get it for weeks then it comes back.

A

Sarah Key, author of The Back Sufferer's Bible:It sounds as if you are suffering both referred pain from a malfunctioning spinal segment, and a degree of actual irritation of one of the spinal nerve roots, which gives you the pain further down the leg. This usually happens if the bottom lumbar disc has lost fluid either through injury or compression from sitting.

The vertebra sitting on top of the problem disc then rides down to the one below and you get what is known as a stiff spinal segment. Poor mobility and the lack of space between the two vertebrae leads to grinding and the pain you are suffering can bethe result.

Although you should probably see a manipulative physiotherapist (or osteopath or chiropractor) to unjam your back, you can start the decompression yourself in two ways: first, by squatting on your haunches with your back rounded at intervals throughout the day and, second, by lying for 60 seconds over a 7cm stack of books placed under your sacrum (the flat bone at the base of your spine). This is best done at the end of each day because this is when your spine is most compressed and all your discs the most lacking in water. Once you have plumped the spine up again, roll back and forth over your lowerspinal segments to help them move more freely.

Try 20 curling-up exercises (with knees bent and your feet secured) after the rolling. Thisstrengt- hens your tummy and helps keep the segmental separation.

Q

DOES it harm your eyes to work at a computer for long periods?

A

Optician Trevor Rowley: Those who use a computer continuously for two or more hours are the most likely to experience computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms include red or watery eyes and focusing problems. Rest your eyes for at least 15 minutes after every two hours of computer use, and follow the 20-20 rule - after every 20 minutes of computer use, look into the distance for 20 seconds. Blink regularly to stop eyes getting dry and use eye drops such as Allergan Refresh. You should visit your optician regularly, and your employer will usually pay for your eye tests.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2001
Words:526
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