Product Reviews Blog

Lower Back Pain

Jamie Smale - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lower Back Pain

The cause of low back pain can be complex, as there are many structures in the spine that can cause pain. Your doctor will ask you to describe the location, intensity and sort of pain, in addition to the history of the pain: when you started to feel the pain, and any actions or positions that make the pain better or worse.

Lower Back Pain Classifications

A diagnosis will typically classify the patient’s condition as one of three types of pain.

1. Axial low back pain is the most common type of back pain, is confined to the lower back and does not travel into the buttocks or legs. The pain can be sharp or dull, and can be severe enough to limit everyday activities, such as standing and walking. It usually worsens with certain activities (such as sports) or physical positions (such as sitting for long periods) and is relieved by rest. Most low axial back pain is acute – meaning it is short-lived and heals within six to 12 weeks – but can last longer and become chronic.

2. Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) is the second most common type of pain caused by a lower back problem. Caused by conditions that compress the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve, the pain is more severe in the leg than in the back. Symptoms are pain, numbness and/or weakness that is felt in the lower back (if at all) and on only on one side of the lower body, affecting the buttock, leg, foot, or the entire length of the leg.

3. Low back pain with referred pain is pain in the lower back that also radiates to the groin, buttock and upper thigh, but rarely below the knee. Patients describe the pain as dull and achy with varying intensities. Low back pain with referred pain is similar to axial pain and is managed with similar treatments.

The classification of pain is important in guiding the right treatment plan. For example, with some types of radicular pain, specific extension exercises might initially be prescribed to move the pain up the sciatic nerve and back to its source in the lower back.

Additional Diagnostic Tests and Scans

When pain is severe and is not relieved within 6 to 12 weeks, a specific diagnosis becomes more important to determine further treatment. Additional diagnostic tools include:

1. X-ray. Provides information on the bones in the spine; used to test for spinal instability, tumors and fractures.

2. CT scan. Captures cross-section images of the vertebrae and spinal discs; can be used to check for herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

3. Myelogram. Allows identification of problems within the spine, spinal cord and nerve roots. An injection of contrast dye illuminates the spine prior to an x-ray or CT scan.

4. MRI scan. Displays detailed cross-section of the components of the spine. Useful to assess issues with lumbar discs and nerve roots, as well as ruling out causes of lower back pain like spinal infections or tumors.

Typically the spine specialist will have a good idea of the cause of the patient’s pain from the symptoms and physical exam, and will use the above diagnostic tests to confirm and clarify the diagnosis and/or to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

It is also important to note that sometimes low back pain actually has no identifiable anatomical cause, but this doesn't mean that the pain doesn't exist. Even with no clear cause of pain, the patient's pain is still real and should be treated.

Knowing the Pain of a Sore Back

Only those who have suffered from a sore back can know and understand just how debilitating it can be. Even something as simple as a sneeze can cause severe pain spasms when you have lower back problems. To lift your foot to press on the pedal of a kitchen bin is agony, or even to stoop over a little to put rubbish in the same kitchen bin can cause a lot of discomfort. The 60lt Original series bin from Ideal Home Products is a great bin for those with lower back pain. This bin has an automatic sensor lid so it opens with just a wave of your hand over the lid, and because it stands at almost one metre tall you do not need to stoop over to place rubbish into it.

Bin Swab Tests Reveal Some Disturbing Facts

Jamie Smale - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have you ever played the game “Would You Rather”?

I got one for you…

Would you rather eat your dinner off your toilet seat?


Sat beside an open bin that has not been emptied for a week?

The following research may help you answer this question…


Deadly Germs in your Kitchen Bin


How environmentally aware are you? Do you recycle as much as possible or consign all your rubbish to your wheelie bin oblivious to the effect your habits have on the planet? Maybe you live in a council area where waste collections have been reduced to fortnightly or even 4 weekly in a bid to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites, and so you have been forced to rethink your waste disposal methods. Whichever side of the environmental fence you are on, for most of us, when it comes to household waste, out of sight is out of mind. We put the rubbish in the bin, close the lid and move on. But what happens in the bin? We know it can’t be too clean in there, and we know it will smell a bit if the council don’t empty it for 2 or even 4 weeks.  Are you reassured by the Environmental experts employed by some councils who say there is no greater risk to the public health from fortnightly collections than from weekly? According to the Mail online, researchers from University of Northampton have reported that they found bacteria from the same family as that of the plague in bins emptied fortnightly. Yes that’s right THE plague! That got your attention didn’t it?


Bacteria Festering Near Where You Eat


Further tests show that a bin which gets emptied weekly has around 4 million bacteria on the test swab. Now to get this into perspective, your average toilet seat is estimated to produce around 500 bacteria on the same size test swab. So your weekly bin has 8000 times as much bacteria as your loo. What happens to the numbers if we leave that bin with its 4 million bacteria for another week? Double? Triple? Try this: leave that same bin for another week and the 4 million has become 240 million! Yes you read it right… 240 million bacteria, sitting a few feet away from where your children play, where you eat… aren’t you glad you asked?


The Bacteria in Your Kitchen Bin Grows Exponentially



This bacteria, how harmful can it really be? Well, you may not want to read this if you’re eating; the weekly bin, with its average household contents: nappies, dead flowers, food waste, packaging, sanitary waste contains more than enough bacteria of various strains to cause serious stomach upsets, 4 times the danger threshold for enterobacteriacea (causes stomach upsets) and 79 times in the case of e-coli (which can be fatal)!  But in defense of weekly bin collections, the levels of mould which causes food to rot and smell, is generally below the accepted danger threshold...small comfort when you consider that yeast levels which also cause rotting are double the danger threshold at over 2000 in the same bin. Now, the same bin, left for 2 weeks, takes these figures to a whole new level. 430 times the danger threshold for e-coli, 200 times for enterobacteriacea; yet we are expected to accept that this risk is not any greater than weekly emptied bins. It doesn’t end there – that extra week waiting to be collected raises yeast levels from 2000 to 32million, and mould levels from an acceptable 900 after a week to 20 million after 2 weeks. The difference this huge leap makes is in how much the discarded foodstuffs have rotted and the smell created. And of course it is smell which attracts vermin, so now there’s a whole new problem to deal with. Rats love bad smells, so a 2 week old bin full of food is irresistible to them, and rats carry disease. Wherever there are rats there is rat urine, and it could and probably is everywhere. Your paths, lawns, the bins themselves, garden furniture, toys left get the idea. This is serious sickness we’re talking here.  No matter how careful you are with hygiene, the risk is significant.


How to Reduce the Germ Fest and Cross Contamination from Your Bins


So what can you do? Well, you could burn your rubbish, releasing all those toxins into the air, to cause immense danger to anyone breathing in the fumes, and treat your neighbours to clouds of thick black smoke which might not make you too popular and would certainly lower the tone of the neighbourhood.  You could slip away in the night and tip your rubbish somewhere illegal, thus ‘passing the buck’ and if you get caught, gaining yourself a court appearance and a hefty fine. Or you could be a responsible citizen and simply wait for an election and vote out the councilors who champion fortnightly collections.

While we may be at the mercy of the ‘powers that be’ when it comes to how often our rubbish is removed, we can and should do what we can to minimize the risks. Our advice is to dispose of the waste carefully in the first place.


  • Don’t over-fill your kitchen bin as this will mean you will probably touch the rubbish when taking the bag out.  Filling the bin two thirds full will allow you plenty of bag to hold onto.
  • Don’t own a bin that is too big for your family.  It will take ages to fill.  If you are a family of 3 – you don’t need an 80L bin – go for a 42L instead.
  • Recycle as much as possible. There are some great bins on the market to make it easy for you.  You can buy a bin that has 2 compartments, one for waste and one for recycling, each with its own bin liner, so you don’t have 2 bins cluttering your kitchen.
  • Do NOT touch your waste bin. I bought a stainless steel bin with an automatic sensor in the lid, so I don’t even have to touch the lid of the bin!
  • Wrap any food or sanitary waste carefully before binning it, and make sure your bins have tight fitting lids.
  • If you are really keen on hygiene solutions and will go to any length then use 2 bin liners instead of 1
  • Be careful with hygiene; washing hands after touching the bins, putting toys away at night, washing hands before eating…all these things while obvious are none the less important.