It’s 07:50 on Tuesday 23rd March, and Michael van Straten is calling in from the comfort of his villa in France to answer those niggling health questions that Kerry Devine is taking from the staff at the Alliance & Leicester Building Society on Church Street in Peterborough.
PS: We’ve been out and about again Michael to find out how well, or ill, the people of Peterborough are. We sent Miss Kerry Devine out to the Alliance & Leicester Building Society in Peterborough, to find out what health problems are bothering the staff there. I’m afraid it’s more pins and needles.
MvS: Ah hah! Here we go.
Staff 1: I get pins and needles in my hand every now and again. And it goes up to my wrist. And it stays for about five, ten minutes, and then it goes again. But it’s quite painful when I get it. So what is it?
PS: What is it? What could it be?
MvS: What is it? What is it? Well it’s likely to be a very particular condition which affects the nerves of the hands, the nerves that supply the hands and the fingers, as they go through what’s called the carpal tunnel. There’s a thing called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it might not be, you can’t tell exactly without examining it, but it’s quite likely to be that. And that often happens to women when get pregnant. It often happens to people who get a lot of repetitive use, a lot of repetitive keyboard use, counting money, for instance, those sort of repetitive movements, it could be something like that. One of the really old-fashioned things that does help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to take a regular dose of Vitamin B6. And it really does help. But honestly, she needs to go and have a word with the doctor, and have a look at it. There are things you can do. Surgery sometimes is sort of last resort, but more often than not physiotherapy, some acupuncture, some Vitamin B6, a bit of massage, a bit of careful use, resting and avoiding the things which trigger it off, and she should be fine.
PS: Yes. We’ve got some back problems at the Alliance & Leicester as well. Here we go.
Staff 2: I’ve had an X-ray done, but they said there’s nothing there. But I can feel it, because I can’t get out of bed. You know what I’m saying?
PS: She’s got a bad back.
MvS: Well, you see, firstly I am amazed that this young lady has had her back X-rayed. I bet it was ordered by her GP. GPs don’t read anything that drops on their desk. The standard advice for some years now has always been the last thing you ever think about is doing an X-ray of a back, especially in a woman. You’re exposing them to unnecessary radiation, you never find anything. If you do anything, it needs to be a scan. Because X-rays don’t show up the soft tissues. And in the back it’s nearly always things like the discs that are causing the problem. And my advice to anyone with a back problem, first stop, your local osteopath. Get it looked at by an osteopath. They’re probably the most experienced people dealing with back pain problems. If it is something more serious and it will need, maybe, surgery, or other intervention then your osteopath will know and will tell you that. But nine times out of ten osteopathic treatment, a bit of rest, the right sort of exercises to strengthen the back muscles, she’ll be as right as rain. And to say there’s nothing, when she can’t get out of bed, Paul, is absolutely stupid.
PS: Yes. I’m a bit worried about the staff at the Alliance & Leicester. they all seem to have something wrong with them. This person’s got blisters.
Staff 3: I’ve got a huge blister on my foot from walking fifty three miles at the weekend. I just want to know how to treat it really.
MvS: Well the only thing to do with a blister really is to leave it alone. And the most important thing is don’t start poking it with a dirty needle, and try to let the fluid out ….
MvS: …. and it’ll burst on it’s own. When it does burst, keep it covered with a dry clean bit of dressing. I hope he was walking for charity.
PS: He was, yes.
MvS: Well, a few blisters to raise lots of money is a small price to pay, isn’t it. Just don’t let it get dirty and infected. It will heal. Once the skin has burst, and the old skin has just gradually worn away, a bit of good moisturising cream on it, soothe the local tissues, keep them clean, keep them supple and moisturised, and next time, wear proper shoes.
PS: There you go. It’s good advice. He’s looking after the health of the whole of Peterborough. He’s Michael van Straten our health guru.