Will Pilates make it easier for me to use the stairs? DR MARTIN SCURR answers your health questions.

Last year an MRI showed I had scoliosis. My spine is twisting at the base, and some discs and vertebrae have ruptured, causing a lot of pain in my back and legs and making it difficult to walk up and down stairs. Physio hasn’t helped so far. Should I Try Pilates?

Brenda Tidbury, Tilehurst, Reading.

I am sorry to hear about all of your spinal problems and the pain and disruption they are causing in your life.

The type of spinal degeneration you describe is common, with a number of possible causes, including osteoporosis, rupture of the shock-absorbing discs that sit between the vertebrae (or bones) of the spine, and facets. Inflammation of the joints, which connect the bones of the spine.

The main problem is usually aging, although genetics, your diet as a young adult (95% of your peak bone mass is reached before age 20, so getting plenty of calcium is important) and your How much exercise you’ve had over the years (exercise increases bone strength) also plays a role.

In addition to the disabling pain you may be experiencing, another problem is inflammation. This is the body’s way of trying to repair bone damage, but it can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal, which carries the nerves that carry messages between your trunk and limbs.

I Am Sorry To Hear About All Of Your Spinal Problems And The Pain And Disruption They Are Causing In Your Life.  The Type Of Spinal Degeneration You Describe Is Common.

I am sorry to hear about all of your spinal problems and the pain and disruption they are causing in your life. The type of spinal degeneration you describe is common.

This tightness puts pressure on the nerves, which is why you are also having pain in your legs.

Spine pain treatment can be complex, which is why we now have so-called iPASS clinics (Integrated Pain and Spine Service), dedicated to the management of chronic spine pain.

You mention in your long letter that you have been referred to an iPASS clinic. Basically, you’ll be assessed by a multidisciplinary team, hopefully with advice on the best course of action for your treatment.

This may initially involve being seen by a specialist physiotherapist first. Even if the prescribed physiotherapy hasn’t helped, I wouldn’t try a Pilates session without further advice from your care team.

For example, a member of the neurology team or one of the neurosurgical specialists may recommend that you need surgery to relieve pressure on your spinal nerves.

In the meantime, I would urge you to stick with the exercises as it may take weeks or months to see the benefits of physio.

Spine Pain Treatment Can Be Complex, Which Is Why We Now Have So-Called Ipass Clinics (Integrated Pain And Spine Service), Dedicated To The Management Of Chronic Spine Pain.

Spine Pain Treatment Can Be Complex, Which Is Why We Now Have So-Called Ipass Clinics (Integrated Pain And Spine Service), Dedicated To The Management Of Chronic Spine Pain.

Spine pain treatment can be complex, which is why we now have so-called iPASS clinics (Integrated Pain and Spine Service), dedicated to the management of chronic spine pain.

I have been prescribed statins for a mild narrowing of an artery. I’ve heard that plant sterols do the same but are more ‘natural’. Is that a good alternative?

Ann Smith, via email.

Sterols and stanols are molecules found in many plants—from grains and fruits to vegetables and nuts—that reduce the amount of cholesterol we absorb from food. And now they are being added to some prepared foods (like spreads).

You’ve been put on statins because your doctor has diagnosed early coronary heart disease and there’s a lot of evidence that lowering cholesterol levels (especially LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol) in the arteries. It reduces the build-up of fat deposits and reduces the risk of it. Heart attack or stroke.

Statins are the most powerful tool to achieve this, but the best results are obtained when combined with a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Additionally, studies confirm that consumption of sterols and stanols, as well as taking statins, can further lower cholesterol.

So eating foods rich in plant sterols and stanols may provide additional benefits to your statins, but they are certainly not a substitute for them.

In The Meantime, I Would Urge You To Stick With The Exercises As It May Take Weeks Or Months To See The Benefits Of Physio.

In The Meantime, I Would Urge You To Stick With The Exercises As It May Take Weeks Or Months To See The Benefits Of Physio.

In the meantime, I would urge you to stick with the exercises as it may take weeks or months to see the benefits of physio.

Write to Dr. Score.

Write to Dr Scurr at Good Health, OlxPraca, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email drmartin@dailymail.co.uk — please include your contact details. Dr. Schor cannot enter into personal correspondence. Answers should be taken in general context and always consult your GP for any health concerns.

I think: Friends and family are the key to health.

For more than ten years my wife has been involved in the UK Biobank, a vast research project involving half a million people who provide genetic samples and other information to improve our understanding of disease.

Along with 100,000 others, she will undergo brain and body scans, detailed heart recordings, blood tests and other investigations.

The potential benefits of this research are fantastic, but as I looked into it further, I came across another low-tech project that also yielded some great results.

The Grant study, started in 1938 at Harvard Medical School, has followed hundreds of men for more than 75 years (it’s still ongoing).

The aim was to determine the factors involved in healthy ageing. The study began before the modern technology of Biobank research, but the results are valuable.

In summary, happy marriages and fulfilling relationships (with family, teachers, or peers) result in better health and longevity. In other words, how we relate to others is the key to good health.

This is a lesson we can all benefit from.